THE BOUNDARY WATERS— While all kids who grow up in Ely live on the edge of America’s most popular wilderness area, it doesn’t mean they all get to experience the wilderness …
THE BOUNDARY WATERS— While all kids who grow up in Ely live on the edge of America’s most popular wilderness area, it doesn’t mean they all get to experience the wilderness firsthand. That’s why a group of six students and two chaperones from Ely Community Resource recently completed a five-day canoe trip here in order to build confidence and teamwork as well as a connection to the remarkable landscape right on their doorstep.
For most of the students, it was their first time in the Boundary Waters.
Friends of the Boundary Waters made the trip possible through their “No Boundaries to the Boundary Waters” program, which works with schools around the state to deliver free curriculum focused on the Boundary Waters. The program also provides scholarships for students from underserved communities from all over the state, enabling them to go on week-long adventures into the wilderness.
Ely eighth-grader Jesse Grant said he learned a lot and had a great time on his trip. “It taught me how to just be in the moment and not worry about everything in the future. I will continue to do things I’ve learned.”
The group launched their trip from Fall Lake and spent their time paddling, portaging, swimming, and fishing. “It was very rewarding to work with the ECR students,” said Friends of the Boundary Waters Community Coordinator Ozzie Reif. “We did some team building and route planning in the new Ely Friends office, and everybody had a blast learning skills that they could put to use on the canoe trip.”
For many of the students, it was a chance to learn skills for the first time, and test their grit during challenging parts of the trip. “Sterning at the last river was challenging,” said one eighth-grader on the trip. “Determination and strength got us through.”
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Thursday, September 8, 2022 Report this