Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 19 - Monica Gummow

A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time in a far away land called "Ka-Na-Duhh" there was a group of explorers. they had been on a river trip for nine days when the group came to a set of rapids just too dangerous to cross. Instead, they took the most grueling portage of their entire expedition, a whopping mile and quarter. A trek so intense, only one thing could be carried at a time. This meant that each of the fourteen explorers had to make this trip at least six times The leader of the day claimed to have walked the trail enough times to have covered 12 whole miles. This entire journey took 5 exhausting hours before all of the gear had been successfully transported.

The day was not over yet though and the weary explorers still had more work to do to push on to their final destination. The travelers perked up for an afternoon of paddling. Unfortunately for the group, a hurricane like storm looned in the horizon. bringing not rain but grueling winds. Try as they might, the group could not continue to battle the forces of nature and decided to make camp on a small island in Lake Wabazikaskwi.

After a hard day filled with work the group enjoyed time together by playing games and learning folklore and myths. One legend they heard was about the old wise man who traveled with the explorers as a guide and advisor. A story was told about how this old wise man and how he came to be on this earth. It was revealed that unlike normal humans "Jeeves", as he was called, was not like you and me. But rather he was once a tree, who heard the call of needy students in the distance. Upon hearing their cries for knowledge, Jeeves grew legs and sprung from the forest, paddle in hand. I suppose one could say "he was born that way."

As the night came to a end, the explorers found the way to their tents with a evening of stories and games still on their minds. Proud of the hard work they had accomplished earlier that day they laid down to rest, preparing for another day of hard paddling. With a good night wish to one another, they fell asleep dreaming of their forthcoming adventures.
Good night and sleep tight ECOEE followers!

The End

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 18 - Molly Corrigan

“one foot in and one foot back, it doesn’t pay to live like that” – Avett Brothers

This morning we were suppose to have our canoes packed and ready to go by 6:30 which ended up being 7:00. Our destination was 12 miles away to Mackenzie Lake, just before our big 1.25 mile portage. We did a few sets of rapids today the highest being a class 2. I know my canoe partner, Steve and I were proud to make it through and I am sure we weren’t the only ones in the group that felt that way.

The next set of rapids we had the choice to line our boats or portage them. Only Jeff had the experience to go down a class three rapid, which looked like a waterfall to me. Tony, Jeff’s canoe partner for the day, suggested they go down it. So everyone gathered around the rapids to watch their fate. Heading for the rapids Jeff’s expression was calm and focused which turned into a giant grin as soon as they hit the rapid. Tony started off all smiles then his eyes widened and his mouth dropped. When they hit the white water the canoe filled with water shockingly they made it to shore without capsizing.

We made it across Mackenzie Lake to our campsite where we wrapped up our day with dinner and debrief. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day but of course we will make it through just as we always do. We miss you all!

With Love,

The Monarch Tribe

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 17 - Tony Beyer

So today was a nice late start, thanks to Jen our LOD. She gave us a 9:00 am start, most got to sleep to 7:00 am! Woo hoo, latest yet on ECOEE. It was a very mental day, we did no paddling and just crammed in our lessons. I taught Myth Busters, Brittany taught Indian Lore and others taught there lessons. Jeff also taught us judgment and decision making skills and how to translate your skills to other areas of life. Everyone seemed to be in better spirits today, especially after yesterdays long haul. I liked the idea Jen had to give us some extra sleep. I learned a lot today in terms of what I’d enjoy doing and how much more I have to learn.

-Tony Beyer

I will leave you with a quote “Take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got, for you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 16 - Nicki Smith

Day 7 on the river began at 4am. At least this was for me and my tent mates. This was due to a long and hard day on the river paddling. For many of us, us being college students, 4am is a lot of times when we go to bed so actually waking up at this calm hour was a little struggle we endured. With only 2 hours before we push off for the day we finished breakfast, torn down camp, pack our bags and canoes and started paddling a little after 6am. I’m unsure whether it was waking up at 4am or the getting use to finding our way around a map, but we somehow managed to lose our spot on the map. With some bearing and understanding were we actually started we were off to the races again. It was at this time that Jeff once again reminded that we must take care of the group and to be cautious when paddling in open lakes as they as more dangerous than rivers.

Many hours later and 17 miles from last night campsite we arrived to a set of rapids. Just on the other side of this is where we would portage the gear and canoe’s to keep paddling. But the paddling would be in the future for now we set our campsites along Lake Mattawa. Then an informative lesson on scats of animals by Katy and then a test on what are adversity and uncertainty is. It might be just me, but this really put into perspective on what a wilderness leader or a leader in general entails. It was a long day for ECOEEians, an early morning, 17 miles of paddling, and a hot dinner put our minds at content for the day. After our debrief/brief most of us scattered off to hang bear bags, wash up, or to finish lessons for tomorrow and for some of us just to curl up in a warm bag and dream until the day we see modern showers, laundry, and or maybe just when the day arrives where we don’t have to plan time into the day to filter water. But for now I write from the comfort that will be my home for 11 more days until we finish the English River…. My sleeping bag and pad!

With Love from Lake Mattawa,

Nicki Smith

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 15 - Jennifer Longshore

The Group woke up with high spirits today even though it was early and chilly. Each tent group broke down their camp and canoe partners packed their boats in preparation for the day’s journey before coming together for a lesson form Steve about weather.

Once Steve’s lesson was done and announcements were made we quickly made our way down the river. We had a long way to go today, but for most of the day the boats were filled with laughter and not grumbles.

We managed to line or steer our canoes through three sets of rapids instead of portaging, which saves a lot of time and keeps everyone in a good mood. As we turned around the bend after our third set of rapid navigating we were met by something we didn’t think we would see our entire time on the river – other people! A friendly man and woman with their playful dog had heard us passing through the rapids and had come out of their cabin to see what all the noise was about. We were all shocked and excited to see some new faces after so many days of only having each other to stare at. The nice couple took a couple pictures of our group all together before we said our goodbyes and continued on our way.

We finally made it to Lake Selwyn, but Corey, our leader of the day, had a difficult time finding us a campsite. He finally settled on a place, but it was a little small so Jeff and Steve had to paddle around the corner to find a site of their own.

While the rest of my group set up camp and began setting out the things we needed to cook dinner, I set out to fill our dromedary with water to cook with. I went to the water’s edge and scooped up a bowl of water to put in our drom, but it was full of bugs so I needed to go out farther to find cleaner water. I got in a canoe and headed out about 15 feet from shore. I had no trouble at all filling up our dromedary in the canoe by myself but as I turned to head back to shore, I suddenly flipped the canoe. I was able to save my paddle and our water bag, but my group’s large cook pot sank to the bottom of the lake. I was able to pull the canoe to shore and get it flipped over by myself but I had no luck at all finding the pot even after dawning goggles and swimming down as far as I could. Leave it to me, the clumsiest member of our group, to be the first to flip a canoe!

After camp was set up and dinner was prepared we met for debrief and then Corey taught his lesson about biomes and ecosystems and Nicki taught her lesson about staying warm while sleeping. Her lesson couldn’t have been given at a more perfect time since the nights here are getting colder and colder.

Once lessons were done it was time for homework and bed. Hopefully everyone did a good job hanging their bear bags since we saw bear tracks on the beach on our way here. I guess we will see if anyone has any food left in the morning…

Until next rotation,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 14 - Sarah Heller

Ahoy, mateys! It is day 5 on this wretched English River. The crew got some good sleep last night where we landed the ships. After breakfast this morning, the assistant captain Steve gave a lesson on clouds and weather. Just in time before the rain, I might add. Then our first mate, Corey, taught us pirates a thing of two about how to stay warm and cool while on our travels. It was then time to load the ships and start heading further north. We took off full steam ahead and attacked the waters with a vengeance. The stratus clouds split from the sky and the sun came through to dry our decks.

As we made our way down the river, there were treacherous waters ahead. Our fearless captain, Jeff, led the crew through the rapids with ease, with his pirate paddler Molly on board. After clearing these waters we thought we would have smooth sailing for another great while, but up ahead there were more rapids. Four ships travelled down the chute to navigate these waters, but there was a small waterfall drop-off that could not be chanced. The ships were lined around and down the waterfall with no pirates on board. Jen and Monica were aboard one of the ships that made it through unscathed. The other three ships had to come ashore and carry their treasures across the land. Nicki, Brittany, and Katy were among the fearless crew that carried their heavy loads over logs and down to smoother water.

Our ships were cutting the water, travelling four clicks per hour. The sit-in captain, Heather, was hoping to travel great distances to a lake up north, but the mateys were tiring out and the day light was dwindling. A new task was put at hand to discover a place for the crew to land their ships in these ‘rocky’ waters and marshy terrain. My first mate, Tony, and I were the navigators for this entourage and we had to follow the winding curves around and around until we landed the ships on a bank and declared camp. We travelled a great distance of twelve miles today, which is good for all of the treasures we are packing. The crew is tired and one mate, Justin, a little sunburnt, but they are all in high spirits and ready to do their chores.

The ships were tied up and unloaded and all of the pirates cooked up some grub. It was then time for our crew to circle up and discuss the bloody day. The clever pirate, Brandon, was sure to correct the grammar of those mates who spoke of themselves before others. The brisk air set in and the starry sky illuminated the waters below. It is another late night for the crew and we must get some shut eye before day break tomorrow. Thanks for listening to the tales of the ECOEE pirates.

Until next time…ARRR!!
Buccaneer Helen Keller (Sarah Heller)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 13 - Corey Frantz

On the 25th of August, in the year 2011, a group of students from Western Illinois University, woke up on a cold damp morning in the middle of the wilderness in Ontario, Canada. Deep inside the Boreal Forest, surrounded by trees and next to a root beer colored river, the group starts off yet again on an expedition that will test their metal. The river called the English river will provide this group with many challenges but will be the path towards their final destination. The group starts off late and is reminded by the fearless leader Jeff that it is un-expectable and if it continues there will be consequences.

After Jeff and other fellow group member teach lessons to the rest of the group to give them the knowledge and skills needed for this trip. The canoes in the crisp root beer like water glide through like a knife going through warm butter, while each person puts the blade of their paddle into the water pushing ahead. For the first time the group gets to experience going through rapids, they get to experience the rush of being pushed through fast waters that surge past and over big boulders. Each canoe filled with two paddlers and their gear must navigate through using team work and communication to ensure their safety. Everyone a little nervous but more excited than anything is eager to topple the obstacle and gain this amazing new experience. The group makes it through with ease, smiling ear to ear, adrenaline coursing through their veins ready for more.

On their way yet again, they meet two more of these obstacles and make it through one by one safely. They paddle to their next camp site, which is a massive granite rock, looking like a giant blunt spear protruding from the earth into the river. They land there and start to set their camp up, one by one the groups’ tents pop up, and bear bag ropes are slung into the air to rest on the best branches they could find.

The group starts to cook, and the aromas of food fill the air, busy as bees they work. Then it’s time to learn some more after their bellies are filled. After some discussion on leadership, personal stories filled with laughter and some tears, then a lesson on fire building its time to debrief the day. With their first camp fire filling the circle with orange light, filling the air with the wonderful familiar smell of camp fire smoke, the group is content to discuss the happenings of the day, and what’s to come the next. All tired from the sun beating down on them, a long day of paddling, one by one they finish some homework and last minute chores they disappear into their tent and slowly fall asleep in their warm sleeping bags.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 12 - Tony Beyer

Wet and Wild Wednesday would be a great name to sum up today. Another bright and early day,
8:00am start followed by THE portage. Grueling and rainy Jeff (the jedi) Tindall instructed us on how to carry our canoes across the Jurassic like terrain. As the morning went on the rain, temperature and wind got worse, but we trudged on. One trip at a time we carried our gear, until four and a half hours and a few spills later we were at the end. Little Monica had her troubles carrying a pack that weighed more than her, she took a few spills (12) after further calculations, but she made it through. Corey and I happened to be the 1st one out, so we waited for our fellow ECOEEians to come out across the trail. Little to my surprise everyone came out all smiles. As the rain poured on us, we laughed, and for what reason? I don’t know, but we were giggling like school girls, especially when Schtephen almost went swimming while loading the canoe. While I pointed and cackled at his clumsiness, of course I go down, jokes on me right?

Well we started off on the river, about three hours too late, but soon pulled out due to the dropping temperatures and there wasn’t a campsite for nine miles. We all called our respective campsites, which we soon found out, were terrible choices. But of course Jeff and Steve’s was just perfect. Apparently camping under seven widow makers is a bad choice?

We then debriefed the day and our LOD Brandon, who was just superb. He led us perfectly and truly cared about his group. After debrief we got done somewhat early, which is a first, but that’s all for now.

“It’s just a box of rain that will ease the pain and love will see you through.”

-Tony Beyer

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 11 - Brittany Abrams

This morning we woke up at 6:00AM to tear down camp, unhang bear bags, and cook breakfast before we were to head out onto the English River for another day of paddling. Little did we know that after we had taken down camp and got everything ready to go…we found out we were going to stay another night. My group and I had to go reset up camp and get ready for a day full of lessons. Nicki was Leader of the Day (LOD) today and her assistant was Brandon (ALOD).

The first lesson was taught by Sarah about the correct way to dispose of garbage (Leave No Trace style). Monica then demonstrated how to set up a tarp. Katy informed us about hygiene and why it is important especially in the backcountry. She explained everything and anything which helped both the ladies and gents become more informed on ways to keep our body healthy. Jeff also did many lessons throughout the day. He explained to us the importance of conflict resolution especially while in a group as large as ours as well as why efficiency plays a major factor. Another great point mentioned was about feedback from peers and how to use it and benefit from it. In order for us to become the leaders we want to become that needs to be considered. The group also made time to debrief Justin from the day before who did not make it to debrief the previous night.

Nicki was very relaxed today and we got a lot done. She asked us to come up with goals that our group wants to reach. The goals we came up with for the semester was: 1.) Flow 2.) Learning to Love 3.) Becoming leaders we want to be 4.) Building life long bonds 5.) Becoming effective problem solvers. These five summed up all our thoughts. I do want to mention some other goal ideas that were passed around that I really liked. One which was said by Corey was “work smarter, not harder” and Katy’s goal “to survive each other’s heartaches, discomfort, pain, weakness, love, and distraught.” Both of these stuck with me.

After finalizing the goals we had made dinner in our cook groups. When finished we hung out bear bags which was easier than the night before and then met on the rock for debrief. The Canadian sky was scattered with a gazillion stars and as we sat there on the rock along the river I realized just how lucky I am to be here with everyone on this expedition and wondered what was to come. I will be looking forward to having a different home each night and waking up with the sun or sometimes before and then going to bed with the moon.

Nicki asked us what we had learned today and Tony being Tony answered with he learned he was the weanie of the group-haha he sure is a character though and a weanie loved by us all. I came to realize this expedition is all learning whether it may be a specific lesson taught or skills we learn as we use them every day. This is taking us closer to the goals we are hoping to accomplish.

To all back home reading this- I hope all is well and we are looking forward to sharing our stories with you. We couldn’t ask for a better classroom and I couldn’t ask for a better group.
“If you always do what you did… you will always get what you got.”

Peace and Love to all,
Brittany Abrams

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 10 - Brandon Wessels

Quotes of the day:
“Dream as if you'd live forever, live as if you'll die today.” -James Dean

“All for one and one for all.” -The Three Musketeers

“A chain is only as strong as its' weakest link.”

Today was a very very bitter sweet day. The group woke up at six this morning to get packed up and ready to set out on our first of 18 days of canoeing on the English River...I'm not going to lie, I was pretty upset when I realized I wasn't going to get my last fix of Mountain Dew before we pushed out onto the river, but I guess I'll survive. Before we shoved off, Jeff showed us how to pack the canoes properly with our river bags so the canoes would float down the river smoothly with their weight centered.

Once we were out on the river things went pretty smooth, everyone was doing just as good, if not better, than they did when we practiced in Macomb. About 2.5km later we reached our first portage, but instead of making the trek we decided to set up camp since it was the first day on the water and we still had a lot to do.

Our first chore was to find an appropriate area to set up a campsite which we were able to do successfully thanks to our lesson that Brittany taught us on campsite selection. Once our tents were set up we gathered around to listen to Molly teach us how to use water filters so we don't get jardia and poop ourselves. After Molly's marvelous lesson Jeff taught us how to use our backcountry stoves and then we prepared and cooked dinner for ourselves...which didn't go quite as smoothly as we would have liked, but the food was pretty good and only a few people came out with a couple minor burns...just kidding, but seriously, they did. After dindin it was time to hang our dreadful bear bags. This wouldn't have been such a bad task if there were trees around with branches that wouldn't snap from a grasshopper landing on them. After a very stressful 203 hours of setting up bear hangs we finally got the job accomplished.

Following our sloppy success against the bear hangs we circled up and debriefed the day...too bad our leader of the day, Justin, decided to call it an early night and was passed out in his tent so we had to do it without him – but after all the energy he put forth these last few days and only getting three hours of sleep in the last three days, who wouldn't like to zonk out early?

Needless to say, this has been a long day for everyone, but full of learning experiences. Time to hit the sack so we can conquer the challenges of tomorrow.

So long ECOEE followers!

Brandon Wessels

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 9 - Nicki Smith


- Your disability is your opportunity

-You can’t measure time in days the way you can measure money in dollars because every day is

-The less you change, the more you remain the same

Today was just another average day for ECOEE 2011. It started out with a good breakfast
prepared by Brittany. Then we packed our bags and headed for the land of the Maple Leaf! Canada was on everyone’s mind, as we entered this new and strange land to some of us, we saw views upon views of this gorgeous place. Ft. Williams was our destination today.

This Ft. had been important asset to the fur trading business. Owned by what was the
Northwest Trading Company to spefecily for making connections, building relationships and most
importantly for the trade of valuable goods to the Aboriginal people. During that time there we
learned that the trading system was done on a credit type of system sometimes, and it was also set around a beaver pelt. This meant that the fur of a silver fox was worth 4 beaver pelts. Along with some interpreting we got to see and experience some dances, traditions, drums, dedications and dressings of the Aboriginal people. Some books and suviorners were bought and then we piled into the vans for the long ride to English River Inn. An Inn right across where we would put the canoes in and head off for an expedition along the English River for 18 days with only the 14 of us to keep each other company!

When we had finally arrived, 3 hours later, the view from pulling in put into perspective about
what was to be going down within the next months to come. I think all of us know how blessed and
lucky we are to be doing ECOEE, but to see the view here is overwhelming and really pounds that nail. Once dinner was started and the trailer and vans had packed up it hit all of us that we were not in Illinois anymore. For some, including me, the more the hours pass and push off becomes closer the anxiety skyrockets. Yet all of us seem to be stoked about doing this river expedition. For the rest of tonight and up into the wee hours into the mourning we are finishing packing our river bags, preparing our lesson plans, or at least getting a little comfort before heading into 18 days of seclusion. Before I sign off we want thank Bruce and Louis, the owners of English River Inn! ECOEE 2011 will be forever grateful for your hospitality, warmness, and generosity.

With Love,

Nicki Smith

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 8 - Justin Morris

Quotes of the day:
1) “Success is temporary and failure isnʼt fatal.” -Mike Ditka
2) “Talk is cheap, that is until you hire a lawyer” - Dennis Rodman
3) “ A hypocrite is someone who complains about nudity & violence on their VCR.” -

Straight out of high school we didnʼt know what to do, wanted to go to college to get away and try something new. Today we find ourselves with an incredible view, something so big, something so blue. Lake Superior supplied our craving for knowledge, a monument worth saving according to our government. Their vision was clear and that was to preserve this piece of Ojibway indian history, an interpretation chief named Pam left us with little to no mystery. We learned that calling cards used to be left in birch in order to tell others with little search. Unlike other Native Americans, the Ojibway stayed put when times were tough, never, not once, abandoning their perch. The Ojibway stood tall, vowing to never give up, swearing to never fall. When the fur trade finally took a dive, the french and english in order to survive, headed for Canada to let the new Americans thrive. The portage trail used by suppliers remains intact with a visitor center built in 2007, meant for others to interact. Although 50 years late in creation, it represents the strength of one incredible sovereign nation.

Can you dig it?


Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 7 - Jennifer Longshore

Today’s Quotes;
“You cannot discover new oceans until you are willing to lose site of the land.”
-Fortune Cookie

“Your disability is your opportunity.”
-Kurt Hahn

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.”

This morning the group was woken up with a crisis. The percolator cap for the coffee pot was missing and Jeff was not pleased. Sarah, the LOD, organized a search and, after several minutes, Nicki found the missing piece where it had slipped off of the sink and underneath the Outward Bound shower house.

After a quick breakfast prepared by Nicki and Brandon, we packed up our gear and waited for our hosts at Outward Bound to arrive at our camp site to give us a tour of their facility. Once our hosts for the day, Mariah and Justin, arrived we had introductions and a couple of ice breakers to get the ball rolling. All of our spirits were high as we left camp to start our tour, but we were all shocked when we were immediately led to our old arch nemesis from Horn Field Campus: the Whale Watch.

The Whale Watch is a team building activity that involves moving your group in different ways across a giant seesaw. This frustrating activity took us about 12 hours to complete last spring, so we were sure that Jeff had plotted against us and asked our hosts to torture us with this initiative, but it turned out to be a horrible coincidence. To all of our surprise though, we were able to complete the exercise in around 30 minutes. This really shows how much our group has grown since we first came together last spring.

To finish up our tour we visited the dog yard, the Pieh Building, and the trip building. We then said our goodbyes so we could load up to find a place to eat lunch. We ended up having lunch in a parking lot next to a pleasant stream that we all enjoyed playing in while lunch was prepared.

After lunch we continued down the road to our scheduled campsite at Judge C.R. Magney State Park. Our LOD, Sarah, planned some free time into our day that would allow us to catch up on some homework. This was great because some of us have been struggling to find time to get everything done.

For dinner, Nicki and Brandon mixed up some cheesy potatoes with rice and chicken and a delicious Oreo pudding desert. After dinner we debriefed and then some of us went for a night hike while the rest of us stayed behind to clean or do more homework.

We all had another late night so it will be hard to get up in the morning for another full day. We will see how good of a mood Jeff will be in after he has to eat oatmeal for breakfast…

Until next rotation,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 6 - Katy Hunt

"Every mile is a memory, take every step in stride."

"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold. - Girl Scouts of America song."

"The color of adrenaline is brown."

Although the pure Minnesota sky dripped with stars this morning, our group of exhausted campers rose from dew soaked tents for a quick breakfast at Moose Lake Camp Ground. Our leader, Monica, knew the group’s habits of being late and planned ahead for an early morning wake up at 4:30am! Head lamps spilled lights out everywhere as everyone in the kitchen and the van.

After a quick sweep of our tent spots, Monica corralled us up for our first meeting of the day around 6:05am to learn about our visits. Our first stop was Laurentian Environmental Learning Center in Britt, MN, ending with a trip to the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN. We knew both of these visits would require a great amount of time spent touring so we made haste for the vans around 6:45 and arrived at Laurentian around 8:30am with time to spare.

Once out of the vans at Laurentian, a jack of all trades staff member greeted us for our tour. Mr. Jim DeVries was his name and knew the campus like it was his own home. In fact, it had been his place of work for the past 22 years. While touring the camp’s beautiful setting, many of my group members freed their minds with knowledgeable questions concerning the facilities business standards and policies as well as the importance in having a relatable staff. Although Mr. DeVries neglected to let our strong questions faze him, I believe he was a bit taken back by the quality of our curiosity. The facility was incredible, providing a sundry of opportunities for both children and adults to experience, including a full rifle range, wigwam interpretation area, a lake, canoes, and so much more!

Although I’m sure we all could have stayed longer, noon was fast approaching and the group had a few errands to run before the next stop. After expressing our thanks and goodbyes were said, we loaded up the vans again and started the short drive to Ely, MN. Along the way, students studied, played games, and enjoyed ourselves while our selfless drivers Jeff and Steve carried on.

Once errands were completed and directions were finalized, we parked the vans and headed into the International Wolf Center. Our group spread out to hear informative interpretations from guides and see the wolves frolicking around. Not long after our group was stationed in the main viewing area, an interpreter came in for a presentation on the wolves and their environments. Although she was informative, several of us ECOEE kids left to further explore the facility leaving more patient onlookers behind.

Barely 20 minutes after leaving the main room, out came the wolves and we all came back to
catch a glimpse of the creatures we’d come to see. But of course, the wolves didn’t stay long, perhaps knowing it was almost five meaning it was close to closing time. With last minute glances through the looking glass, we shuffled to the vans for our last destination of the day, Outward Bound.

Our vans split up while LOD Monica went to talk to the administrations, Steve and his van
parked the canoe trailers. Brandon and Justin truly know how to take care of their group by patiently and accurately helping Steve back the trailer into their proper place.

After unhooking the trailer from the Right on cue, Monica bound up the trail beaming with news of a shelter and beds for us to stay in for the night. Best of all- a shower house awaited us too! We all did our part in loading up cabins, fixing dinner, and planning for the day ahead but one thing remained prominent in us girl’s mind: a real shower!

Although both facilities were fantastic, the days ahead look promising and I cannot wait to
experience them one by one.

Until then,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 5 - Sarah Heller

August 17, 2011

Our last day at Horn started off early, but not bright.
We had to leave at 2am, and it definitely wasn’t light.

When we were ready to go, Jeff was nowhere to be found.
He was busy shutting down his house, so we had to run into town.

We started heading down the road, with our trailers in tow.
After travelling twenty miles, one canoe looked too low.

We had to pull over and get it strapped in tight.
This ended up being one of the things in our day that didn’t turn out right.

We proceeded on our way, with eleven hours left to go,
Our destination being in Northern Minnesota, don’t cha know!

We had to stop for fuel and stretch breaks while on the road.
After reaching Winona, we added four new canoes to our load.

Travelling further north, we were looking for an REI store,
But in the midst of Minneapolis/ St. Paul, we got lost more and more.

Finally we found it, and everyone let out a sigh.
We rushed into the store because there were things we needed to buy.

We had a set schedule to be done, but a little longer we did take.
We needed to get back on the road for our final destination at Moose Lake.

After arriving on the campground, we circled around the lot.
Finally we found our campsite and there were lessons to be taught.

Jeff showed us how to set up the cook stove and the washing stations too.
We learned of many new tasks that we had to know how to do.

Jen, Justin, and Nicki began preparing a delicious meal.
While everyone else set up tents and gave the campsite a feel.

Brittany fetched the water and Brandon, Tony, and Molly had to clean.
Katy lit the lanterns; my we make such a nice team.

Heather was in charge of the vans and trailers on our first long haul.

Steve is our grad student assistant, who is always there when we call.
We were led today by Corey, who has the stern leadership qualities one must possess.
Monica was the assistant leader who helped make the day a success.

After we finished dinner and all the dishes were put away,
We say on the ‘rocky’ ground and debriefed our entire day.

After the meetings everyone was getting tired and needed to get some shut eye.
Though some of us decided to go down to the dock and look at the starry sky.

It was a beautiful evening on the lake and we all had some fun,
But we had to get to bed because tomorrow there was more work to be done.

So for all of you out there reading, don’t you worry about this ECOEE ‘club’.
This is Sarah Heller signing off…Peace and Love.

“Promise me you’ll always remember…
You’re BRAVER than you believe,
and STRONGER than you seem,
and SMARTER than you think.”
-Christopher Robin

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 4 - Monica Gummow

Today was our last day at Horn Field Campus. We had so much to do yet before we left for Canada, so we got started on our to-do list right away. After a short, light breakfast prepared by Katy, we began the task that we had all been waiting for: the gear shakedown. During the shakedown, we all take out all of our clothes and equipment and decide what was suitable for our back-country Canada trip. I know many of us were nervous that we had packed too much, not enough, or just the wrong things in general. After sorting through all of our items, most of us had done ok when we had packed at home. For those who needed new equipment though, a trip to REI was planned for tomorrow when we would be driving through Minnesota.

After we had gone through our individual gear, we sorted through the group items and split up the gear amongst the members of our tent groups. Once we had all of our things packed, we got together anything we had left and packed that away in storage until September. Away went all of our bags and then we moved on to the next exciting thing. Jeff taught us how to maintenance the vans and attach the trailers that carry our gear and canoes.

Lunch was nice and quick and then we all split up to get more tasks accomplished. Corey and I went to the laundry mat to do everyone’s dirty clothes one more time. Tony and Sarah went to the health center to get physical forms and Steve and Brandon went to the RPTA office to handle some other paperwork. Since the laundry and physicals took a while, we were on campus for 4 hours. We were gone so long everyone else had time to make a grocery run and clean all of our cabins.

Once we were all back at Horn Field, we finished packing some things in the van and before we knew it, it was dinner time. After dinner we rushed to get cleaned up because it was party time!! As an ECOEE tradition, an ice cream social was held as our send off party. It was great seeing our professors from the RPTA department and ECOEE alumni. We received lots of advice and well wishes; we even had the privilege to have Dr. McGowan teach us a last minute paddle stroke. As our guests left for the evening, I’m sure we all felt a little sad about officially leaving our friends and professors. Although, the long day ahead of us and the forth coming adventure made the evening extremely bitter sweet.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 3 - Corey Frantz

Quotes of the day:

"A nail that sticks up must be hammered down."

"If you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up somewhere else."

"I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, who am I to judge?"

The day started off rough for the guys and me. Sarah, Katy, and Jen made a great
breakfast, while Tony, Brandon, and Justin worked there butts off cleaning throughout the day, but especially this morning after breakfast. We picked out our food for the trip, each person going through their ration list, and carefully weighing out the food. After the food draw we were put into our cook groups for the first part of the back country and filled our spices. Then had another amazing meal cooked by the girls again. After the group sat in a circle and got personal, each individual describing their medical issues so each of us would know how to react in certain situations if a person gets sick or has an injury. After hearing what Jeff said we will see if he can make it through the trip, he is getting old… The after that we debriefed the day, and briefed for the next. The LOD (leader of the day) had a rough debrief but was given helpful information to help her for the next time she leads. We have an action packed day tomorrow, and received good news; we have four new canoes waiting to be picked up in Weanoha, Minnesota for our river trip to come. Time for bed, until the next time, Corey.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 2 - Molly Corrigan

August 14th 2011

Quote of the day:

“A single arrow is easily broken but not ten in a bundle” –Japanese Proverb

“Men who trim themselves to please others will only widdle themselves away” –Charles Schwab


Today was an eventful day. We woke up between 6:30 and 6:45 and headed to breakfast. Monica
started the day off right with a delicious banana coffee cake with yogurt and fruit. Once finished we had a lesson on risks and hazards that we need to be conscience of. We split into two groups and made a list of things that can “hurt, kill me, or make me sick out there.” Then we had to label each hazard as objective or subjective. The group with the most hazards wins and the prize was Dairy Queen bought by Jeff as long as it doesn’t get too dark, it got too dark.

After the activity Jeff taught us how to put the trailer on the van. Then it was off the Spring Lake to spend the day on the canoe. We were taught the parts of the canoe and paddle, along with the different strokes needed. We picked personal flotation devises (PFD) and canoe partners and got in the lake. We practiced the strokes taught and paddling straight, which was harder for some. My canoe went in a circle at one point. Then it was time for lunch before switching positions with our partners. Monica made cucumber sandwiches, I ate way too much.

Now it was time to get wet. Two boats would tip over at a time and each boat would be rescued. Every canoe played the role of rescuer and rescuee. Everyone really enjoyed this, the water was perfect. We got to have some fun by racing to rescue someone and yelling “Are you ok!”

After the excitement it was time for some real paddling. We paddled about 2 kilometers and everyone improved. We went through a small river and my partner, Sarah, and I must have banged into the river bank 6 times. It was time to head back to Horn Field so we loaded the canoes on to the trailer and the cooks took one van to start dinner while the other van, the cooler van ;), went to Horrabin to drop off the extra paddles and PFD that are not needed.

When our van got back from Horrabin Heather and I, the leader of the day (LOD) and the assistant
(ALOD), discussed what was expected of us and made an itinerary for the following day. Everyone else, besides the cooks, check the canoes to pick which ones will be used for our expedition.

Yummy Yummy, dinner is served! We ate baked chicken with peppers and onions with rice, another one of Monica fabulous recipes. Once all full, we all collected 6 maps each and folded them and put them into ziplock bags. Now it was time for debrief. We discussed the goals Tony (amazing LOD) had made for the day, communication, time management, and efficiency, and everyone pretty much agreed that we did a good job in accomplishing these goals. Next Tony was on the Hot Seat, were we told him how pleased we were with his hard work and he definitely set the bar for the future LODS.

Now it was time to sleep but we had to end our first full day in style with a hands in huddle. One, two, three ECOEE!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 1 - Heather Carlberg

Day 1, ECOEE Group Journal
August 13th, 2011
“Don’t go where the path may lead, but go where it doesn’t and leave a trail”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today, we arrived at Horn Field. We were all a little nervous, I think. We got settled into
our cabins, with the boys on one end, girls on the other, and Jeff and Steve in the middle.
Brandon, Justin, and Corey all got in a little late, so the day was already in the hole. However, Jeff gave us our what-fors, assigned committee relevant tasks, while he, Katy, Corey, Monica, and Sarah went grocery shopping for our days at Horn. Justin, Nikki, Brandon, Molly, and I prepared the individual ground tarps, the cooking group tarps, and Jeff and Steve’s personal tarp, as well as cut the guy ropes and the bear bag ropes. Tony and I also collaborated to plan the LOD/ALOD (Leader Of the Day/Assistant Leader Of the Day) duties and responsibilities. We figured out we were going to Spring Lake to learn more about the boats, the paddles, and paddling in general. We discussed how the group is, and where we all are as a group and as individuals. We also set up a tentative itinerary to outline what needs to be accomplished. After Jeff and the rest of the grocery gang got back from Walmart, dinner was starting to be prepped, and we all had a few minutes to settle down before we had to help set up tables, chairs, and set places at the tables. We had chicken wings, leftover salad, fruit, chex mix, and oreos for dessert.

After we ate and cleaned up, we had a discussion on WEA Journals, and the group
journal, as well as LOD/ALOD duties and responsibilities. We then had a debrief of the day, and then Tony and I briefed everyone on the next day’s plan, which included breakfast at 7, a lesson on Risk Management, learning about the different parts of the boat, the paddle, getting in and out of the boat, and learning the different paddling strokes. After, we held a Q and A session with Tony and I, and then we were free to go to bed and prepare the next day.