"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.