Notre Dame School Grade 7 Trip
Thirty-two grade seven students spent three days from June 8 to June 10 at Kimball Lake in The Meadow Lake Provincial Park. Three teachers and three parent volunteers accompanied them. For many of our students, this was their first experience in the wilderness of Saskatchewan's northern forest.
The students were organized into groups of three to six students who cooked and slept together. The groups were given a list of needed supplies and a menu to follow. It was each group's responsibility to find the supplies needed for their group. Each group was responsible for setting up and taking down their campsite, for cooking for themselves, and for their campsite maintenance. A major factor contributing to the success of this program was student planning and preparation.
On Monday, our students were to participate in the "Learn to Canoe" program and “Paddle the Waterhen”. However due to low water levels, we tried instead to canoe on Matheson Lake. Unfortunately, due to high wind levels, our canoe trip was cut short.
On Tuesday, the students engaged in the “Skulls and Scat” program. Here the students learned the differences between predator and prey through examining the skulls, the teeth, the fur, the footprints and the scat of the various animals found within the Boreal Ecosystem. Next the students went on the "Ice Age" hike where they discovered how glaciation influenced the landforms, soil, flora and fauna of the park. As well, they explored past, present, and future factors of the boreal forest, including how people interact with it.
On Tuesday afternoon, the students participated in the "Pond Dip" program where they explored various wetland animals and their habitats through "Critter Dipping". Our last activity Tuesday was Leave no Trace where the students learned skills and ethics to support the sustainable use of wilderness and nature areas.
Each program was led by instructors from Meadow Lake Provincial Park. They passed on knowledge of the Boreal Ecosystem, the wildlife within that ecosystem, taught important environmental skills, and shared their personal experiences with the students.
It was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for the students, the teachers, and the parents. Thank you again for your financial support. Without your support, it may not have been possible for all our families to afford the cost of the trip.
By: Allan Senger