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Getting lessons from nature

St. Agnes sudents Jack Boch (left) and Jack Petrich prepare for a "Civilized Tug of War" while learning about fur trading at the Long Lake Conservation Center. (Contributed photos)1 / 3
St. Agnes fifth and sixth graders learn how to make a campfire. After that, they cooked food over the flame.2 / 3
A total of 10 students from St. Agnes School participated in the environmental camp at Long Lake near Palisade in northern Minnesota.3 / 3

Fifth and sixth graders from St. Agnes School in Osakis learned lessons from the great outdoors.

They experienced a three-day camping trip up north at the Long Lake Conservation Center in Palisade, north of Lake Mille Lacs.

They also brought back memories that will linger.

"It was really a learning adventure for them — big time," said their teacher, Miss Powlish. "They loved it. They were busy from the time they got there to when they went home."

The 10 students who went on the Feb 22-24 trip engaged in a variety of activities — cooking their own meals out in the wilderness, trying their hand at archery, playing games, learning about owls and snakes, taking a night-time trek outside, figuring out how to use a map and compass to complete a race, keeping a journal of what they learned and more.

The Review asked the students what they'll remember about the environmental camp. Here's what they said:

Kayla Kulzer: "My favorite thing was the orienteering — learning how to use a compass and then trying to follow coordinates. And the one thing I'll remember is the food. It was delicious."

Jack Boch: "I had a lot of fun. The most memorable moment was the spaghetti. I'm picky about the sauce and they split up the sauce and noodles. ... We learned a lot about conserving resources and the fur trade."

Maggie Dirkes: "I liked the survival engineering. We were outside in the middle of a forest and built a shelter out of old hollow trees and dead branches."

Jack Petrich: "The best part was probably the food. It was so delicious! I'll also remember drinking pine needle tea. It was really disgusting — bitter upon bitter upon bitter."

Adrian Dietrich: "I'll remember when we built the shelter out of branches. I thought it was fun! And I'll remember meeting new people."

Wyatt Green: "I liked the survival engineering and building our own shelters. We also met people. I'd go back again."

Isaac Ruegemer: "I remember the pine needle tea. I liked it, actually, but most people didn't."

Victoria Hoeper: "I liked drinking the tea made from pine needles. It was very sweet but the aftertaste was bitter. ... The orienteering race was fun. It's the first time I've ever used a compass."

McCarter Kirksey: "I'll remember the food. I loved it! And probably the orienteering. I did good. I had the fastest time in my color group."

Levi Leaunart: "I liked making the campfire and making the food over the campfire."

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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