4th Grade Class from Laporte Enjoys Field Trip to Deep Portage

Written by: Steve Booth, 4th grade teacher at Laporte Public School

Alex Kingbird, Abe Tusler and Dayne Nielsen built their own fire 
in the Winter Survival Skills class at Deep Portage.

"Best ever field trip!" and "I can't wait to go back!" were some of the reactions from students after a recent overnight field trip to the Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center near Hackensack. Teachers accompanied the students along with several volunteer parents and a grandparents.

The April trip was planned last fall and archery and canoeing were originally on the schedule, but with the extension of snow and winter this season, the trip was modified to include winter survival skills and a group snow chase game.

Fourth graders were outdoors in 10 degree temperatures building shelters in small groups from natural materials and collecting combustible materials and learning the best way to build a one match fire.

Later in the day all 34 students were on the Deep Portage indoor climbing wall, challenging themselves with rock climbing skills 30 feet up, assisted by several staff who let the children scramble up and rappel down as many times as they wanted.

Meal time was organized around conservation in the dining hall where each table of students were part of a contest to reduce food waste. Students collected all leftover food at the end of a meal, weighed it and wrote down the ounces of waste, if any, in a log.
Piper Collum threw an atlatl during the Pioneer Olypmics set of games 
at Deep Portage, which included three Native American skill games 
and one lumberjack skills game.

A night time campfire in the snow and cold was organized by Deep Portage staff with stories, skits and songs. Students bunked that night 4-6 in a room, arguing for the rights to the top bunk.

The next morning, after breakfast, three groups of students, playing the roles of foxes. wolves and mice, did their best to avoid each other or hunt each other in a chase game in the snow and cold that lasted 90 minutes.

"The Deep Portage Staff were amazing," said fourth grade teacher Steve Booth. "They really know how to connect with students and teach them how to get the best out of the outdoors."

The field trip was made possible with special school funds and a generous gift from the Laporte Education Endowment Fund. The students wrote thank you letters and letters of appreciation to both LEEF and the Deep Portage staff.

NMF provided a grant to Mr. Booth's 4th Grade class to fund the trip to Deep Portage. 
We are so happy to see that the students had a good time and learned new skills!


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