Campsite Clean Up Crew
After lunch on Sunday I headed out with eight students and science teacher Robert Eady to do community service work in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. Our mission was to check in on seven campsites on Loon Lake and make sure that they were in good condition for the upcoming summer camping season. After picking up the needed tools from the Lowenstine Academic Building (LAB) we hiked up to the Conserve School landing on Big Bateau Lake and outfitted ourselves with five sturdy We-no-nah canoes, life jackets and paddles. Properly outfitted we canoed across Big Batea Lake, portaged to Florence Lake, traversed Florence Lake, portaged to Loon Lake, and then paddled to our first campsite. Overall we hiked, paddled and portaged nine miles from start to finish.
At each campsite there were a number of chores to do. We cleaned out the old ashes from the fire rings and spread them out over a large area away from the campsite. We raked the areas around the camp fire rings for safety. We raked the paths around the campsite. We checked on the latrines to see if they needed any maintenance. Most importantly, we checked for any safety hazards at the campsites such as broken trees that were snagged in other trees that might fall on a tent. These are often called “widow makers”.
The weather forecast had called for a sunny 65 degree day. However, we experienced a wide range of conditions during our canoe trip with sunny moments, sprinkling rain at times and an exciting wind during the paddle from the Osprey campsites to the Mallard campsites. However, we didn’t encounter anything that our hardy crew couldn’t handle and our spirits were high.
Conserve School students and staff develop a special fondness for the Sylvania Wilderness Area so it feels especially good to be able to give back and support it so that others can experience the joys of this unique wilderness area. This activity was done as part of the spring Sylvania campsite survey which is organized by the Land O’ Lakes Fish and Game Club in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.
Head of School
Pictures from our day working the in the Sylvania Wilderness Area