Lincoln-Way Students Paddle through Quetico Provincial Park
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In July, ten Lincoln-Way students had the opportunity to experience first-hand one of the world’s last primitive wilderness areas. Students paddled lakes and followed paths on a 10-day canoe trip to Quetico Provincial Park in Canada.

The students paddled and portaged through the park, following the routes once traveled by aboriginals and French-Canadian voyageurs. They learned the art of paddling a canoe in a variety of conditions, as well as map and compass reading, route finding and Leave No Trace wilderness living principles.

“When I first got on the bus in July, I was surrounded by people I didn't know and felt nervous about my upcoming trip in the wilderness. But when I got back on that bus in August, I was obviously changed,” said Abby McCreary, Lincoln-Way East sophomore.

“Throughout my week of canoeing and portaging across Quetico Provincial Park, I had gained confidence, strength, and some fantastic friendships. The swimming, fishing, and just hanging out with amazing people combined to form an altogether unforgettable experience.”

Traveling by canoe allowed groups to go far past where motorboats operate. Once there, it was possible to quietly observe bald eagles, moose and peaceful sunsets on mirror-calm lakes.

Students learned to take calculated risks, practice critical thinking skills and develop self-reliance. They learned how to care for one another, work together and accomplish more than they ever thought possible.

The trip ended with a night back at the lodge where students participated in a talk about the importance of protecting wilderness areas like the one they had just enjoyed.