8th Grade Reflections on Temagami

The eighth grade class at Detroit Waldorf School started the school year with a trip to Temagami, ON, where they canoed, portaged and camped for seven days and six nights. The class of 20 students were divided into two groups and each group of students were accompanied by two guides from Northwaters outfitters and a teacher from the school. These are a few excerpts from a writing exercise that the students were asked to reflect on some of the highlights of their adventure:

● As I pushed my foot into the stiff, cold wet sock I felt a chill go up my leg and whole body. I just wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed. But I knew the only way that was going to happen was if I kept going. It wasn’t easy but in the end I was proud of myself.
● I felt the canoe hoisted on the back of my neck and shoulders. My legs trembled as I tried to keep my feet from slipping on the rocks. Once we got to the end of the portage, we put the canoe in the water and I felt a million times lighter.
● It was drizzling and we needed more fire wood. Surrounded by rocks and fallen trees we ventured up a slippery and wet moss covered hill, we finally made it up. We still need to collect the wood. On our way back our arms were heavy from carrying the wood, we threw it down the hill and I tried to carefully climb down but my foot slipped on a rock and I slid the rest of the way down. I was fine, although caked in dirt and moss.
● I missed my parents and brother.
● I never got used to carrying the canoe. Anytime I thought I was close to being done, it seemed like the trail got longer and longer.
● The thing about banak is that we had to make it ourselves everyday. I guess you could say it tasted like bread.
● I thought it would be fun sharing a tent with six friends, but it wasn’t. After a while the tent smelled horrible and sometimes you’d wake up with someone else’s hair in your mouth.
● The roll of toilet paper got wet and the thing about using wet, crumpled, and tattered toilet paper is that it is highly ineffective.
● The thing about banak is that it depends on who cooks it sometimes it was good and other times it was kind of mushy in the middle and tasted like raw dough. We put wild butter and jam on it and ate it anyway, it was lunch.
● Temagami was very hard, I’m glad I went and I think most of my friends are glad too.
● Carrying a canoe is like being Atlas, like supporting the world on your shoulders. When you first start, it seems like an impossible task. But you keep going and your spotter is encouraging you the whole time.
● Collecting firewood in the rain is hopeless!
● My favorite part of the day was setting up camp for the evening then taking off my wet shoes and wet socks then putting on dry socks and dry shoes. It was the best feeling.
● I was not very excited about the Temagami trip but I’m glad I did it. I’m so much stronger
than I thought I was.
● After getting back home the world felt different and newer.
● I guess I learned a lot about myself and got to see my friends in a different way. We accomplished things we probably didn’t think we could. We had to work together and we can do a lot more than we realize.

Katherine Feldhouse