6th Grade Visits Long Lake Conservation Center

6th Grade Visits Long Lake Conservation Center
Posted on 10/31/2019
Environmentalists at LLCC6th grade went to Long Lake Conservation Center overnight on October 15 & 16. It was part of Environmental Education Days sponsored by Aitkin County Soil and Water. Some of the classes 6th graders participated in were: Canoeing, Shelter Building, Snakes Alive!, Obstacle Course, Thicket (Animal Camouflage), and Forest Ecology.

6th Graders wrote about their experience and you can find their descriptive essays below.

Long Lake Conservation Center  

By: Tessa Sampson 

            The sixth grade all went to Long Lake Conservation Center. We went to Long Lake for some environmental education.  Canoeing was one of the stations we attended.  We learned how to canoe. We did it with a partner which made it a really good team building exercise.  It was a really beautiful part of the trip.  Another station that we did was called Snakes Alive.  We learned a LOT about snakes it was really cool!  We learned about how snakes bodies are almost all made out of vertebrates! 

            My favorite station was called Ecology Exploration.  We learned about thickets VS. mature forests.  The first thing we did was when we partnered up and looked in the woods for any signs of deer, my partner and I saw rubbing and a deer bed.  After that we all hid in the thicket and acted like deer while a few other people acted like wolves, trying to find the deer.  After that we did the same thing but with the mature forest, it was a lot of fun!  After this exercise it was very obvious to us what was better, the thicket.  It was better because the trees were so close together so we just kind of blended in.  And that is why the Ecology Exploration was my favorite station at Long Lake Conservation Center.

            Long Lake Conservation Center was a lot of fun!  We did a food waste system at  lunch where each table would put all their food waste into a bucket, then the staff would weigh it and divide among the number of students in each school that came to Long Lake.  At the end of the field trip we found out that we won and had zero food waste!  The food was pretty good too!  We had chicken tenders and fries for the first lunch and for dinner that day we had spaghetti and garlic toast which was delicious!  The second day for breakfast we had pancakes and sausage and for lunch we had pizza!  Long Lake was a great experience!  It was also cool to hangout with people in our grade, outside of school.  Mr. Eggen was saying how it almost feels like your in another world, and I think that’s the perfect way to describe this experience.

Long Lake Conservation Center

Kaitlyn Warner

       On October 15th and 16th, Mcgregor 6th grade went to Long Lake Conservation Center to learn about environmental conservation and wildlife. One thing we did was the bog trek. We found that sphagnum moss has processed water that we can drink! The moss can hold you up, but only if it’s red or green. If it's brown you go down.  The bog does not have tons of nutrients, so even if the trees or plants are old they aren’t very big. We also found out about a leaf called the labrador tea leaf. The leaf can be made into tea. There is another leaf that in a different stage in life can look very similar. This leaf is very poisonous. There are ways to tell the difference so you don’t get hurt: the labrador points down when it grows, and the poisonous leaf grows upward.  Another station was the build brigade. In the build brigade, we went back to 1801. There, we trained to be voyagers! We tried to keep all of us on a canoe but we weren't very successful. We also had to climb a wall. The two strong people stayed on the bottom another set of strong people climbed to the top and would lift others up the wall.  We did the smaller people first then started to get the taller people. The last person would have to try to climb  up the wall to reach the top peoples hands. They would then have to heave the last person over the wall. This was probably the hardest activity we  had at Long Lake.

       My favorite station was survival engineering. We got split up into 2 groups, boys against girls.

 The boys fort was like a tippee. Tall logs were spread out towards the top of their tree. Their tree was slanted upward making it quite difficult for their tree branches to be set up without it falling.

They had to climb up the side of the tree, endangering them and the fort. hey had to be very careful when climbing the tree.  People on the ground would lift the logs or branches high enough so the people on the tree could put it in the right spot and secure it. Then, they started closing up the gaps in the shelter. They also went and grabbed clay-type substances along with ferns, leaves, and anything else they could find in the woods. The materials they found were used so when it froze they would still be warm. On the downside, the boys were clamped together with a small space. There may have been a few spots were they could still see the light through the gaps. I’d say this fort was pretty good. The girls fort was like a tent but more slanted. The tree was straight, then it slanted upwards towards the end. The girls grabbed logs and branches from deep in the woods. They also used mud, leaves, and ferns. Although, we shortly stopped getting and using ferns because it left us with bloody hands and cuts along our fingers and palms. Somehow we still got cuts even after stopping to not use the ferns. The fort was well covered. There were people in the forts raising their hands high so we could cover the gaps. When the teachers tried to destroy are fort they couldn’t. We also didn’t have light coming in when the teacher would  shine a light through our logs.  The door coming into our fort was made up of bigger heavy logs. The last person in our fort  would hold the log or logs out of the way so people could get in our fort, they also did the same when we were exiting our fort. Surprisingly  their was more room in our fort.

We figured out through this that the boys are more destructive and the girls are more constructive.  This was really fun and my favorite thing to do  when we were at Long Lake.

        October 15 and 16th we went to Long Lake Conservation Center.   We learned so much!

We went on a bog trek and build brigade but, there  was so much more that we did. We built a fire, saw snakes, ecology exploitation, canoeing, and so much more. Like in build brigade we learned to communicate and have patience which for some 6th graders is really hard!  We also learned when scaling a wall it was helpful to determine who would be best fit for the job. Also in the bog trek we had to listen and keep our eyes peeled to watch for certain things or just to catch something cool.  We can always use what we learned at Long Lake and remember to conserve and care for the environment.  

My Adventure at Long Lake Conservation Center

By: Tahlia Fahrendorff 

            We went to Long Lake Conservation Center for an overnight for a field trip. It was a pretty interesting experience. We went to Long Lake Conservation Center because it was a part of Environmental Education Days. There are 2 stations that I will tell you about. There’s the Canoeing station where we got partnered up with a random classmate that could be in one or the other class and had to take turns in the front and back of the canoe. In my opinion I liked the back more than the front because you have more control over the boat, but you do get a nice view if your in the front. Now in the 2nd station, the Bog Trek. The things I learned about the Bog Trek is a place where lots of mud and interesting plants are, like this moss stuff called, magnum moss that can filter water. There’s a plant that can even make tea! These tea plants are called Labrador tea plants. Tea time! Here’s a little fact, their leaves are pointed down. Don’t get mixed up with the poisonous ones! The poisonous plants look almost exactly like the Labrador tea plant except, it has leaves that are pointed up, it doesn’t have that leathery stuff on the back of them, and they can look kind of reddish. Here’s a fact about the bog, there are tiny little vines with cranberries on them on the ground of the bog. They’re pretty hard to find.

            One of my favorite stations were Survival Engineering. Let me tell you, I love making forts in the woods! Well, if I can even find a good tree to build with. Anyways, the reason I love doing this so much is because surviving with only a limited amount of tools is good to know how to do if you were actually in the wilderness alone and wouldn’t know what to do, welp. You’re screwed. Now if you would know what to do, you have a chance of surviving because getting shelter is really important! It can help protect you from bad weather. Well, most depending on where you’re located. Anyways, some facts that I learned from this experience was make sure you keep it nice and insulated. Use lots of sticks, leaves, etc. Make sure you put sticks on top of the leaves so they don’t fly away (or other things that help keep your shelter insulated like pine needles, ferns, etc.). So at that station, there were 2 teams. The boys, and the girls. Both the classes were combined to make larger groups. The boys had a TALL fort! They didn’t really make anything to cover up the entrance but on the other hand, the girls made a for that was nice and insulated, was nice and sturdy, and had and entrance that could be covered up. We also had to make a little fire but not make an actual fire, but just how it would look, we had to find try things (wood, leaves, etc.). The boys could all stand in there. The girls fort was low so we could only crouch, sit, or lay down in there. But we couldn’t lay. There were SO many girls in 1 tiny fort, but we managed to all fit in. There we more boys than girls. We built the best fort while the boys were the best at the destructive part (but still, the building part is more important than the destruction part). After we finished, the teacher, Mr. Eggen took a picture of both the boys and the girls in the fort. Well, not us. We were all so cramped up in there that he couldn’t see all of us. (The 2 teachers Mr. Eggen and Mrs. Marquensen did a test to see if it was sturdy enough by hitting and kicking the fort. It stayed up!).So after that, both teams had to put all the sticks and stuff back, and make it look like we were NEVER there. I told people to over up the better sticks with leaves, but I think I was the only one doing it. Some people also just, brung the better sticks for away where people can’t really see them.

            Overall, my Long Lake adventure was pretty fun and interesting. Being in the woods, looking at nature, studying nature, and getting good exercise. I wish we could have stayed there longer and do more of the same or different stations. The food was great there too! If I had the opportunity to go there again, I would!

Long Lake Conservation Center Essay          

By: Garrett Guida 

     We went to Long Lake Conservation Center in Palisade, MN. We went to learn about Science, skills to help us survive in the wild, and for Environmental Education Days. Some of the things we did the first day were, learn how to canoe, look at snakes and learn about them, and go on a bog walk. I learned about saving electricity by using a canoe instead of a boat, also that you can mainly find out if a snake is venomous by its nose,  you can get clean water from Sphagnum Moss, and Pitcher Plants eat little bugs by luring them in with a nectar like substance. One of the stations that we did on the second day is the Ecology Exploration Study. We were trying to see if a young thicket was better protection for a deer from wolves or an old mature forest, so we pretended to be deer and have some “wolves” look for us. I didn't get caught all three times we played, but hiding in the young dense forest was a lot easier than hiding in the mature forest.   

My favorite station was when the boys and girls had a contest to see who could make the best shelter from a snowstorm. We made a Teepee shaped shelter using big branches and logs, and leaves and ferns for filling in holes and gaps, which also made it waterproof. It made us use good communication and teamwork skills too. It was difficult because the logs were really heavy, and the ferns when you pulled them out they cut up your hands. The really tricky part was we had to fit all of the boys in the shelter, but we made it eventually even though it was very crowded. It was my favorite part because I love building things, and having contests. Even though the teachers decided that the girls shelter was better, they thought we were better at tearing it down so that the other groups wouldn't be able to use the same exact sticks as us.

            I thought it was a very fun experience, and I think a lot of 6th graders from Aitkin, Hillcity, and my classmates at McGregor, would say the same. That’s what we did at Long Lake Conservation Camp as an educational field trip. 

My Long Lake Conservation Center Experience

Addison Sather

     6th grade McGregor students went to Long Lake Conservation Center October 15th and 16th. We went to learn about environmental conservation (and had a lot of fun along the way!). When we got there, we split up into groups and went to our stations. One of our stations was a bog trek. We all headed to a bog and learned about how bogs are formed, the kinds of plants and animals that live in a bog, and fun facts about the plants that live there. One of the facts we learned was that you can use sphagnum moss to filter water to drink. Another station we went to was Snakes Alive. We learned about three different types of snakes native to Minnesota; the garter snake, the hog nosed snake, and my favorite, the black rat snake. We learned about how to tell the difference between venomous and nonvenomous snakes in Minnesota, what to do if you encounter a snake, and some fun facts. A fun fact we learned was only about half of the snakes in Minnesota are venomous, and even less are harmful to humans! We all had a lot of fun at these stations.

     I had a blast in all of the stations, but my favorite was the Science Museum of Minnesota. It was my favorite because we learned so many new things about water, and what we can do as individuals and groups to save it. We also learned about how much water an average Minnesotan uses in a day (700 gallons!), the water cycle, about when Earth first got water, and lots of fun facts. It turns out that most of the water we use is anytime we use electricity! Our teacher amazed us all with the number of gallons of water in the earth. There are 369,820,250,000,000,000,000 gallons of water of Earth all together! It was so amazing learning about water, which most people underestimate. It was a great learning experience.

     Overall, the entire Long Lake Conservation Center trip was a blast and probably something we will never forget. All of the stations were a lot of fun and very educational. We learned a lot during the bog trek, snakes alive, and Science Museum of Minnesota. We are so grateful to get to experience this amazing trip!

My Long Lake Conservation Center Experience

Owen Serfling

     On October 15th and 16th, the Mcgregor 6th grade went to Long Lake Conservation Center.  We went to Long Lake to learn about nature and conserving it.  One activity that we did was survival engineering.  In that station, we had to make a shelter that we could all fit in.  Another station was build brigade, which encouraged teamwork and planning.      

     My favorite station was the bog trek.  A bog actually starts as a lake, then over time dead plant material falls in the lake making the water seem more shallow.  The dead plant material is scientifically called peat. One of the instructors said “green (moss) you stay clean, brown (water) you go down”.  There is a leaf in the bog called Labrador Tea that you can actually make tea out of.   However, there is a leaf that looks like the Labrador Tea that is poisonous.  There is a type of moss called Sphagnum Moss. Sphagnum Moss acts as a water filter, so you can drink the water out of it (it does taste earthy). One plant in the bog is called a Pitcher Plant. It is slightly like a Venus Flytrap, but it doesn't close its “mouth”.  It lures flies into its “mouth” with a sweet substance, then the flies get stuck on the outer ring, because it is sticky. Finally, it dissolves the fly with something similar to acid.

     The Mcgregor 6th grade classes went to L.L.C.C on a school trip. We went to Long Lake to learn about nature and the things in it. We did survival engineering as a station.  In survival engineering we built a shelter, made of ferns, leaves, logs, and grass.  A different station was called build brigade.  In  that station we learned a lot about planning different things, and teamwork (I had to help lift 80+ pounds multiple times over an eight foot wall).  The food that the people at Long Lake served was very good.  My favorites were spaghetti, and pancakes.  I am very grateful that we got to go to Long Lake Conservation Center. 





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