Edina Zephyrus

Applications to Open Soon for 2018’s “Field Based Science” Trip

Junior Sabrina Loxtercamp canoes on the south side of the Aulneau Peninsula during her Field Based Science trip.

Junior Sabrina Loxtercamp canoes on the south side of the Aulneau Peninsula during her Field Based Science trip.

photo courtesy of Emma Clark

photo courtesy of Emma Clark

Junior Sabrina Loxtercamp canoes on the south side of the Aulneau Peninsula during her Field Based Science trip.

Cecilia Orth, page editor

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Interested in having fun, enjoying nature, and making friends? Join the Field Based Science trip! Every year, Edina High School’s science department runs this science-driven camping trip named FBS. The purpose of the trip is to show another and more fun side of science.

This past summer marked the tenth anniversary of Edina students and science teachers attending Laketrails, a camp in the Lake of the Woods County. Each year, groups of nine students, accompanied by one science teacher and two guides, embark on what has been a remarkable trip for many students.

Campers who complete the requirements for FBS receive either a pass or fail grade, and earn a quarter of a science credit. Students are also required to pass the FBS May term class in order to fulfill the pre-trip science requirements. As May Term for All won’t exist in 2018, it’s likely the coursework will be done similarly to the first seven years FBS ran; students will attend one session the week after school gets out and a second session a week prior to the FBS trip.

The sessions consist of learning about clouds and the weather, astronomy, and the identification of plants, animals, and birds. “These lessons are intended to give the students background information before being exposed to it while on the trip,” Enriched Biology teacher and FBS leader Allison Ronglien said.

For the summer 2017 session, the 40 students were split up into five Laketrails groups. Each group decided on a topic to investigate while camping. The topics varied from scat to fire ecology. On the trail, campers utilized guidebooks to aid with their topics and journaled every night to keep track of the six days on trail. When the campers returned to basecamp at the end of the trip, they presented their findings to others. “FBS is about really experiencing how science is working in nature,” senior Laura Williams said.

The first day, the campers loaded up on a bus that headed north for about seven hours. The bus arrived at a pier at Oak Island, MN, where waiting boats took the campers to basecamp. After a bumpy boat ride, they were met by cheering staff members and a loud ringing bell.

Day two was full of learning. Guides taught the campers how to canoe, pack, and the expectations for on trial, such as how to go to the bathroom in the woods armed with nothing more than a shovel. The rest of the day consisted of singing, playing games, and making friendship bracelets.

The next six days were spent on trail: canoeing, portaging, swimming, solving riddles, and having fun. Throughout the trip, the groups became closer and developed inside jokes. “My favorite part was getting to know my group. We’re super close now,” junior Thomas Tuchenhagen said.

At the end of the week, the guides present a camper who is especially adept at camping, canoeing, and making the group awesome the Wilderness Award. Tuchenhagen won his Wilderness Award this summer; his trophy was a paddle painted by his guides. They painted his name and added “WA 2017 Lake of the Bays. It also had forks and the Clif Bar logo which was an inside joke,” Tuchenhagen said.

Campers earn the Wilderness Award through hard work and enthusiasm. “Thomas was a huge help… he got along well with the rest of the group and kept a positive attitude,” junior Meredith Buenz said.

Campers who wish to return on FBS have the option to take on leadership responsibilities through becoming a Teacher Assistant, or TA. TAs are responsible for steering canoes, organizing groups, and making the group environment inclusive. After an amazing experience with FBS, Williams returned as a TA. “Being a TA was a great opportunity to go back to Laketrails and also take on some leadership,” Williams said.

If you remain unsure about going on FBS, trust these campers that you won’t regret it. “Apply! It’s a unique experience,” Ronglien said. Even if you have zero camping experience, don’t worry. “The trip is great for everyone. My group had people who had never camped,” Williams said. “It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and meeting new people.”


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About the Writer
Cecilia Orth, visual editor

Cecilia Orth wants to live in a world filled with handwritten birthday cards, chai lattés, crocs, and smartwool socks. Cecilia, better known as “CC”...

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Applications to Open Soon for 2018’s “Field Based Science” Trip