Sylvania Wilderness Canoeing
Jeff Rennicke, English Teacher

The first week of school at Conserve had students learning canoeing techniques in Outdoor Skills and studying the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System in a combined History & English class. It only seems fitting then that on the weekend, they would go canoeing in designated wilderness. With their knowledge of basic canoe strokes – the J-stroke, the C-stroke, and the Pry, as well as a deeper understanding of the history and meaning of "wilderness protection,” students paddled deep into the 18,000-acre Sylvania Wilderness this weekend and put that learning and those skills to work. Beginning at the Conserve School boat landing at Big Bateau, students paddled and portaged through Big Bateau Lake, Cub Lake, and Deer Island Lake. Enjoying freshly-baked lemon-chocolate chip scones, listening to loons, and using techniques they developed in Outdoor Skills students explored a place they studied in English and History. At Conserve School, the learning is not confined to the school week. It is felt in the arms, the head, and the heart.