Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pre-Trip "Shakedown" Campout

On May 27th we camped at Prairie State Park in Mindenmines, MO. We planned a one night camping trip so the students could get the feel for what gear they would need on the actual trip to the Badlands in South Dakota.

This trip was "rescheduled" because our previous trip had been rained out. As the weather-gods would have was raining again on this trip.

Wed. May 27, we packed our gear at PHS and headed over to Prairie State Park. We toured the visitor center...mostly to use the restroom and then headed down to our campsite.

We set up tents, dining tarp and kitchen area. We then sat around and chatted about expectations and group dynamics.

After chatting we toured the visitor center. There is a very nice diorama of the flora and fauna of the prairie. We also watched a video presentation about Missouri prairies. When leaving we were surprised by a very large bull Bison giving us a show right outside of the visitor center.

Lunch was is always a priority.

After lunch we decided to go on a "short" hike through the prairie. The trail markers and map were horrible. Our hike ended up being somewhere around 4 miles...the original was supposed to be about 2.5 miles!! To top it off, it rained on us during the last 1/2 of the trek.

Since this was a "shakedown", some of the students learned real quick what it means when we (1) put in writing that they need a rain jacket, (2) tell them to bring a rain jacket, (3) it is raining and they have no rain jacket. We will be 900 miles from home. I hope they remember to bring a rain jacket.

Barring the rain, the trip was fun. We cooked a great supper of spaghetti, had SMORES and hit the sac. Supposedly someone has a snoring problem, but I wouldn't know anything about that.

The students cooked a nice breakfast of pancakes and sausage and warmed by an early morning fire. They learned the value of fire.

Packing up was a chore because everything was wet, but that happens.

I think everyone will be ready for the trip on June 22.

--- Mr. Perez

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