Having a Time in ‘09: Kennedy Lakes 2009

Posted: November 3, 2009

During the weekend of May 29th-31st, students from North & South Esk Regional High attended an adventurous weekend of canoeing, portaging, fishing, and camping at the Kennedy Lakes.  There were 19 selected students from grade 10, 11 and 12 which attended the trip.  The students had all participated in the school’s canoeing program as part of the Physical Education curriculum. This activity is designed to provide students with an enrichment opportunity to gain advanced skills and knowledge in the areas of canoeing, wilderness camping and general outdoor education.  Along with eight adult supervisors, the students camped out in the wilderness for three days and two nights, returning on Sunday afternoon.  All students invited achieved high marks on the canoeing section of their grade 9 and 10 Physical Education program.  Mr. Dax Silliker teaches the grade 9 and 10 Phys Ed classes at the school and says this is a great activity for students. Mr. Silliker said after returning, “This is by far the most enjoyable activity I’ve had the opportunity to lead here at NSER.  Students really get a sense of accomplishment when they see that they can overcome the elements and thrive in that environment.  I’m very proud of the students who go on this trip because it is challenging, and even more so this year as we experienced some pretty messy weather”. The students left from the school on Friday May 29th at noon and headed up the Plaster Rock highway on a school bus.  The school bus dropped them off with all their backpacks and the students portaged to their first lake.  The weather was not the greatest for the students on Friday while trying to get to their campsite with the rain and wind but after approximately 3 hours of canoeing and portaging they reached their destination.   The students were very anxious to set up their tents and tarps incase the rain started to come down harder.   Students enjoyed cooking their own meals and building their own fires.  Saturday turned out to be a nicer day for the entire group as it was warm, mainly overcast early and then the sun came of the clouds around mid afternoon.  Students enjoyed fishing and swimming in the lake, doing canoe rescue exercises, and sitting around the campsite.  At about 10 pm, the nice weather did not prevail as a thunderstorm came overhead and lasted about 45 minutes.  The students collected under their tarps and tried to stay warm with the rain pouring down, the wind howling, and the sky lighting up ever so often. Sunday came along and the students rised bright and early to pack up their tents, clothing, gear, and make breakfast.  Sunday turned out to be the sunniest day of the weekend for the students.  Once they arrived back at the road waiting for the school bus the students finally got to relax.  The students who participated on this canoe trip were: Lydia J, Brittany H, Cory M, Taylor M, Conor F, Evan D, Andrea C, Frank K, Adrienne S, Nakita S, Jenna M, Kaitlin S, Wade M, Cole H, Paige P, Catherine M, Ryan H, Michael H. Supervisors for the trip were Mr. Dax Silliker, Mr. Kevin Silliker, Mr. Craig Russell, Mr. Clay Merrithew, Mr. Rob Neish, Mr. Ryan Neish, Mr. Steven MacAllister, and Ms. Teri MacAllister. Overall the students really enjoyed the weekend and can not wait to return to the Kennedy Lakes next year.  Like supervisor Mr. Craig Russell quoted at the end of the trip, “It was great in 2008, but it was fine in 2009.” By: Jenna M., Nakita S., and Jayden E.