Journal for Friday, May 16

Cleaning Up For Breakfast
On the Last Day

Note about Friday's Journal: This last journal was done a bit differently than the others. Tucker Sukraw wrote the overall piece and Marlene Schoeneck added quotes that the kids passed on to her on the bus as to what the trip meant to them. Please also see the "Reflections" section, by Marlene and Peter, at the bottom of this window.

Friday (Day 5):

The last four days of this trip have been fun and a learning experience. We have learned a lot about how the landscape was formed, why rocks are where they are, and where fossils are and why fossils are deposited in some areas and not others.

Today consisted of a long ride back to Parkers Prairie, MN from Hot springs, SD. On the way to Hot Springs, everyone was wild and excited, and on the way back everyone was quiet, sitting in their seats, with some sleeping.

On this trip we have seen a variety of animals. We have seen wild turkey, buffalo, mountain goat, prong horn, prairie dogs, turkey vultures, mule deer, and snakes.

Comments from the kids, on what the trip has meant to them:

"What made a difference to me is that I might never do these types of things again." - Tucker

"I saw some cool places and met new people (UMMers)."

"Me and Monica skipping hand in hand. Seeing the waterfalls. Seeing the Badlands. Seeing the clearest water in the world. I had fun and want to thank you for letting us have this experience." - Trisha

"I really liked seeing a lot of the neat things like the Black Hills, Pipestone and Devil's Gulch. I also liked getting out of school and getting closer to my friends." - Ben

"The most favorite special thing I have done is when we got to go swimming and just have a really fun time." - Wade I.

"I thought this was special because not very many schools get to do this and we got to be the grade to do it. It was TONS of fun." - Zach

"The whole trip was fun, but the best thing was being told how good and kind we are. The generosity of everybody was very cool, too. If you wanted some food they would give it to you, or being given pizzas from Peter." - Wade W.

"My favorite part was the whole thing, especially the teachers, UMM students, and chaperones. The whole trip was fun. Every day had its high points. I thank you for a great trip." - Spencer C.

"I thought this trip was great because I know I have gotten closer to my classmates." - Spencer T.

"On this trip, what I really liked was knowing that all those teachers and parents really wanted to actually be with us for a week and putting up with us. The second thing I really liked was being with my friends and getting to know others that I really never hung out with before."

"This week was one of the best learning experiences of my life. Everything about this trip was magical! I am glad we all could experience this together!"

Reflections from Marlene Schoeneck and Peter Whelan:

Now that the kids have had a chance to share with you, it is our turn. We could not close this trip without telling you how much it has meant to us, and to everyone who has been a part of this adventure.

It is hard to put into words what we feel has happened over the course of these five days. Words are by far inadequate, but many times we have summed it up as simply (or unsimply) "magic". We have watched kids grow. They have learned cooperation, new friendships, responsibility, and that they can do far more than they ever felt possible.

Thursday evening as we were sitting at a picnic table discussing the trip, two of the 8th grade girls came skipping hand in hand down the path. This may seem like a small thing, yet it is also the epitome of what has happened here. There has been boundless joy and energy that has far surpassed the minor problems and glitches that arise in any endeavor of this size. Kids have talked to us and trusted us enough to share some of their hearts and souls, as have we in return. We would like to share a few of the comments that have especially touched out hearts:

"Thank you, Peter, for the best day of my life."

"I get it out here. I don't get it in the classroom, but here, I get it."

"I came here not being sure if education was the field for me. I am leaving convinced that this is what I want to do."

Before we left for this trip, many told us we must either be extremely dedicated or crazy to spend five days camping with 8th graders. We would like to thankfully proclaim that we are both dedicated and crazy! Thank you parents for lending us these wonderful kids for the experience of a lifetime. Kids, never forget how special you are and that you are capable of doing far more than you or the world ever thought possible. We love you!!

A Tired Stuart R.
on the Bus

Mikey H. in Peter's
Moose Hat

Tucker S. Snoozing

Our Great Group

The First Recorded Time in
History Tom and Justin
Have Been Quiet!

Our Fantastic Bus Drivers
From Rustads:
Wally and Eldon

Friends Pose for a Last
Picture Before Leaving
Camp in Hot Springs

Super Parents: Steve Velde,
Ralph Hemmerlin, Ray Springer,
Jenny Wildman, Merlynda
Ahlers, Sharon Klimek

Saying Goodbye to UMM
Students in Morris

Incredible UMM Students:
Cory, Dustin, Yusef, Erin M.,
Erin B., Christie, Tammy,
Heidi, and Trisha

Hugs for Peter
at Trip's End

"My favorite
part was
the whole
thing. . . ",
Spencer C.

about this trip
was magical!

"Kids, never
forget how
you are . . .

The eighth grade class of
Parkers Prairie
would like to thank:

Marlene Schoeneck,
Science Teacher, for
taking time
to take us on this trip.
Peter Whelan, UMM
Professor, for bringing up
the idea and taking
us on this trip.

Wally and Eldon, Bus
Drivers, for driving the bus.
Pam Gades, UMM
Computing Services, for
running the web site.

Corey L, Yusef O,
Trisha W, Dustin O,
Heidi A, Christie C,
Tammy G, Erin B,
Erin M; UMM Students,
for all their help.
Tucker Sukraw, Parkers
Prairie student, for
preparing info for
submission to the web site
and seeing to all other
technical needs.