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14-19 August 2005
2005 was the inaugural year for the Grinnell Outdoor Orientation Program, a five-day canoe trip through the lakes of northern Wisconsin. This optional experience gives new Grinnell students an opportunity to make new friends, learn about Grinnell, and make a more confident entry into their first year of college.

The trip, outfitted by the YMCA Manito-Wish camp of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, is a five day circuit about the Trout lake circle. Incoming students split into crews of about five new students and two upperclassman leaders each to make the trek, cooking food, sharing tents, and helping each other to paddle and portage their way through each day.

There were three crews this year. I was the youngest leader on staff, and the only one who had never canoed this particular route - all the other leaders had done a dry run the year before. When one of the trainees bailed, I was brought on as a replacement. I co-led Sam's trip, and our first-years were Chris, Christine, Kate, Brian, and Tamar.

It was a pretty great way to start the year at Grinnell, and good to meet some of the incoming class. Our crew was awesome and invariably triumphed over hardship: beaver dams, leeches, the stupid dumb watch, and of course the famously quagmiric (if that is a word) mud of Stevenson Creek.

Good job on the beaver dams, guys.
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