Wrapping up a successful semester

March 12, 2010
The year was an overall success and all of the students enjoyed the class. Everyone will be happy leaving the class with all of their new certifications and knowledge.

Posted By Megan Trolley and John Kajak
The 2009/10 Northern Outdoor Studies had a great semester and accomplished a lot. We started off the course with everybody getting certified in standard first and CPR, and we had our first volunteer experience as a class helping out at the annual Ducks Unlimited dinner at River's Edge Golf Course. In September students got the chance to learn how to use compasses, GPS systems, and maps while taking the GPS course. Also, in order to prepare for our canoe trip to Algonquin Park, each student had to complete two canoeing courses and get lots of practice in order to ensure everything went well while in the park.

    In October, the class was asked by the Bancroft Retriever Dog Association to help out at their retriever dog trials. It was a great volunteering experience and was certainly something interesting for the students to get to see.

After a very busy weekend at the dog trials, the students started right into the next week with working on duck boxes at Silent Lake Provincial Park. We serviced damaged duck boxes, and took any eggs that were found in them for surveying purposes. We were then privileged to have Mr. Tom Marchant come up from Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay to teach us the SP-102 Fire Course.

We spent one day in class learning the basics, and one day outside doing the practical part of the course. Since lake trout were in their prime spawning stages, students got into groups and each group went out to a local lake for a night to survey lake trout spawning.

The weather might not have been the best for every group but it was well worth it when they pulled up a 16 pound lake trout in the net! The class wrapped up the month of October with some OPP Volunteer Search and Rescue training. Constable Sheppard spent some time in our classroom with us teaching us the in class part of the course. He took us out one night for each student to walk trough the bush, in the dark, using a compass, as part of our practical assessment. To finish up the practical part of the course, he then took us out to Carlow township one day to do a series of walks in through the bush using only a compass.

    To kick off the month of November, the class was split into two groups. One group went hunting for a week while the other came to school and toured around local hunting camps and surveyed the hunters and their deer. The next week the students switched and those who went hunting the first week were at school, and the others were out hunting. After the deer hunt we started to do chainsaw work and were all trained in using brush saws. We completed the in class part, and everybody got a chance to go out to the bush and run the brush saws.

   The second and third week of December were spent either up in Vance Farm Park, falling trees with the chainsaws and clearing brush with the brush saws, or at a co-op placement. Most co-op placements were spent with local trappers, but those who could not get placed with a trapper went to local logging operations. Right after the Christmas holidays we had Terry Pilgram come in to the school and teach us the book part of the Trapping course. Each student had to complete a written test and a practical test in order to pass the course.

    The semester was not completely spent on completing courses. The class got to go on many learning trips. We were lucky enough to get a tour of Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay. We spent a day there learning about their courses and what they offer. We spent another day touring to local logging operations. We visited Dwayne Campell at his solo logging operation, and watched how he gets his work done without the help of others. We also visited Barry McGibbon out in Apsley and watched his crew work with a feller buncher, and a skidder with a grapple on it.

    The year was an overall success and all of the students enjoyed the class. Everyone will be happy leaving the class with all of their new certifications and knowledge. We wish good luck to future N.O.S students.