Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore recently participated in an annual tradition of youth programming titled the Life of Lake Superior Days. The four summer activities days for 46 youth, aged 9-14 years, is facilitated each July and August by Michigan State University Extension in Munising, Michigan. In its tenth year, the award winning program features interpretive and educational activities focusing on the natural and cultural history of the central Upper Peninsula.
Program leader Joan Vinette remarked how much the kids enjoy participating in the hands on, minds on Lakeshore portions of the program. "We are fortunate to have the National Park Service assist with this program each summer. The kids love it to learn about their home area by doing! An added plus is for the 11 parents who also participated this year, eager to learn about the cool things outside their back door."
This year, the Lakeshore assisted with a logging history day at the Kingston Plains, demonstrated through a matching lumberjack jargon game and rolling logs with cant hooks, an historic tool for moving logs that dates back to the late 1800’s. The Kingston Plains have a similar cultural history to the forests of the park.
Chief of Heritage Education Gregg Bruff also took the participants and several adults on a voyageur reenactment paddles on Lake Superior. The 24-foot replica "half canoe" represented the rich fur trade history of the Great Lakes region in the 1600 to 1800 era. Kids donned voyageur garb and sang voyageur songs to complete their brief transition into the 1700’s.
The program series ended with the traditional whitefish boil dinner. All participants (but mostly program leaders) slept well that night!