People always hope for good weather on the weekends, but a group of 4-H members hoped for good weather even more so as they set out on a two-night, three-day backpacking trip along the Superior Hiking Trail Friday night.
A group of 10 members from the South St. Louis County 4-H Ambassadors group, as well as three chaperones, spent Friday night at Tettegouche State Park with plans to head out on a 9-mile hiking trip along the Superior Hiking Trail. The group has plans to spend Saturday night at Kennedy Campground before finishing their hike to the Lake County Highway 6 trailhead. Each day the group will hike about 4.5 miles.
Adrielle Miketin, 13, of Duluth, is new to 4-H and the ambassadors' group, so she’s hoping the trip will allow her to get to know the group better. She joined after a friend told her about the group about six months ago.
“I’ve never backpacked before. It sounds like a pretty good experience to have,” Miketin said during an interview in August. “Minnesota is a very pretty place with woods and everything, so I would like to experience more of that.”
The group has been preparing for the trip since January, said Kate Preiner, urban 4-H program coordinator for South St. Louis County.
“We did meet at Bagley Nature Area at the University of Minnesota Duluth campus and practiced hanging bear bags and fire-starting as well as filtering water,” Preiner said.
Preiner said the group typically goes on a winter camping trip either at Tettegouche or Jay Cooke State Park by renting the camper cabins, but this year the youth voted to do something different.
“I think participating in outdoor activities really provides opportunities for this group to grow and be gently pushed out of their comfort zone to develop those leadership skills and self-confidence,” Preiner said.
The route for the backpacking trip was chosen by Tim Caines, South St. Louis County 4-H program coordinator. Caines said he’s done the trip before and it’s challenging, but not overly so.
“It’s a beautiful trail,” he said.
Miketin said she’s most excited for the hike because of the scenery. And what is she most worried about?
“I don’t really like them,” Miketin said. “I don’t want to wake up with a spider crawling on my face.”
The 4-H Ambassadors is a group that focuses on building leadership skills and is an educational opportunity to help youth practice those skills in leadership, citizenship and communication by working together. Caines said he’s looking forward to seeing the youths grow those skills on this trip.
“It usually builds leaders more quickly than you could in any other environment,” Caines said.
The weather, as of Friday night, was forecasted to be on the cooler side over the weekend but with no rain in sight.
The 4-H Ambassadors group features youth in seventh grade through one year past high school. For more information about the group or to join, contact Tim Caines at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Preiner at email@example.com.