Sophomores take on the Fox River


As the students reach halfway through the first semester, all sophomores in P.E. 10 had the opportunity to sign up for a kayaking field trip down the Fox River last week. Only about 60 sophomores were able to make the trip due to the cost of buses and chaperones.  These 60 sophomores were split into two groups, one for Wednesday and the other for Tuesday. Unfortunately, due to a high of 43 and showers in the forecast, the trip for Tuesday was canceled and moved to Thursday.

The students began their day by bundling up in the commons excited for their day. Will Ahern said, “I was super excited for the day to come, but nervous to brave the cold.”

Ahern wasn’t alone on being nervous for the cold; some students even dropped out of the trip so they didn’t have to go out in the cold. However, this multitude of student’s dropping out paved way for people on the waiting list to go on the trip. Students like Will Ahern were then able to participate in the trip.

“I was excited when I heard that I was now able to go on the trip,” Ahern said. “It made me even more excited for the trip.”

The students first took a 45-minute bus ride to an Elgin kayaking launch point, where they were taught the basic functions of a kayak and how to use it. Even though they had already learned these kayak functions in gym class, it refreshed the sophomore’s memory of how to properly control a kayak.

Photo by Jack Castanoli.
Miguel Ortiz refreshes his memory about kayaking before heading out onto the Fox River.

The students on Wednesday waded down the calm waters of the Fox River; however, the students on Thursday were in for a different experience. The sophomores who kayaked on Thursday had strong gusts of winds that created waves and made the trip more difficult. This lead to the decision by the teachers to not continue on after lunch at a park.

Charlie Stern, who kayaked on Thursday recalls, “I was upset because it was such a fun experience,” Stern said. “I was sad that it ended so early.”

Sophomores warm up from a bonfire before lunch.

Both students on Wednesday and Thursday stopped for lunch at a local park and ate fresh grilled hot dogs and warmed up by a bonfire. After having two hot dogs, and even taking some to go, students on Wednesday got back on their kayak’s and continued down the Fox River until they reached a park in Elgin where they disembarked.

Both groups of sophomores felt they had a wonderful time on their kayaking trip. Charlie Stern had, “such a fun time to be out there with friends.” Stern and many other sophomores “recommend all freshman to do it next year.”