Updated: January 27, 2021 11:07 PM
Created: January 26, 2021 10:24 PM
Thick ice, cold temperatures, and a desire to learn was a great combination for an ice fishing class on the West Two Rivers Reservoir in Mountain Iron earlier this week.
"The opportunity that we get to have doing these [physical education] adventures and stuff is just overall really fun," said Greta Frost, a sixth grader at Marquette Catholic School.
"We talk a little about the environment and then we get them out here and we play," said Patrick Baumann, a senior adapted physical education specialist for the Virginia special education co-op.
Baumann has been an educator in the Virginia area for 36 years. Recently he's dedicated time to running outdoor programs at Marquette Catholic School.
This year he taught 35 students from 5th through 7th grade how to dress for cold temperatures, take care of the environment by picking up trash, and reel in some fish.
Baumann added that in Minnesota winter is a great time for outdoor lessons.
"We get three or four months of no mosquitoes. We can walk around and fish wherever we want and we just can get outside and play," Baumann said. "We try and encourage them to get off of the electronic devices, read a good book, go outside, explore nature and learn."
The students also made all of the equipment they used to fish with, including their rods, tip-ups, and backpack buckets.
"[Backpack buckets] give them a seat that they can carry all their stuff in when they go fishing so they're all set to go," Baumann explained.
Frost added, "we made tip-ups with these painting sticks. Basically when you put them in the water there's this larger stick that's against the hole so when a fish is caught one end of the stick will turn up."
For fifth grader Hailey VanSoest, "it was really fun to know that we're fishing with the stuff we made."
Big fish may not have been the ones biting last Monday, but many of Baumann's students became hooked on the outdoor adventure.
When asked if they would tag along for another ice fishing trip, VanSoest and fellow fifth grader Mila Flatley echoed the same sentiment, "definitely, yes."
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