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| saturday FEBRUARY 28 | sunday march 01 2015

the north shore weekend


Trip into the wild engages students to persevere through hardships.” work gloves and ski gloves as Preparations start in the well as disposable hand warmers. Once the group left the ake Bluff resident John classroom long before the deKuhns, an eighth-grader parture date, with students lodge, the real work began. at Forest Bluff School, is splitting into committees to Days were spent clearing brush a self-described thrill-seeker. plan meals, finances, transpor- with handsaws and other tools, Skiing and roller coasters often tation and gear rental for their creating the Forest Bluff Trail trek. They also research the for recreational use. The stufill his leisure time. So a class camping trip to area they will be visiting and dents hacked away at the ice to Ely, Minn. — just miles from examine hardships they may get to the lake water. At night, they pitched tents. the Canadian border — for encounter. Kuhns spent one night sleepAfter arriving in Ely Jan. 21, snowshoeing and dog sledding in the dead of winter suited local guides reminded students ing in his dog sled with two of of what they should expect his friends — and awoke to the him perfectly. The January trip was part from the nights spent camping sound of wolves howling in the of the curriculum for seventh- and days dedicated to clearing distance. His dog sled team reand eighth-grade students at trails once they left the lodge turned the call, he said, and for Forest Bluff Montessori School in their sleds. At the lodge, stu- at least 10 minutes Kuhn was in Lake Bluff. Sixteen students dents also packed up food, se- mesmerized by the sounds of and two teachers spent 10 days lected dogs for their sled teams the animals communicating. “The work is real, and the last month in upper Minnesota, and completed training hikes. With temperatures often in consequences can be very real,” learning to conquer challenges the teens and lower, Kuhns’s Robbins said. “But we do it as a team. “This is good practice for travel wardrobe included layers with a purpose. It is meaningful adulthood,” explained teacher of long underwear and fleece, a work that speaks to the kids in Matt Robbins, who led the trip wind-proof layer and snowpants. a way that they feel good about with his faculty colleague and On his hands at any time could themselves because they’ve acsomething that is be ad_Layout glove liners, wife, Sarah. “The students Ravinia North Shore 2-27learn Plumbing 1 mittens, 2/18/15 leather 12:24 PMcomplished Page 1

Forest Bluff student Madi Garwal pets one of the dogs that helped pull a sled in Minnesota.



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difficult. It’s a very powerful experience.” The students returned to Lake Bluff Jan. 29. This month, they presented a slide show to parents. Since the students have offered presentations since age 6, they are comfortable with public speaking, and their enthusiasm about the trek was palpable. After a few days to recover, Kuhns said he loved the trip, especially the dogsledding. But he admitted that it was not always easy to keep morale up. “People got cold, tired, hungry. Our socks were wet. There were lots of things going on to bring you down,” he recalled. He credited his teachers’ ef-

forts to maintain a positive atmosphere. Robbins, of Knollwood, said it was an enjoyable task. “I always come back from these trips thinking about how students are resilient and have so much to offer,” Robbins said. “I enjoy working with students who want to be involved and know things. They are thirsty for experience, and their enthusiasm knows no bounds. “Adolescents are prone to mistakes, but they are also resilient. So we give them a healthy environment to grow in a responsible way.” Robbins’s class takes three trips each year. This fall, they built an archery shed and canoe rack at a Wisconsin YMCA camp. Ge-

Standout student Sisters have a ball serving veterans By Jake Jarvi


hen Sydney DeHorn was a freshman at Glenbrook South High School (GSHS), she was looking for a way to spend time in service to others. An Internet search unearthed The Charity Stripe, a 501c3 organization out of Northbrook that enables young athletes and musicians to raise money for people experiencing financial hardship due to military service, debilitating illness or natural disasters. “I wanted to do something to help,” says DeHorn, now a

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ometry and basic engineering guided them. Canoeing in Wisconsin is the plan for the spring. Kuhns’s mother, Jeanette Kuhns, embraces the experiences her son is having. “The school knows our kids as well as we do, and they put them in situations that develop character, empathy, the ability to work with others — situations that strengthen them,” she said. “They are all extremely organized because if they don’t bring food, no one eats; they realize that they need each other in order to be successful. “I’ve seen the kids when they come back from these trips, and they’ve changed for the better.”


Sisters Annika and Sydney DeHorn are happy to help the military.

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The North Shore Weekend East,Issue 125  

The North Shore Weekend East Zone is published weekly and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield,...