Grade 5 students from Silverthorne Elementary how they like gow—herring roe on kelp—and might you get two very different answers.
“Disgusting!” says one.
“But it’s salty and chewy!” says another.
But ask any of Ms. Moroz’ Grade 5s how they liked their recent trip to Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Reserve, and the answer is a steady flood of exciting stories.
To get to Khutzeymateen, which starts just 15 km south of the Alaska border, the class took a seven-hour train ride to Prince Rupert.
Reagen Jolly says she and her classmates enjoyed watching mountains roll by in the train’s panorama and bubble cars, and they got an extra treat after stopping to stretch their legs at a little station that had an old piano inside.
Maggie Kenzle and Emily Anderson played a few songs on it, she says, which caught the ear of a Via train manager.
Back on board, the manager brought the girls a keyboard to play on.
Soon the whole class was singing, dancing around the keyboard, Jolly says, and some passengers came up in to the bubble car to hear them play.
After staying a night in Prince Rupert and another long trip up the coast, the class settled in for two nights in at a floating lodge in the Khutzeymateen.
Cheryl Vandenbroek says the class then split into two groups. One went off on a guided tour to see grizzly bears, while the other fed an eagle that was well known to lodge owner Greg Palmer.
After catching a bright orange rock fish, with eyes that Jolly says were “bulging out of its face,” Palmer threw the eagle a snack.
“The eagle swooped down and picked up the fish in his talons,” said Vandenbroek.
“You could hear its wings going ‘whooh, whooh, whooh,’’” said Jolly.
Tyler Birkendal says the class also tried their hand at crabbing. They baited crab traps with halibut heads, he says, and did well, catching about a dozen.
Birkendal says Palmer taught the students how to get a crab ready for cooking.
“I held a big one up, and if you rub it between its eyes like that for a minute it’s legs go down,” he said. “It’s weird.”
Along with the grizzlies, a highlight of the trip was the wildlife the class found when they took turns kayaking.
“There was this seal, and she he always wanted to play with us,” Jolly said.
“Ethan was in the kayak and the seal was right behind him.”
Silverthorne Principal Mark Fehr said the Khutzeymateen trip was something the class was building towards all year.
The class did a ton of fundraising to raise the $12,000 needed for the trip, including bake sales, a Caribbean cruise raffle from Uniglobe and a night of Gold Rush dinner theatre that was written, directed and performed by the whole class.
The class would like to say a special thank you to Brent Marshall, whose generous donation made the trip a success.