A loop around michigan lake passing by superior and Huron lakes, stoping by to visit treatment plants, freshwater school, national lakeshores, meeting people protecting the quality of the great lake, and analysing the water at différents points of the great lakes.
A discovery of different states of the us and their culture
An english learning through the everyday life.
A great adventure !
Sunday 9th of July
All the pictures of the trip available here -> https://www.osi-photos.org/upload.p...
Chloé, Oriane, Alix, Antonin, Clémence, Lou, Arthur and Lina arrived in Chicago this afternoon with a big smile on their faces. We went to the camp and took time to settle down and take showers. We get time to know each other, played a bit of volley and did a briefing of our journey. The evening we enlightened a fire to do a typical camping diner with grilled sausages and marshmallow !
Tomorrow we go for Chicago !
Monday 10th of july
Today Lina and Arthur wrote the notebook :
"Today we woke up around 8am and had breakfast together. Then, we played a fun game called “ninja” ! After that we took part in Max’s activity, where we answered questions about the trip with the help of documents that were spread all around the camp. Before we even knew it we were headed to the Chicago !! After some parking struggles we started to walk around Millenium Park. We saw the Bean and took silly pictures. We had bagels on the lake shore, and we admired the beautiful landscape, from the super tall skyscrapers to the turquoise lake. After our scrumptious meal we headed to the Chicago river and we strutted along the Riverside Walk. We were overwhelmed by the height of the stunning skyscrapers that surrounded us. There was something for everyone : glass towers, and older art deco buildings.
We got off the path and stumbled upon an art piece called the Wings of Mexico ; everyone had their picture taken with the wings.
Then we bought some souvenirs ; some of us got postcards, others got tee-shirts. After a long day we went back to the camp and everyone helped with the cooking."
Tuesday 11th of july
Today we went to Milwaukee !
We had a meeting with Liz from the School of freshwater science. She guides us through the building and explained a lot of stuff to us about the great lakes:she spoke about the invasive species, the native fish, the matter of the great lakes, their missions among the great lakes and even show us the analysis boat. It was very interesting. We then met Tim, who introduced us his analysis lab with all his different and sophisticated gear. He even let us fo some analysis of the water we sampled in chicago !
We then took a picnic alongside the lake and played « everybody is crazy »in english. It was very fun. After that we went for the first swim in the michigan lake, despite it a bit cold we enjoyed the scenery. It was a bit wavy and reminded us a sea which would be not salty !
Then the evening we cooked carbonara pasta together, did a washing machine and finally gonna take a good sleep !
Wednesday 12th of July
This morning we packed our second camp and after we were done we started playing a fun team game where we had to mime words that started with each letter of the alphabet. Then we hit the road on the way to Lake Superior. We stopped twice. The first time to have lunch in front of Lake Michigan. There we saw American teens playing football. The second time we played hide and seek at a playground facing the Green Bay. Then after a pretty long drive we finally arrived in Marquette, MI. We were stunned by the view of the lake that we had from our tents. After lighting a fire using birch tree bark we had nachos, and we finished the quinoa that we prepared at lunch.
Thursday 13th of July
Today Oriane and Antonin wrote the notebook :
After a wake up at 8 o clock and a very American breakfast, we have visited a wastewater treatment plant.
Marquette’s plant work with a biological system which implies a lot of microorganisms. After removing the solid waste of the water the microorganisms are introduced in the sludge to eat the diluted waste. Then, after a complicated cycle throughout many tanks, the clean water is sent back to Lake Superior.
After this fascinating visit, we drove to a purification plant ( which is a different thing than the first one ), where Niel welcomed us and explained how to transform basic lake water in incredible drinkable water, to water all the Michigan grasses.
Then we ate a lot of vegetables and we analysed the samples of water from Chicago’s river and Lake Michigan. Turns out this water is pretty clean.
After this activity, which required the full potential of all the brains on the camp, it was time to hike and discover a magnificent local view : the sugar loaf.
Friday 14th of July
This morning has been busy !
It has been a massive thunderstorm but the sky finally cleared up !
We packed up the tents and went to the beach to meet Marissa and Kathleen, two people from the superior watershed partnership.
We planted with them beachgrass to stabilize the shore. And avoid erosion
It was interesting to be involved in the protection of the biggest lake (in surface) of the world !
Then we did the clean up of pavilion beach for « alliance for the great lakes ». An organism who works for the preservation of the great lakes and has an « adopt a beach » program to involved people to clean beaches around the 5 lakes.In parallel we did the analysis of the superior lake, it has a great quality !
After a fantastic picnic alongside this beautiful beach we went for a swim and some card games. After that we will go to the pictured rock national lakeshore to camp for to two nights ! It’s a beautiful park with colorful cliffs next to the lake.
We might don’t have internet there. So don’t be scared if you don’t have any news.
For now we are kind of lucky with the weather, we didn’t get wet yet. The bad weather in Chicago didn’t reach us ! Let’s up it stays like this.
Finally we have a bit of connection !
Our camp is beautiful and very isolated. Just next to the superior lake, it’s a real pleasure to be fully immersed in nature.
Saturday 15th of july
Today is a chill day. We have had a lot of meetings and roads so we enjoy a bit of calm ! This morning we do a lot of multi games in team : memory games, golf peteca, hide and seek, improvisation theatre...
Then we went for a hike alongside the superior lake and went to the beach. It has been a nice hike of about 14 km. We saw some quails in the way and waterfalls. We got a bit of rain and had to swim underneath the rain but it added charm to our adventures ! What a beautiful area by those amazing pictured cliffs.
For dinner we did some potatoes on the fire and sandwiches. We also have heard strange noises which can be foxes or coyotes ...
Sunday 16th of July
This morning we said goodbye to this great campsite, we heard very weird animal noises last nights and were a bit scared but nothing to be really afraid of. Then we did a hike to see the miners tower. A sandstone formation by the pictured cliffs. It was very nice and a lovely goodbye to the superior lakes. We met molly, a ranger from the pictured rock lakeshore park. She made us playing a great lakes jeopardy with different categories about the lakes, sciences, renewable energy... We won some posters , stickers and a lamprey tattoo. It’s nice to meet someone who protects the superior lake Habitat and to learn more about them !
Then we went to the interpretation center to learn even more, there it was even a kind of cinema about the history of the park. After that we got a picnic alongside the superior lake amd went to discover our next campsite for the next days !
On the way we stopped to see again the Michigan lake and went to do groceries !
American supermarkets are very interesting and sometimes weird dor our participants !
Monday 17th of July
This morning, we began the day with delicious pancakes.
After that we studied the organization FLOW ( For the Love Of Water) and their various actions in preparation for a meeting with one of their attorneys( we will meet her in two days ). They work to preserve the water from the great lakes. They fight against the privatization of the water, the installation of pipelines among the lakes, and prevail the public trust for water.
We prepared a lot of questions and are ready to meet her.
We ate and presented our research to the others, which was very interesting ( despite a surprise rain ).
After a quick break, we had fun at the camping, we played tetherball, carpet, and mini golf, lina and antonin won in a tough contest.
At seven thirty, we headed back to make dinner and prepared hamburger with smores for dessert !
Tuesday 18th of July
Today we went to two lakes from the Great lakes !
The morning we went to huron lake , when we arrived we saw a tornado far away on the lake, what a spectacular moment !
We went to the lighthouse and took some samples from the lake.
Then we went to the north of Michigan lake to spend the day at dune beach !
We get an amazing tabouleh and played some games about invasive species called the survival race, and a game about all the sources of pollution that we can possibly find in the great lakes ! We had some causes and some effects and we have to find the matching couples.
After that we went for a swim and for a volleyball. We have been so lucky than the sun is back and we enjoyed to get some vitamins D !
Before to leave we also did some samples.
On the way back we stopped by a point of view. And back at the campsite we analysed our samples
After that we went back on the Huron lake’s peer to assist to a live music and play exploding kittens. Arthur managed to be the last kitten standing.
To finish this beautiful day we got some skewers on the fire !
Wednesday 19th of July
Today alix and chloe wrote the notebook !
Today, we woke up at 8 am to take an incredible breakfast, then we packed up and took the car. We drove through a huge and beautiful bridge between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. We stopped at a beach to have lunch and we headed to meet Liz a lawyer working for FLOW (remember ? It is the organisation we studied two days ago.) We talked for a few hours and learned a lot about line 5 (an oil pipeline located under the Great Lakes It is a massive threat to the water supply because of the oil spill it could cause) and Nestle (the company pumps a lot of water from the Great Lakes and ships it away, making a lot of money and paying very little, especially considering the fact that the water is supposed to be public). After this fascinating discussion, we went to see the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, doing a tour of various gorgeous views. We then ate at an american bar Everyone took burgers, some with bison meat ! Finally, we went to our next encampment (getting a little lost along the way, but we saw deers and porcupines so who cares !!) Altogether it was a pretty awesome and active day !
Thursday 20th of july
Today we are preparing our greetings to all the people we have met during our trip. It has been stormy this morning so we have been sheltering under the tent for a lil while and we got the opportunity to hear Antonin singing with his baritone voice.
We are in a beautiful campsite where we dont have much connection
So we gonna update it later !l for the rest of the day !
So the afternoon we went alongside the river to study the quality of the water. We have been doing the biotic index of the river looking for macro invertebrate, we found some damesfly larvaes , aquatic worms, small fish...
We also tried to do a sand filter !
After that we went to a fair called troutarama ; playing some games, listening some live music. And drinking some smoothie !
Friday 21st of July
Today we left the camp of bowman bridge to return to Chicago city. First, we stopped to finalize our report about our previous beach cleanup at Grand Rapid. Then, we ate what we could call an American lunch with chicken tenders at the beach. After around 5 hours of driving we arrived at our first camp site and we enjoyed our last evening together around deep dish pizza, the specialty of Chicago.
After that we did thee election of the best pictures of our journey and finished by marshmallow on the fire !
All the pictures of the trip and the photo contest available here -> https://www.osi-photos.org/upload.p...
Saturday 22nd of july
Today was the last day !
We packed up for the last time our camp and spoke about our journey, and went swimming !!
After a last picnic we went to the airport to drop Orianne and then the others !
They are on the way home now !
I gonna add a bit more contents soonish to summarize this trip !
They have been amazing and it has been a great adventure full of memories !
Greetings by the great lakes 2023’s participants, a perfect way to summarize our journey.
"During this OSI Summer Camp we all learned a lot. Everyone had a chance to improve their skills : some of us became more confident in their English , and others discovered the incredible Great Lakes and their challenges. The people we met helped us grow aware of the importance of preserving freshwater. We deeply thank all of them for that, as well as our amazing educators Max and Rozenn and their positive energy. We were all impressed by everyone’s dedication and desire to share their passion, as well as their patience to make sure everyone understood everything. Every American that we came across along the way was so nice and excited to share their perspective of life, which was usually very different from the stereotypes that we could have from a European point of view. We would especially like to thank Liz and Tim in Milwaukee ; Mark and Scott at the Marquette waste water plant ; Neill at the water purification plant ; Kathleen and Marissa for the Superior Watershed Partnership ; Molly at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore ; and finally Liz in Traverse City.
In Milwaukee Liz gave us a visit of the innovative School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. This first visit was crucial to our understanding of the complexity of the issues that the Great Lakes face. She was ready to answer all of our interrogations, and took the time to talk us through some of the various ways her school endeavors towards better preserving freshwater. From the labs to the field research boat, we really had a chance to get a great overview of the school’s work. We deeply thank you for that, and we are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you first !
Tim walked us through the analytics lab, and explained the way they analyze samples with a lot of different machines. He even let us run tests with our own samples. We thank you for taking time to explain everything, and giving us hands-on experience in a really modern research lab.
In Marquette we got the chance to visit the waste water plant. Mark first gave us a concise presentation to help us understand the general way the plant works. It was great and we thank you for that.
After that, Scott gave us a tour of the installation. During this visit we had time to really see the way every contraption actually works. So we had the chance to put in perspective what Mark explained before. Scott, we really thank you for giving us your time, and trying to simplify the intricate design of the facility.
Neill took us on a tour of the water purification plant in Marquette. He explained the way the plant purifies the water from Lake Superior through filters. He showed us all of the facility, including the lab, where they run tests to make sure that the water is perfectly clean and safe to drink. We thank you so much for your time and your efforts to help everyone understand all of the contraptions.
We were stunned by the dedication of Kathleen and Marissa to preserve the Lake Superior Watershed . Their non-profit Lake Superior Watershed Partnership gives concrete actions citizens can participate to. We planted beach grass on the Marquette Lakeshore. Your commitment gave us energy to be more active in our daily life to act more sustainably. The beach clean-up helped us realize the gravity of littering the environment. We are super grateful for your positivity, and we wish you all the best in the future for your non-profit.
At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore we stumbled upon Ranger Molly. She took time to answer our questions about the sounds we heard in the wilderness, and then she took us to play Climate Change Jeopardy. This was a great way to test what we learned during the first week. We were super happy to win against Americans. The sea lamprey stickers were awarded were all worn proudly by each of us ! We thank you so much for being so open and ready to share your knowledge of the park. Your way of educating through fun was great, and made us want to memorize what we saw during the trip even more !
Finally in Traverse City we met Liz, who works for FLOW (For Love Of Water), an NGO that works to protect the Great Lakes through legal action. Liz took the time to present some of her biggest cases. She explained the way big companies try to privatize public trust waters. We talked about the dangers these corporation exploitations represent, whether it is for biodiversity or for humans. We were all dazzled by your hopeful speech, which gave us hope for the future of freshwater. We genuinely hope you will be able to help shut down line 5, and kick Nestlé out of Lake Michigan. Your work is very inspiring.
In conclusion, this trip was an eye-opener for the majority of us. Everyone has definitely learned a lot, and we will all be more mindful in our water usage. You all made this trip unique and we will never forget what you all taught us. Thank you so much for everything.