Golden Apple: Cass Lake Bena MS Explores With Winter Culture Club
Grab your snow pants and winter boots! The students of Cass Lake-Bena Middle school are heading out to see all that Mother Nature has to offer. The brand new Winter Culture Club was created by Cass Lake-Bena paraprofessional Jasmin Larson, who says it’s important for kids to learn about their world.
“There’s so much benefit that we don’t only find in the grocery stores or the hospitals, we will find right here in our backyard, and to be able to take care of ourselves out venturing out to those and using our own resources in the woods, I think is the most important thing so that they can thrive and survive, and if anything ever does happen in the world where they have to resort to those resources, they know where to get them,” says Larson.
Today’s Culture Club activity involved going out and gathering material to make a snow snake. A snow snake is a special stick used in traditional Native American winter sports.
“We went outside to cut a tree down to make our snow snakes and then we came in the workshop and then we carved our snakes,” says 8th grader Mataya Mitchell.
“I wanted a heavy stick so I got mostly the bottom part,” says 5th grader Sophia Young.
Later, the kids will get to sand and paint their sticks. Then they’ll build an obstacle course and test them out.
5th grader Alivia Olson says, “In culture club, my favorite part was carving the sticks because I like carving and playing in the snow.”
This was only the first week for the Winter Culture Club, and Larson already has plans for future outings. The kids will get to do everything from ice fishing, dancing and learning traditional hand games.
“We are going out to sugar bush where we tap maple trees for maple syrup,” says Larson. “I’m going to teach them how to track animals, how to identify different trees with different barks and all different kinds of fun activities that we can do in the woods.”
So far, the reaction for the club has been amazing, and Larson says that’s what makes her extra excited.
“It’s always been my passion. I know that in order to regain our roots and learn we have to produce what we know, the knowledge we know and give that out, so it’s always been my dream and it’s actually coming true the more and more we go out and continue culture club.”