Sixth graders at Evans Middle School learned about exploring Wednesday afternoon. The students spent an hour listening to Dave and Amy Freeman’s story about their one-year journey exploring the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.
The presentation was funded in part by Wapello County Conservation and Evans. The Freemans talked to sixth graders in the afternoon, and then will present a public program at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center this evening.
The Freemans both grew up in the city, but spent time exploring their backyards, neighborhoods, and on trips with family to wilderness areas, including the Boundary Waters. They shared their message of the value of wilderness and a conservation ethic with the students.
Students were amazed that the National Geographic Explorers spent 366 days in the wilderness, never inside a building, never turning on a water faucet, or using a light switch. There was no television and they lived with only a tent to sleep in and what they could carry. They also carried technology to help them communicate regularly with classrooms and the media.
Their message of hard work and setting goals connected to the lives of Ottumwa’s sixth graders. For example, setting small goals helps people reach big goals. They also challenged the students to take the time to observe nature where they live. “There are neat things to see,” Freeman said.
“If you work hard, you can achieve anything,” Freeman said.