Summer fun working at Bearskin Lodge–or “making love to toilets”

Hey, somebody else wrote a Bearskin Blog for me this week:

http://caraf.blogs.com/caraf/2008/06/all-i-know-about-cleaning-i-learned-at-bearskin-lodge.html

Cara Finnegan is on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but she also spent many summers at Bearskin both as a guest and as an employee. Cara often mentions Bearskin in her blogs, but this one is especially appropriate since Bearskin has a fresh young group of newly arrived college students learning to do precisely the same job Cara describes.

We have a remarkable group of college students working for us this summer.  Tessa and Grady came from University of Wisconsin/Superior.  Grady completes an all-day list of jobs in about 4.5 minutes.  Tessa is adept at everything she tries, but especially loves creating gardens.  They are engaged and work well together as a team.

Kari and Kate are students from Columbia University in New York. Both are talented runners who will be taking guests out on trail runs this summer.  Kari is from Wilmar, MN, while Kate came all the way from Pennsylvania. We are trying to convince her that the weather isn’t always this awful in Minnesota.

Maudie is interning as our naturalist.  Originally from Wayzata, she is an environmental studies major from University of Minnesota/Duluth.  She has created an exciting nature program for both children and adults at Bearskin this summer. 

Heather is student from Northland College, in Ashland, WI, a great little college with a focus on environmental majors. Last year she was a forest service trail worker, living in the ancient forest service cabin nearby that Bearskin guests are always curious about.  Bearskin staff housing is actually a step up from the old cabin, since now she has a flush toilet and a shower.

Of course, Andy, Quinn and Crystal, our full-time employees, will also be at Bearskin this summer.  Andy & Quinn stories abound in old Bearskin blogs. Guests already feel like they know them. 

As a little kid, Andy lived at Hungry Jack Outfitters with his parents and was Kari Tuttle’s playmate.  We like his story about their experiment with bringing Hungry Jack Fish to Bearskin and Bearskin Fish back to Hungry Jack.  Everytime somebody catches a peculiar fish on East Bearskin Lake, we say it’s their fault.

Quinn has been gone for 2 months coaching the St. Cloud Cathedral ultimate frisbee team.  Because staff housing is full, he’s going to be living in the little green and white trailer that’s been at the campground for years — the one Dee always said had “hot and cold running mice.” It’s the type of place that prompts one to start humming “Dueling Banjoes.”  Luckily, Quinn is adaptable.  And has low standards.

You’ll all soon get to know Crystal, our lead housekeeper, as she is outgoing and effusive.  She is a fabulous cook and baker.  Her famous fruit salad will be served at the Family Picnics this summer and we are contemplating featuring her homemade pies for sale later this summer.  Her husband works for MnDOT maintaining Highway 61, so everytime some excitement erupts along the North Shore, we are the first to know. 

What we especially love about this crew is how much they are enjoying living and playing in our extraordinary Gunflint Trail outdoor environment.  As Cara said in her blog, it’s hard not to enjoy a job with such a great view — and our group is making the most of partaking of that view, heading out during their free time to explore every trail and lake.  We hope you’ll get to meet them this summer and share a bit of their refreshing enthusiasm for this beautiful area.

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