Mrs. Coneflower Power

I was the kind of kid that actually liked school. I was good at it. I thought it was fun to learn.
But as much as I liked school, I liked school field trips better. In fact, to me, there was nothing better than a school field trip. It was like being in school and out of school at the same time.

In schools today, field trips are uncommon to rare. They take time. They require adult supervision. They cost money that public schools don’t have.

The Chippewa Falls School District, however, still sponsors field trips. They’re built into the calendar and constructed of years of tradition. Every elementary student — from kindergarten through 5th grade — gets to go. Every year. For as long as their parents can remember.

The destination? The outdoor “classroom” at Lake Wissota State Park.

The lesson? Well, that depends upon the season. Come autumn, Mrs. Coneflower holds sway. She meets the children at the bus, and escorts them to the tallgrass prairie, where the soil is rich, the phone reception is poor, and a matted, crooked trail leads directly to fresh adventure.

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