Area group building canoes for Missouri River trekFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Dozens of amateurs are not only trying their hand at building large canoes - they're going to row them down the Missouri River.
By: Becky Parker, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Dozens of amateurs are not only trying their hand at building large canoes - they're going to row them down the Missouri River.
Ten years ago youth from First Lutheran church took a trip to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota in canoes they built themselves. Jon Halstenson was a junior in high school at the time.
Jon Halstenson – Going on Trip: "You make new friends, you meet new people, you learn that you can do things that might have been outside of the box, otherwise."
All these years later they're doing it again, this time on a journey down the Missouri River in Montana. Halstenson hopes to share that experience with the next generation - kids like Alexis Bourassa.
Alexis Bourassa – 7th Grader: "They showed us a presentation and it just looked interesting. I wanted to do something fun this summer."
Many of the people in this warehouse have no canoe-building experience whatsoever. Still, everyone from small children to senior members of the congregation are putting in hours of labor to make the trip possible.
Jon Halstenson: "First off, you hope it floats. Second off, you learn to take pride in this; you want them to look good."
These are big canoes. Each one is 26 feet long and will carry nine people along with all their camping gear. The brains behind the whole thing is Rollie Johnson, a smile on his face and a spring in his step as he shouts out the orders.
Rollie Johnson – FLC Director of Mission and Outreach: "We are going to put them in a canoe that they built themselves, and they're going to be immersed in creation for seven days, and I think it's life-changing. I think it's faith-building."
In the end, it will be a trip five months in the making, but they say the road that leads to their journey is just as important as the journey itself.
If you want to see the progress or help, the group meets Sundays from 3-6 and Mondays from 6-9 behind the Tubs of Fun building on Main Avenue in Fargo.