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A group of schoolchildren learn about canoeing and friendship.

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A group of schoolchildren braved the rain on Madison Lake in Minnesota to learn about nature and canoeing according to a broadcast by KEYC-TV News in Mankato, Minnesota. The event and broadcast took place on May 12, 2014. The 47 children that participated ranged in age from “Kindergarten through 12th grade, according to Ann Vaubel. Ann is one of the adults who accompanied the students.

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Josh Garubanda, another student guide informs a reporter "We drove here with our big canoes to take you on Madison Lake."

They come from across the area at least three times a year but these students are more than nature explorers. Ann Vaubel explains. "This is a group of students who have hearing loss." By coming to these gatherings, "They have an opportunity to meet up with their friends that they have met at their other activities." It also gives them a chance to “Bond through common interest and a language of their own.”

They, according to Vaubel “Share the experiences, they can see other kids who are wearing hearing aids, there are students who are wearing cochlear implant processors and over a period of years students get to know each other.”

A student named Mitchell Tegmeier, using his sign language skills says, "It's nice to be with people."

Colin Oraskovich responds, "Definitely. Seems like a real friendly crowd, too."

Some of the added benefits of these canoe and nature trips “The group embraces the elements as they learn and share in activities that they will remember.”

So, three times a year, "They want to see their friends, they want to be learning outside the classroom, they're very excited. And they'll be talking about it in the days to come."

In essence they have the opportunity to be part of a community where they can bond through common interest and a language of their own.

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