Senior Trina Weisel Enjoys Classrooms With and Without Walls
Dipping her canoe paddle into the tranquility of the Boundary Waters is one of the purest forms of happiness known to University of Minnesota Crookston Senior Trina Weisel. The elementary education major from Alexandria, Minn., spent the last six summers at the Northern Lakes Canoe Base first as a camper and later as a guide taking Girl Scouts ages 12-18 on trips through the pristine wilderness of northern Minnesota.
Weisel embraces the tenet that people can do more than they think they can, and her goal is to impart that belief to the young Girl Scouts she guides. “I want to make a difference in their lives,” Weisel says. “My favorite quote is ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ and I strive to live my life to be that change.” As a lifetime Girl Scout herself earning the highest honors afforded by the organization—bronze, silver, and gold—Weisel loves to watch the girls put learning into action.
Her activities encompass more than Girl Scouts. Weisel tutors college algebra, as well as education classes for international students, and she applies her penchant for education to her faith by teaching confirmation classes to students at Cathedral in Crookston. She may have inherited her love for teaching from her mother who teaches first grade, and Weisel is never happier than when she is in the classroom working with grade school students. “I have been in Mrs. Brantner’s 5th grade class and Mrs. Ingersoll’s 3rd grade class,” Weisel says. “I love applying what I have learned in the classrooms, and because the Crookston campus is smaller, I have had a lot of opportunity to be in actual classrooms.”
Her experience in the Boundary Waters helped Weisel grow as a person. Canoeing and flipping canoes weighing 65-70 pounds when it is time to portage might seem beyond the strength of this young woman, but she is undaunted by it all. One of the highlights of the summer for her was the opportunity to meet Dave and Amy Freeman, who spent 366 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to help protect the area from the threat of proposed sulfide-ore copper mining on the Wilderness edge (www.savetheboundarywaters.org).
“I was excited to be a part of the team that would resupply the Freemans and to learn about water testing on Knife Lake,” Weisel says.
If she had to describe herself in three words, those words would be positive, outgoing, and inclusive. These characteristics helped her as she served as a leader on the student orientation staff and as Newman Club president. She has also received the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award and makes volunteer work a priority.
A trip to study abroad in New Zealand rounds out the highlights of Weisel’s time on campus. She will complete her final semester in the spring and then prepare for the certifications necessary to become a teacher.
Will she return to the Boundary Waters? Maybe not this summer, but she will return because spending time in one of the most beautiful places on earth is like coming home, and Weisel’s heart will call her back she is certain.
The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online. These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
In the photos, top, right, is the sign at the Northern Lakes Canoe Base where Trina Weisel guides girls on trips through the Boundary Waters.
Photo, middle, left, Trina Weisel in her canoe paddling through the Boundary Waters.
Photo, bottom, right, Trina Weisel.