‘Local Badass Series’ features Four the Water

%0AThe+Organization+for+Outdoor+Recreation+Professionals+%28OORP%29+presents+a+lecture+series+showcasing+epic+outdoor+stories%2C+small+business+owners+and+unique+journeys+of+some+local+Marquette+adventurers.+%0APhoto+by+Cole+Stefl

The Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals (OORP) presents a lecture series showcasing epic outdoor stories, small business owners and unique journeys of some local Marquette adventurers. Photo by Cole Stefl

Cole Stefl

Older men with grey beards donning Stormy Kromers sat alongside NMU students also wearing the classic yooper hat, all to hear about the 102-day kayaking circumnavigation of Lake Superior. At the Ore Dock on Wednesday a crowd of like minded Marquette residents listened to the Four the Water tale about what drove their adventure for the fourth Local Badass Series.

“We’ve gone to two events after the trip which where at Michigan Tech University facility’s. We talked about our water samples and more serious science talk. This event is cool because we can tell funny stories and don’t have to be as serious,” member Karol Rajski said.

The Local Badass Series is an event where folks from the Marquette area come together to hear adventure stories from extraordinary extreme locals for inspiration to take on the outdoors in their own way.

“We want to show people in the community how it’s not that hard to take an adventure, you just have to know what you’re doing,” OORP President Colin Cusack said.

The OORP is funded by the student activity fee. The money raised from the Local Badass Series keeps the series going and also goes to the guest speakers.

Four the Water, a Marquette Kayaking activist group, paddled around the world’s largest freshwater lake this summer. They continued their journey by spreading their story of the values they learned about what makes their backyard so important to those that live around it.

Donations from the event went to raising money for Lake Superior Watershed to help conserve the pristine waters and landscape of the Great Lakes. The profit from sale of the non-alcoholic Superior Cultures “Four the Water” kombucha from the night went directly to the donations.

Four the Water shared their journey through storytelling, photos and videos differently than their previous presentation at Michigan Tech University and the Fresh Coast Film Festival. Their relaxed interactions on stage showed off their personalities and team dynamic.

All four of the kayakers had their own role. Rajski, the fisherman, graduated from NMU with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management. Jared Vanoordt, the scientist, will graduate this winter in environmental science with a concentration in clean water. He collected water samples in different regions around the lake. Ryan Busch, who graduated in Digital Cinema last spring was the tech guy, documenting the entire trip. Drew Etling, who although having hiccups at the Canadian border still managed to travel a journey on his own to meet up with the gang in Minnesota, rallying the troops.
“I love this event. I love this club. I’m not an Outdoor Rec. major but I’m in the OORP club. By being in this club you can find out what you want to do, it’s really helping me find out what I want in my life,” said senior Hannah Pickens.

On Nov. 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Superior Dome there will be the fifth series on rescue dogs. The event costs $2 for public entrance, students get in for free. Interested storymakers can contact the OORP club Facebook page to be featured in the series.