The LeSabre

The Buzz on Honey Bees


Charlie Monson

Aww look how fluffy this honey bee is! Perfect for caring pollen from plant to plant!

As summer is just around the corner our helpful little bee friends are becoming ever more prominent. This piece of writing is much different than what I normally write, but bees are so fascinating! I wanted to share some things I’ve learned about these little creatures before I go off and start having fun summer adventures. 

I was inspired to start learning about bees not only for a school project but also because of Nicole Tompkins who recently became a beekeeper herself. Which can be a huge undertaking at times, but she seems to be having a ton of fun. 

Honey Bees specifically are the type of bee that I will be focussing on in this article because beelieve it or not these little guys have been on the struggle bus lately. Remember earlier this month when Murder Hornets were spotted in the U.S for the first time? Yeah, those guys are extremely detrimental to honey bees. The murder hornets invade the hives, decapitate the worker bees, eat all the larvae and pupae, and leave behind only the weak bees; in just a few hours. 

Murder hornets, however, are not the only thing damaging our bee friends. 

Size guide comparing the murder hornet to all of its bee and hornet relatives. (photo via WLOS )

There are a variety of mites that can be harmful to bees; the varroa mite, for example, attaches itself to the honey bee like a parasite and over time weakens the bee. These mites destroy a hive from the inside out and are only found inside honey bee hives. Honey bees also struggle with a weak immune system, which makes the commercial transport of bees very dangerous, especially for such a delicate insect. Besides murder hornets, mites, and illnesses, the most detrimental thing to honey bees, like most insects, are pesticides. Farmers have gotten better at using bee-friendly pesticides but are never truly finding the safest ones.

Alright, enough about all the bad things happening to our bee friends, let’s talk about some good things, and ways we can help them.

Without the help of bees (and other pollinating insects) we would not have the diverse food choices we have with their help. Most of the food we eat is thanks to bees. Some foods like almonds or apples require the help of bees and other pollinators to reach maturity. Bees also pollinate 80% of the world’s plants. Honey bees are also super hard workers. They are not only taking care of their hives and their queens but our Earth too!

Since bees are going to be super busy this summer, why not lend a hand to help them out?

Like Nicole, you too can become an urban beekeeper. It’s going to take a lot of learning but can be a super fun experience. You can also look into local apiaries to learn or donate. Or maybe the simplest thing you can do is to plant your own organic garden; free of nasty pesticides and full of plants in need of pollination.

Just remember if you do happen to come across a bee anytime in the near future, there is no need to be scared (unless of course you are allergic). They are just going about their honey-making, pollinating bee lives.

About the Contributor
Photo of Charlie Monson
Charlie Monson, Journalist

Charlie Monson is a junior at Sartell High School. Her hobbies include watching movies, playing video games, painting and listening to music. She is currently...

Social media affects the confidence and mental health of teenagers


Kylie Reisinger

Social Media creates unrealistic expectations and standards for all users.

Social media is a huge part of many teenagers’ lives. There are so many social media platforms, and it can be hard for parents to keep up on restricting their kids from being on those platforms. Some of the most popular social media platforms are Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Facebook, and TikTok. Many people go to social media because of the need to feel connected socially to live an acceptable life.

According to, there have been many studies that have shown that excessive social media use has lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicide.

Center4Research conducted a study in 2016 and reported that an estimated amount of 44.7 million people aged 18 or older in the US had a mental health illness.

Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License
Depression is a massive side effect of excessive social media use.

They also stated that the American Academy of Pediatrics described “Facebook Depression” as a “depression that develops when teens and preteens spend time on social media sites and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression due to the intensity of the online world.” One of the main reasons that social media increases depression is because teens now spend less time connecting with peers outside of social media and more time connecting with peers on social media. The connections they have on social media are less emotionally satisfying which then leads to decreased happiness and mental health.

The Child Mind Institute included in an article that that sleep deprivation is a huge factor in depression in teens and preteens. In the article, they stated that past research showed that 60% of adolescents are looking at their phones in the last hour before they sleep, but among that they also get significantly less sleep than their peers who aren’t invested in social media.

Anxiety is also a very common side effect of excessive social media use.

Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License
Social Anxiety and Anxiety, in general, leads to loneliness and isolation.

Data has shown that anxiety comes from social media use because when users aren’t on social media or aren’t able to use it, they felt withdrawn which creates anxiety. Psychology today states in their article that social media doesn’t create anxiety in users, it fuels the anxiety due to the withdrawal but also the feeling of needing to be liked or good enough on their social media posts.

Social media has also been known to increase the severity of those who have Social Anxiety Disorder or SAD. included a lot of information about this link in their article but the facts that stood out were the following:

  • People who suffer from SAD are more likely to be passive Facebook users but will be less likely to leave comments or share opinions due to the anxiety they suffer from.
  • People with Social Anxiety are also more likely to suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder. Internet Addiction Disorder is described as not being able to function daily without being on social media sites, video games, and other internet platforms.
  • People with SAD are more likely to become addicted to the Internet because they can stay behind the screen and stay at home but still stay connected to the world and other people without facing the anxiety of being face to face with others or being around other people.

Self-Image has been one of the things that have been affected by social media the most. Teens and Pre-teens are constantly looking at pictures or videos of models or social media influencers who have the “perfect body.” To those teens and preteens, they begin to see themselves as not good enough because they aren’t as pretty as them or they aren’t skinny enough. Social comparison which is a very common effect of social media is leading to self-image issues in teenagers which then can lead to eating disorders or body dysphoria.

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Eating Disorders have become a huge problem due to social media.

Eating issues and body dysphoria have been linked to social media because there is an ideal “body type” of how girls should look nowadays. The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulemia, and also Binge Eating Disorder/Purging. Body shamers are on every social media platform and target teens, preteens and even adults.  They shame people on the appearance of the body whether they are too skinny or too fat and need to work out.

PolicyLab stated in their article that new photo editing apps are also leading to increased eating disorders because they can edit their body to look the way they want it to. Another piece of evidence they stated is that teens and preteens also look up to many celebrities that have had eating disorders and follow their social media and can also develop eating disorders since those celebrities have had them or have them. Two famous social media influencers who have most of their following on TikTok

Wikipedia under Creative Commons License/ Collage by Kylie Reisinger

Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Sterling have been victims of body shaming. Charli D’Amelio has 54.5 million followers and Addison Sterling has 39.2 million followers. Both girls both got their fame from doing popular TikTok dances and that is the main content they produce on their accounts. There have been multiple comments on their videos saying that they are too fat, or they’ve gained weight, then once they start losing weight people comment and say that they’re too skinny or they can see their ribs. Both stars have responded on their social media about these comments and have said that they want those comments to stop and it is their body which is their own business. Charli has responded more than once on her Twitter page both to comments and also to Perez Hilton who has body-shamed Charli more than once.  Both stars promote self-love and self-confidence in many of their posts and have still continued to do so.

About the Contributor
Photo of Kylie Reisinger
Kylie Reisinger, Journalist

Kylie Reisinger is a senior at Sartell High School. She plans on going to SCSU for college and is going to major in early education to become a kindergarten...

The Quarantine Diaries: Day 16


Jordan Wenshau

Here are some blobs of color that I drew to brighten up your quarantine.

This is it. This is the final installment of the Quarantine Diaries. So welcome, for the last time.

I have learned so much during this crazy time. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things like just going for a drive and not knowing where you’re going. I have also begun to realize how my dogs felt cooped up in the house all day when everyone was at work and school.

I’ve tried new things and I’ve gotten creative with my time. Most importantly though, I have realized that I do not need a bunch of friends to be happy because I have my family. They are the best friends I could ask for, and I am sure glad that I was quarantined with them.

I’ve learned new things about myself, each of my siblings, and my parents through this whole process. I’m not saying I am a fan of COVID-19, but I am very thankful for this quarantine. 🙂

About the Contributor
Photo of Jordan Wenshau
Jordan Wenshau, Journalist

Jordan Wenshau is a junior at Sartell High School. She is one of six kids. Her favorite hobbies include singing, cooking, writing, reading, drawing, and...

The Quarantine Diaries: Day 15


Jordan Wenshau

These here are two of my favorite flavors of bubbly water.

Welcome welcome. This is the Quarantine Diaries.

It is day 15 and today I realized that quarantine has totally changed me. Take sparkling water for an example. I used to hate that stuff, like hatred with a fiery passion. I didn’t understand why someone would carbonate water and not add sugar. It was disgusting. I couldn’t even drink it if it were the last source of water on earth, until the earth turned on its axis or maybe I’ve stumbled into an alternate reality.

Anyways, I gave it a try, and I don’t know why I did this, but I am sure glad I did because yes, I love carbonated water. I never thought I’d see the day. My mom just said that it means I’m growing up. Ha! Ya right. It must be the alternate reality thing.

So, the moral of the story is that you should not be afraid to try new things. Even if you have tried something and not liked it before, you might appreciate it more if you give it another chance. So surprise yourself today. Try something you thought you didn’t like. If you still don’t like it, that’s totally fine but at least you tried. Have fun, be adventurous. 🙂

About the Contributor
Photo of Jordan Wenshau
Jordan Wenshau, Journalist

Jordan Wenshau is a junior at Sartell High School. She is one of six kids. Her favorite hobbies include singing, cooking, writing, reading, drawing, and...

Places to visit this summer after quarantine

Minnesota summers are going to look very different this summer, but check out these amazing places to visit.

Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License

Minnesota summers are going to look very different this summer, but check out these amazing places to visit.

Summer is some of the best three months out of the year. It’s always hot outside, it gets darker later, the lakes are open, and you get tan. But this summer might be a little different due to the situation we are in currently.

There are many places to visit in Minnesota during the summer besides the lakes, there are many state parks and attractions. If you are interested in being outdoors and learning more about our history then Split Rock Lighthouse in Duluth is just for you.

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A beautiful picture of The Split Rock Lighthouse in Duluth Minnesota.

The Split Rock Lighthouse is just south-west of Silver Bay and is a very historic sight to see.

The lighthouse was retired in 1969; however, it then became the focal point for The Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. I have been to the park myself, and it was so interesting to see the lighthouse and to learn about all of the histories behind it. The climb and walk up to the lighthouse are also very scenic which adds to the beauty of the lighthouse. Guided tours of the lighthouse are also provided for $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, veterans, and active military, and college students, $7 for children 5-17, and free for children  under 4

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A picture of a tourist on the shore of Lake Superior with Split Rock Lighthouse in the background.

The lighthouse isn’t the only historical place you can visit. While at the park you can also visit the restored lighthouse keepers house, oil house, and the fog building. For more information, you can visit the official website for the national park.


Another very common place for people to visit in Minnesota is Valleyfair. Valleyfair is an amusement park in Shakopee, MN. Valleyfair is a very popular place to go during the summer because of all of the fun rides including the waterpark Soak City.

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Soak City’s Ripple Rapids which is one of the 2 lazy rivers.

Soak City is built in the middle of Valleyfair and includes five waterslides, two lazy rivers, and also some smaller splash pads for little kids. Pictures and more information about Soak City can be found on Valleyfair’s website. 

Besides Soak City Valleyfair also offers multiple other rides ranging from huge and tall rollercoasters to smaller rollercoasters and rides for kids of all ages. Valleyfair has many popular rides but some of the most popular are Wild Thing, Renegade, Steel Venom, Excaliber, and The Xtreme Swing. These rides are made for people who love adrenaline and are very brave.

Laura under the creative commons license
The Wild Thing Ride at Valleyfair.

The Wild Thing is a rollercoaster that has a 207-foot drop; it reaches speeds up to 74 miles per hour! The rollercoaster is a fan favorite due to all of the drops and the sharp curves that make this ride thrilling but enjoyable at the same time. This video shows a first-person view of riding the Wild Thing.

Another very popular ride for thrillseekers is Steel Venom.

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Steel Venom’s Main Entrance at Valleyfair.

Steel venom is a unique ride because it accelerates riders in four seconds from 0 mph to 68 mph! That is crazy. The ride has two 185 foot vertical spikes going back and forth and reaching the top of both spikes on the last pass. The video I linked is a pov of steel venom from the front seat and really shows how scary and thrilling this unique ride is!

Let’s get into more of the scenic spots to visit in Minnesota. Bay Lake is a breathtaking place to visit in the summer.

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People fishing off the dock on Bay Lake.

Bay Lake Township is a very gorgeous and relaxing town that is only home to around 900 people. Bay Lake is home to a beautiful resort called Rutgers Bay Lake Lodge.  It is a cute cabin lodge and is located right on the lake.

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A beautiful lakeside view at Ruttger’s Lodge

Rutgers offers many activities that adults and kids can both participate in such as a summer camp for kids called Kid’s Kamp and golfing and a spa for adults. Lodging at the resort includes cabins, Bay Lake Villas, Jane’s cottage, Elsie’s cottage, and more. The lodging prices vary from the different types of lodges and cottages and those prices can be found on Rutger’s website.

Itasca State Park is a classic sport for Minnesotans to visit any time of the year but summer is its a prime season.

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Mississippi headwaters which is one of the most popular sites to see.

Itasca State Park is Minnesota’s largest state park and is known for the Mississippi Headwaters. There are many things to do at the park: hiking, camping, fishing, and even watersports. The park is home to 200 campsites which you can reserve and rent for a certain amount of days and all the fares are listed on Minnesota’s DNR website. The state park is also home to the historic Douglas Lodge. The lodge contains guest rooms, meeting rooms, a dining room, and a lobby. You can stay in the Douglas Lodge but it is fairly pricy,   states that one night in a room with one queen bed, and a room with two queen beds are both 150 dollars a night and 900 dollars a week if you want to stay in the Four Season Suites. You can also stay in the Douglas Lodge Suites or the Douglas Lodge Fourplex that are less expensive but still good quality places to stay. That is more pricy than staying in one of the campsites, but you’re paying for the quality. Pets, however, aren’t allowed in any of the Itasca lodging facilities, but they are allowed at the campsites.

Minnesota is such a beautiful place to live in and visit. There are so many wonderful places that you can visit that I didn’t list but you can find some more amazing places on either of these two websites I have linked below.

Explore Minnesota

Only in Your State

Let’s hope we get to have an amazing summer and go explore our beautiful home state that has so many  unique parks and more.

About the Contributor
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Kylie Reisinger, Journalist

Kylie Reisinger is a senior at Sartell High School. She plans on going to SCSU for college and is going to major in early education to become a kindergarten...

Sartell Anglers Corner: Cooking Fish

How to Fry Up Some Killer Fillets


Peyton Henkensiefken

Frying Fish is also a great way to spend time with friends and family.

Fish is one of my favorite things to eat.  It is something I learned how to cook when I was just a little guy. My favorite fish to eat are walleye, crappie, perch and bluegills.

There are two ways I like to make fish, they are both similar. The first way is the one I learned first.

For this first recipe you will need first of all, fish. Fillet them however you like. Then I like to put the fillets into a bowl with cold water and some ice, this will help draw some of the blood and that kind of stuff out of the meat. 

Next you are going to want to crack some eggs into a bowl and break the yokes up. You are also going to need to crush up Saltine and Club crackers.

Start by dipping the fillet into the egg, flip it so both sides are covered. Next put the fillet into the cracker crumbs, again make sure both sides are covered. Then put the finished product onto a plate until it is time to fry them up. 

The next recipe you are going to want some Frank’s Red Hot, and flour. For this recipe you will dip the fillets into the Frank’s as if it was the egg. Then put the fillet into the flour, similar to the cracker crumbs. Again put these on a plate until it’s time to fry them.

When it comes to actually frying the fish, you are going to need vegetable oil. Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan so it just covers the fillets. Next place the fillets into the hot oil, it should bubble up around each fillet, that is how you know the oil is hot enough. When the fillet starts to turn golden brown, it is time to flip them. When both sides are golden brown the fillet is cooked. 

As for sides, I like to have some little potatoes, beans, and white buttered bread. I also like to have tartar sauce to dip the fish in.

If you can prepare this meal everybody will be so impressed. It is one of my all-time favorite meals when family comes around, so enjoy.

About the Contributor
Photo of Peyton Henkensiefken
Peyton Henkensiefken, Journalist

Peyton Henkensiefken is glad to be a senior at Sartell High School and is looking forward to being done with high school. He loves to fish and hunt. He's...

Sartell Anglers Corner: Color Selection

Picking the Right Colors for Beginner Anglers


Peyton Henkensiefken

These are some of the colors that were suggested in the article.

There are all sorts of crazy colors out there when it comes to different types of hard baits and soft plastics. You don’t need to have every color though. There are only a few colors that I believe every bass angler should have in their arsenal.

The first color group is going to be the greens, browns, and more natural colors. The main one is green pumpkin; this is one of the best colors in my opinion, when it comes to natural lakes. It works very well in clear, clean water, and on days when the sun is shining. 

The next color is going to be a light brown, or “pumpkin seed” color. This is also good in natural lakes and clean water. I mostly use this for fishing on breaklines.

Along with green pumpkin, I always suggest green pumpkin with some red flakes in it. This green is generally a little bit lighter, and more translucent. And the slight red coloring in it makes it something that a lot of fish just can’t resist. 

The next color group is more of the blues, and blacks, more dirty water, cloudy day colors. The most well known color is junebug, this is a great dirty water color. It is slightly purple but has some blue, and teal flakes in it.

Another blue color is black blue. Black blue is also very popular in dirty water, it is on plastics generally half blue, and half black. I really like this color when it comes to flipping cover, like pads, rice and sometimes reeds. 

Those are colors that are great for soft plastics and some hard baits. 

When it comes to top water baits, there are two colors that I use. Black and white. Keep it simple when you are throwing topwater baits, use a white on a cloudy day and black on a sunny day.

As for the hard baits, I like to keep reds, whites, pinks, and blue. I like to the reds for when you are trying to imitate crawfish, because they generally have a more red color to them. 

I like whites and pinks mostly when it comes to smallmouth. Those are colors that they can’t seem to resist, and when you get your timing down, you can have a great day on the water. 

The blue hard baits I like for super clear and clean water, they usually have a little extra flash and the fish can see them from a mile away. 

So, when it comes to color selection, keep it simple. Gain confidence in a few basic colors, and then slowly you can work in some of those more crazy wild colors. 

About the Contributor
Photo of Peyton Henkensiefken
Peyton Henkensiefken, Journalist

Peyton Henkensiefken is glad to be a senior at Sartell High School and is looking forward to being done with high school. He loves to fish and hunt. He's...

Sartell Anglers’ Corner: MN fish


Peyton Henkensiefken

Largemouth Bass caught by Nick Greer and Peyton Henkensiefken

Looking for a new hobby? How about a new challenge? Fishing might be the perfect thing for you. 

Fishing is something you can do your whole life, and every day on the water will be different. This makes it challenging; it’s also why most anglers enjoy fishing so much. 

Living in Minnesota, there are several fish species to be caught, along with an incredible amount of techniques to catch those fish. 

Senior Nick Greer said, “My favorite fish to catch is largemouth bass, I mostly catch ‘em on a Texas rigged creature bait.”

Largemouth bass are found in almost all Minnesota lakes and rivers, making them a very popular fish. There are many different techniques to catch these fish. 

Sophomore Dylan Welle shared his opinion, “ I like casting a lot. Sight Fishing is probably my favorite technique. I love using the ned rig, jig, chatterbait, and spooks. I enjoy catching smallmouth bass most.”

Smallmouth bass are similar to a largemouth. They choose to hide in different cover, they particularly like rocks. You can catch these using many techniques as well. Most anglers choose to use more finesse type baits.  Smallmouth can be more of a challenge, but hooking up with a big one will sure get your heart pumping.

There is also the Minnesota State Fish, the walleye. Our PE  teacher Mr. Sailor said, “I like catching walleye mostly, that’s what I grew up fishing for. Most of the time I drift for them.”

Walleye are less populated in lakes compared to the largemouth and smallmouth bass. If you are looking to do some walleye fishing you can head to Mille Lacs Lake. Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota is also a very popular destination for walleye anglers. 

About the Contributor
Photo of Peyton Henkensiefken
Peyton Henkensiefken, Journalist

Peyton Henkensiefken is glad to be a senior at Sartell High School and is looking forward to being done with high school. He loves to fish and hunt. He's...

The Quarantine Diaries: Day 14


Jordan Wenshau

Even my cat is getting sick of me in quarantine.

Hello and welcome back to the Quarantine Diaries.

Today I have a quiz for you. It is to determine what type of person you have become in quarantine. There are six types: the Mom, the Tiktokker, the Rule Breaker, the Dog, the Zombie, and the Germaphobe. I’m not quite sure which type I am. I’m probably the Mom or the Dog, but I guess I will have to take the quiz to find out, and so will you!

Good luck, and have fun! 🙂 Click here to play!

About the Contributor
Photo of Jordan Wenshau
Jordan Wenshau, Journalist

Jordan Wenshau is a junior at Sartell High School. She is one of six kids. Her favorite hobbies include singing, cooking, writing, reading, drawing, and...

Sartell Anglers Corner: Shore Fishing

Shore Fishing Ponds, Lakes Rivers, and Streams


Peyton Henkensiefken

These are the three rods I would bring, the left one is for the finesse baits, the middle is for texas rigs and jigs, and the right is for the moving baits

Peyton Henkensiefken
These are some of the baits that I would bring along with me.

Not everybody has a boat to fish out of. This shouldn’t stop anybody from trying to fish. There are plenty of opportunities in our area to fish from the bank. You can fish ponds, rivers and lakes from the shore. 

In the Sartell community, there are many ponds that hold fishable populations of largemouth bass. We are also very lucky, because the Mississippi river runs right through town. 

When I go to fish a pond, lake, river or stream from the bank there are a couple baits that always come with. The first one would be a jig, 90% of the time it is going to be a ⅜ ounce jig. I suggest bringing three colors, and two of each color. Black blue, green pumpkin, and brown. Jigs are a very versatile bait that can be fished in any water depth, water clarity and any cover. Jigs can be fished on the bottom or you can use them as a swim jig.  Most importantly, they catch fish!

The next bait types I always have with me are Texas rigged soft plastics. This could be soft stick bait, a creature bait or a soft plastic worm. These are similar to a jig in the sense that they are fished on the bottom, except a Texas rigged plastic will have a more finesse look. Again I would bring a blue, green pumpkin and a more brown color.

The third bait type I would have along would be a very finesse style. This could be a ned rig, wacky rig or neko rigged stick bait, shaky head, or drop shot. These super finesse type techniques would be used when the bite is tough. Fishing these on the bottom and fishing them very slow will most of the time be the most beneficial. For these styles and techniques, green pumpkin, blues, purples and even an orange color would work.

Lastly, it is always a good idea to have some sort of moving or reaction type bait. Examples would be a swimbait, chatterbait, spinnerbait, crankbait or a swim jig. These types of baits are going to be fished faster and can be fished from the bottom all the way to the surface of the water. For these moving baits, white is always a good choice. For the crankbaits, a red color will work as well. For the swimbait, swim jig and swimbait, blues, blacks and green pumpkins work extremely well. 

When fishing from the shores, I usually bring three rods with me, one spinning rod and two baitcasters. I would bring one spinning rod for the super finesse baits, I would put 20 pound braid with a 10 pound fluorocarbon leader. This rod for me would be a 7 foot medium power rod.

The first baitcaster would be for the jig and texas rigged baits. This would be a 7 foot medium heavy power rod. I would put 15 to 17 pound fluorocarbon line on this one.

As for the moving baits rod, I prefer a slightly longer rod, about 7’2” medium power rod. For this I would put 15 pound fluorocarbon line on.

Hopefully, these tips will help you fish offshore.

About the Contributor
Photo of Peyton Henkensiefken
Peyton Henkensiefken, Journalist

Peyton Henkensiefken is glad to be a senior at Sartell High School and is looking forward to being done with high school. He loves to fish and hunt. He's...

Quarantine Check! Need ideas on how to stay busy with all this free time?


Charlie Monson

What have you been up to? Left to right: Luka Alexenko, Erich Dvorak, Emma Jurgens, Charlie Monson, and Abby Peichel.

Has quarantine got you feeling down? Maybe the excruciating boredom is getting to your head? Then you have stumbled upon the right article. After lots of interviewing fellow students, here are some ideas on how to stay happy, have fun, and be creative during quarantine. 

Do something artistic!

Charlie Monson
Emma Jurgens is constantly trying new makeup looks. Very artistic!

“I have painted a mural in my room and have been experimenting with different makeup styles.” Emma Jurgens, Junior


Learn or try something new.

This is ample time to teach yourself how to play guitar or try and bake that super complex cake your mom likes for Mother’s Day. Or maybe take a  look into all those UFO conspiracies.


Become a professional quarantine chef/baker.

“I bake a lot of food.” Leah Dezell, Junior


Puzzles and board games galore!

“I’ve been learning new music on my guitar, writing music, making a Footloose puzzle, and reading.” Balin Pilies, Sophmore

Charlie Monson
Balin Pilles spending his long quarantine days by doing some puzzles.


Google Meet or facetime with your friends!

My friends and I talked for hours one night on a big Google Meet. It was nice seeing everyone, and I highly recommend it.


Dig up an old hobby.

Remember that thing you used to be really good at in like middle school? Are you still good at it? Why not give it another try!


Stressed out? Have a dance party break!

Here’s a playlist of the best songs to lift your spirits.


Go outside and enjoy the nice weather.

“I’ve been playing fetch with my dog a lot.” Alexia Kern, Junior

Charlie Monson
Alexia Kern and her dog Link have been spending a lot of time outside, mostly playing fetch.



Movie marathon!

Here’s a list of perfect binge-worthy series, and some you should totally check out! 

“I have been taking a lot more walks recently and I went for a bike ride, mostly just trying to pass the time by being outside or having movie marathons.” Abby Peichel, Junior


Do something musical!

“I have been practicing lots of piano and composing some music.” Erich Dvorak, Junior


Play some video games solo or with the squad.

“I’ve mostly been playing Animal Crossing to keep busy.” Luka Alexenko, Junior

Playing video games has been a big thing for me too. There have been a whole ton of new releases out there for people to stay inside and play.


Charlie Monson
Luka Alexenko, among many others right now, has been spending his free time playing Animal Crossing.
Charlie Monson
Erich Dvorak along with a ton of other students have been using this time to create and compose their own music.











Or I’m sure the most popular thing everyone has been doing “Homework and procrastinating.” Bella Crane, Junior. 

You may feel swamped in homework, and you wouldn’t be the only one. Just remember to do your best and keep working at it; then you can relax and take time to do something fun. We are all in this together!

About the Contributor
Photo of Charlie Monson
Charlie Monson, Journalist

Charlie Monson is a junior at Sartell High School. Her hobbies include watching movies, playing video games, painting and listening to music. She is currently...

Are organic foods worth it or a scam?


Lauren Wensel

Buying organic produce has several benefits but often costs more.

What do you think of when you think of when you think of organic foods? Do you think of super healthy foods for uptight mothers? Or do you think of the regular version of foods but bumped up a dollar or two? Many people do not know the truth behind the label “organic.”

Organic food sections across the United States are growing. According to a 2019 article from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), over 4% of total food sales are organic. More and more people are realizing the benefits of purchasing organic food. 

One benefit of eating organic foods is that they are less processed. They contain fewer additives such as synthetic fertilizer, synthetic pesticides, prophylactic antibiotics, or hormones. Additives are linked to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. 

Another positive aspect of purchasing organic food is that it is chemical free. This means there are no artificial ingredients. All food is grown with natural fertilizers such as manure and compost, instead of chemical fertilizers. Weeds are controlled naturally using crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling. Even pests are controlled using natural methods including birds, insects, traps, and naturally-derived pesticides.

Organic foods are produced using only approved methods. It promotes recycling of resources, is less harmful to the environment, and promotes biodiversity. The USDA sets requirements for these approved methods and administers the certification of all organic products.

The methods that organic farmer’s utilize reduce pollution, preserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. It is better for surrounding birds, animals, and even people who live near the farms. The methods are also believed to decrease global warming. 

Better animal treatment is included in the USDA’s guidelines for organic foods. It is required that animals used are provided shelter in an area with unlimited access to food and water. Continuous access to outdoors is required as well, though this area may be fenced and/or covered with netting material.

A pleasing factor of organic produce is that it is often fresher than regular produce. This is due to the fact that it does not contain preservatives. Fruits and vegetables are picked while ripe and brought to a nearby store or market. Non-organic fruits and vegetables are picked while unripe, so they are ripe when they hit the stores. The produce usually tastes better when it’s fresh. 

One final plus of buying organic is that the money stays in the local economy. Instead of much of the money going to distribution and marketing, more of it goes back to the farmer. Local farmers have a smaller carbon footprint than large corporations. 

Eating organic foods is most important for young children, because their immune systems, bodies, and brains are still developing. It is equally important for people with weakened immune systems. It can also be especially beneficial to pregnant women because the pesticides can travel through the womb to their fetus.

Lauren Wensel
Packaged organic food is often very similar to conventional counterparts.

It must be noted that there is no shortage of organic junk food. Not all organic food is automatically healthy – it can still be high in fat and/or sugar. Organic junk foods are typically quite identical to their conventional counterparts. 

It is a common misconception that organic food is unprocessed, which is false. It is less processed, but it does not take away the risks of obesity, cancer, and other diseases. Even pesticides derived from natural sources can be toxic. An organic farming pesticide called rotenone has been proven to cause Parkinson’s disease. 

The USDA does not require perfect animal treatment with organic farming. A majority of nutrients in the animals’ diet comes from grass. This does not limit the use of antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides. Plus, there are non-organic food companies who pledge to do the same practices the USDA guidelines include for organic farming. 

The biggest downside to buying organic, in most people’s eyes, is that it costs more. Organic food can be pricy due to the limited supply and greater labor input. It is up to the buyer to decide if organic food is worth the extra cost. 

To get organic food more affordable, look for organic produce when it is in season. Shop at a local farmer’s market, where often the food comes in bulk for cheaper. Another option is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, in which individuals sign up to purchase “shares” of produce in bulk. 

To read more:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Cleaveland Clinic

Help Guide

Columbia University



About the Contributor
Photo of Lauren Wensel
Lauren Wensel, Journalist

Lauren Wensel is a junior at Sartell High School. Her favorite subject is English, and she enjoys reading and playing sports in her free time. Her current...

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