ISHPEMING — Mushers, dogs, sleds, winter and races all equal one thing: the U.P. 200 Sled Dog Championship.

Birchview Elementary School in Ishpeming is showing its support by helping fill some priceless musher bags.

Kicking off the excitement are third graders from Birchview Elementary School. They’re hand decorating the musher bags with artwork and words of encouragement.

They watched a video for inspiration and the teacher saw it as an opportunity for a unique educational experience.

“We’re learning about sled racers and sled dogs,” said Hunter Smith. “A lot of dogs and people come from Alaska, California. That’s pretty cool.”

“People go on little sleds, they hook on the dogs, and then it’s a race,” said Jeremiah Peterson.

“It can be a guy or a girl who controls the dogs in a race,” said Jaxon Foster. “It’s a hill with a house on top of it, and some trees and snow.”

“I made snow, and trees and dogs running to get to the finish line,” said Travis Carter.

“I drew a horseshoe for good luck,” said Sophie Corradino. “I made a snowflake, I made a sled. I wrote, ‘Good luck and have fun!'”

The bags the kids decorate generally have items in them that mushers can use during the race or during breaks like books, candy, chap stick and hand warmers.

The 200 is just about two weeks away, and it runs February 13th through the 15th. There’s still time if your school or organization wants to decorate some of the bags or donate items to go inside their bags.