The Voyageur Tradition
Camp Voyageur is a small private boys camp near Ely, Minnesota founded by Mim and Charlie Erdmann of DePauw University in 1951 and directed today by their son and daughter John and Deb Erdmann. For over fifty years boys have migrated north each summer to challenge the wilderness waterways and hiking trails near Camp Voyageur.
Sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of Voyageurs from the 50's, 60's and 70's now come and stay in the same cabins and travel some of the same routes their fathers and grandfathers did. Their daughters and granddaughters go on the girls' trips. The 25' wood and canvas war canoe still makes trips with eight paddlers along the Canadian border lakes. The rest of the canoes have changed from wood and canvas to aluminum, and sea kayaking and hiking trips have been added to the mix. Trip stories are swapped at the fire circle over fresh grilled hamburgers, the sauna still feels great after coming in off the trail and there is still HOT cereal for breakfast!
With a mile of shoreline, Camp Voyageur's isolated peninsula is a short paddle from the million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and seven miles from Ely, Minnesota. Camp Voyageur utilizes the northwoods setting for physical, mental and spiritual growth of individuals within the camp community. While they are in camp boys play land and water sports, learn athletic and camping skills and participate in a variety of activities.