After an exhilarating week in camp, our last trips have finally left the docks to find wilderness adventure once more. Second round trips range from 7 to 10 days and cover a wide variety of landscapes. Our most experienced campers headed out on to the Apostle Islands to sea kayak, to Lake Superior via the Grand Portage, and down the Vermilion River. Each of these trips involved campers in the planning and packing phase extensively.
Less experienced and younger campers will paddle through some of the most iconic lakes of the Boundary Waters on a quest for fishing holes, legendary campsites, and perfect swimming areas. Because campers have already taken their first trip, they hit the trail running this time around. Even the more experienced campers feel refreshed on their camping skills. Some of our older campers will also opt to carry a canoe on one of these trips and go for their "Big Man," a leadership achievement here that signifies a camper as an able bodied right-hand man to the counselor.
The Apostle Islands trip has been training for the last week prior to their trip. While the mileage and difficulty of the trip are considered low, any amount of weather can quickly change this. Lake Superior behaves more like an ocean than it does a lake, and as such it demands a great deal of respect and caution. Accompanying the crew is Chris Smith, a veteran counselor and kayaking instructor who has been overseeing their training and will help guide the trip. It’ll likely look like we sent them to the Caribbean, but I assure you, they are indeed in Wisconsin!
The “Grand Portage” trip began in Moose Lake and will paddle well over 100 miles to Lake Superior, taking the notorious 8.5 mile portage at the end. We seem to send this trip out every year, sometimes even several times per summer. Despite the hardship of the final portage, the beauty of the Eastern Boundary Waters is more than worth the journey. They’ll be treated to some good ol’ Sven & Ole’s pizza before heading back to camp, and as is tradition, they’ll buy Voyageur toques at the local museum.
The Vermilion River trip is fairly new to the repertoire of trips at camp. The last time we sent a group down this river was likely back in the late 70s or early 80s we suspect. It's a trip intended to introduce campers to river canoeing and will likely involve some degree of swift water training. Accompanying them on this trip is our highly experienced tripping director Charlie Steiner, who only a few summers ago paddled from the docks of Camp Voyageur to Hudson Bay. The river is also known for its gorgeous waterfalls, so much so that weddings are commonplace at certain sites. I like to imagine them portaging through a wedding procession...
That's it for now! You can expect more photos and content to come in about a week when trips start coming in on August 2nd. Remember that shortly after that on August 5th, we'll be having the in-camp banquet for parents starting at 2:00PM Central Time. Please RSVP with Deb if you plan on attending!