5 Things We're Thankful For

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Too often, we focus on what we don’t have versus what we do have. It’s important to take the time and show gratitude for some of the things we take for granted. Here you’ll find 5 things to be thankful for, Camp Voyageur Northwoods Edition.

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1. The Wilderness Act.

Signed into law in 1964, the Wilderness Act created a legal definition of wilderness in the U.S. and layed the foundation for preserving and designated wilderness areas, such as the BWCAW.

A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.

Howard Zahniser

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2. The night sky of the Northwoods.

The unpolluted skies of Northern Minnesota provide some of the best views of the night sky in the continental United States. The lakes help to provide open views of our galaxy and beyond. There are opportunities to view the awe-inspiring greens, purples, and reds of the aurora borealis. Nights spent gazing up at the sky are sure to leave you with a sense of perspective and wonder at what the heck it all means.

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3. The glaciers.

For millions of years (the most recent occurring around 17,000 years ago), glaciers carved and shaped our continent. The depressions they made filled with water and the scars they left are responsible for many of the unique geological features of North America today.

In Northern Minnesota, the glaciers exposed ancient bedrock including Ely Greenstone, which is up to 2.7 billion years old. Glaciers also carried and deposited enormous rocks, known as glacial erratics, across the landscape which appear to inexperienced visitors as giant boulders that fell from the sky.

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4. Base-camp after a wilderness adventure.

Despite possessing a deep disdain for mosquitoes, campers sure sound like them when they arrive back from wilderness trips. The camp is abuzz with unique trip stories from feasting on walleye to finding treasures like horseshoes and old mine shafts to portaging 8.5 miles with a canoe on your back.

Melting 10 days of trail grease (typically a combination of bug spray, sunscreen, dirt, sweat, and fish slime) off your skin in the blazing hot sauna is as euphoric as it is needed.

Then, for the first time in days, you don’t have to cook your own meal over the fire but rather have it served to you while having dinner family-style. How fast can you eat and tell trip stories at the same time? I wonder. It’s a surpise campers even have time to breathe.

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5. The vision of the Erdmann family.

Beginning in 1951, the Erdmann family has made Camp Voyageur their family’s mission. When founders Charlie and Mim Erdmann retired in the ’80s, their children John and Deb picked up the torch and still carry it to this day, along with their sister Vicki Erdmann and her husband, Program Director Bill Burgman.

Their relatives help often when they can, whether it’s for a 3-day weekend cutting down balsams or for a session or two during the summer providing assistance in a various areas of the family business.

Voyageur’s mission of fostering the personal growth of each camper through group interaction in a wilderness setting continues today because of the timeless dedication and perseverance of the Erdmann family.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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