Spooky Camp Legends

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Alumnus Mark Blanchard

Three Camp Voyageur alumni share their favorite scary camp stories!

The Portage Scavenger

As told by Gregory Lippert, CV camper 1966 - 1972.

“The Portage Scavenger had me when I was 11 on my first trip around the Little Triangle. He hung out at the first portage into Clear Lake. They say he lives in the woods near Clear Lake. My counselors would say, ‘Don’t put your backpack down and keep walking, don’t stop. He looks for slower campers that stop to rest. Don’t worry he won’t hurt you just wants the packs.’

Then, one day on our return through that same portage, we actually heard rustling out in the woods and actually started to trot with our packs on. One camper dropped his pack and ran to the end of the portage.

Well, it ended up to be a troop of Outward Bound campers foraging in the woods for berries!”

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Greg Lippert

The Loon Feather

As told by Eric Thum, CV camper 1966 - 1971.

“A family went canoeing in the remote Quetico region. Late at night, they heard the lonely call of a distant loon. In the morning they tried to wake the father, but to no avail – a loon feather was stuck in his throat.

In a panic, they decided to paddle back to Ely, a four-day journey. Every night they heard the lonely loon cry and every morning another member of the family died from a loon feather stuck in the throat.

The surviving members pushed on, paddling all day and part of the night to get back to civilization. The mother was the last one alive. She had to make camp one more night, exhausted and out of her mind from the ordeal.

Late that night she, once again, heard the lonesome call of a loon-this time close by her tent. She then heard a rustle in the bushes, just outside the tent. It got so quiet she could hear a pin drop.”

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The Ballad of Paul the Acid Man

Paul the Acid Man

As told by John Erdmann, Camp Director.

“It’s hard to beat Dave McCracken’s, Paul the Acid Man, the tale of a Boy Scout troop who took a canoe trip, each writing down their wish and stacking it until they returned to the same camp site 20 years later.

Mocking rock hound and timid Paul, they played keep-away with his bottle of acid when it shattered on a rock in front of Paul’s face and he went screaming into the woods, never to be found.

20 years later as the same group gathered on the campsite, the shenanigans began late at night. A canoe disappeared, then one by one the group dwindled. It came down to Paul the Acid Man against the strongest of the bunch. No one returned.”

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Do you have any scary canoe country stories you used to tell around the campfire? We’d love to hear from you!

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