Ok, so maybe a canoe carrier won’t change your life, but canoeing in the Boundary Waters could! Here’s one of our client’s stories about how a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters changed her life. She’s now in her early 50′s, but she’s never forgotten what she learned as a teenager on this canoe trip.
“Thirty-five years ago I became a tough girl. I went on a Lutheran church camp canoe trip to the Boundary Waters area of Northern Minnesota, ostensibly to get closer to the Lord, mostly to get closer to the cute boys in my church who were also going.
Sure, I worked hard as a teenager in Iowa. De-tassling corn in the summer, working at a restaurant in the winter—we all worked hard then, and went to church on Sundays. I was looking forward to this trip for (let me remind you)…BOYS.
As I watched the truck driving behind us with the canoe carrier full of canoes, I didn’t give a thought to how physically difficult the trip would be! And after the first week, I cried the first few nights from the pain in my aching legs and back. I no longer even tried to comb my hair in the morning, let alone put on the makeup we were urged by knowing camp counselors to leave behind. Boys? Who cares? I want to go home! But by the end, I was in love with nature instead.
We camped on different remote islands, transporting the canoes on our shoulders across portages while sporting 70 lb backpacks (which were weighed and after being told we couldn’t, stuck in extra stuff between every loose space there was anyways). After we reached the next river, we plopped in the canoe, shloshed in our respective seats, and canoed across vastly beautiful and untouched areas of Canada.
Sometimes it rained—rained while canoeing in a storm, rained when we landed at our next island camp, rained as we set up our tents, rained while we looked for wood to make a fire for dinner, rained as we crawled miserably into our tents in the dark. Ick! Boys? Who cares? They only remember me now as the one who dropped the treasured popcorn into the fine silty dirt one evening. Did you know popcorn won’t pop if it gets wet first? More Wassa bread for you!
The memories of loons cooing in the evening, clear crisp waters you could see to the bottom of, and the self assurance that I held up my end of the work was a big boost to my self esteem. When we got back to base camp I was treated to my first sauna experience. In the dark we made our way down to the dock and ran unencumbered down into the dark water to get the shock of freezing cold on our exhausted, sweat covered bodies.
Boys? Oh yeah, I lost 13 pounds, came back tanned strong and tough, and signed up for science camp as soon as possible so I could begin studying microbiology!”