There are places in the United States known as canoe country. It’s where water and wilderness combine for a canoe trip of a lifetime.
Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), or Boundary Waters for short, is one of those places. The area is a million acres of pristine wilderness containing more than 1,000 lakes that borders Canada, hence the name Boundary Waters.
I recently returned from a Girl Scouts travel camp where 11 of us drove north from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Ely, Minnesota for everyone’s first camping canoe experience. There were seven girls ages 12-17, and four adult volunteers.
Into the Wilderness
Separated into two groups with two guides each, we unplugged from civilization and headed out with only our canoes, paddles, camping gear, food, and a thirst for adventure.
For five days, we experienced breath-taking views of a wilderness paradise as we paddled across crystal-clear waters. I can’t believe I spotted more than 10 bald eagles on my trip!
We learned how to portage, which means carrying our canoes and gear from one lake to another. The weight seemed insurmountable at first, but we all learned how to carry 75 pound canoes by ourselves on our shoulders.
We were capable of a lot more than we thought, and by the end of the trip, we had all grown in courage, confidence and character.
If you’re able to go on canoe camping trip, jump at the chance! It’s an incredible way to enjoy the outdoors. Go with your spouse, best friend, parent or sibling for an unforgettable bonding experience.
Or give a canoe camping adventure as a gift.
Get friends or family to pool their money together to give a canoe camping wilderness experience to someone.
A similar gift is to send a child to resident camp or travel camp for their birthday or Christmas present. It’s something they can look forward to doing during the summer, and they’ll always remember who made the experience possible!
Out in the wilderness, you discover you are capable of so much more.