Last week myself, my co-guide Jeff, and 10 totally awesome and enthusiastic youth headed out for 3 days of paddling and camping in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. This is the second year that the Canoe Museum has offered a session of Tripping Camp amongst 5 weeks of Summer Paddling Camps and, if it’s truly time to wrap up a summer on the water, this is the best possible way to do it.Tripping Camp began with a day of preparation and packing at the Canoe Museum. These kids were earning their ORCKA Canoe Tripping Level 1A certification, meaning they were super involved in the packing of all food, group gear and personal gear. One of the really cool things we did on this first day was make our own homemade hummus from scratch and dehydrate it so it would take up minimal space in our food barrel (let’s be serious, the more room in there for desserts the better). Click here for the simple and yummy recipe we used! We tripled the recipe for 12 hungry trippers and it was the perfect amount for lunch on the first day with pitas and veggies. We followed these guidelines from the Rapid Media (Museum Corporate Member) website for instructions on dehydrating and rehydrating hummus. The rest of the day was spent setting up and checking over our gear, loading up the wanigan and getting to know each other before we headed out on trip.

Loading Up

Pre-Trip Group Shot

Setting Off!

The following 3 days were a flurry of fun, laughter, swimming, paddling and portaging, free from the hustle and bustle of city life. We set off from the access point at Long Lake, paddled into Loucks Lake, portaged into Compass Lake and again into Stoplog Lake where we set up camp for the first night. The next day we travelled the brand new portages from Stoplog to Mountain Lake and then over to Buzzard. We definitely did our part to pack down the fresh trails! We also found tons of sweet fern and harvested some for tea that night!

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Time to stretch out our legs!

Sweet Fern

We camped on Buzzard and soaked in the final evening of trip. I love how goofy and carefree the group dynamics can become even after only a few days on a canoe trip. Bohemian Rhapsody was sung from start to finish without missing a lyric, a trivia competition took place, and an entire lunch stop turned into digging through the mud for a lost shoe! We had such a blast as a group and the fundamentals of canoe tripping became second nature in no time.

So Much Mud!

Dishes Crew

Pumping water - Not a bad view either!


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The Girls

The Boys

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Thank you to all of the youth who joined us on this incredible trip – you rock!

To receive notification when registration opens for Paddling Camps 2014, contact [email protected].