This past summer Marika, a 15 year old and three year veteran camper at FLC experienced first hand the joy and adventure of what it feels like to strap a backpack on and work with a partner to steer a canoe across a windy Adirondack lake. Below are a few of Marika’s reflections to some questions about her participation in FLC’s Trips Program.
What does it mean to you to have time in the wilderness at FLC? “It means that I feel relaxed and I can interact with the natural world around me in ways I can’t in my everyday life.”
What has been a favorite wilderness trip you have been on at FLC? “My favorite trip was my canoe overnight trip and a high-peak hike in the Adirondacks.”
Why would you encourage others to take advantage of hikes and overnights at FLC? “I encourage others to take advantage of hikes and overnight trips because they all are such enjoyable activities! They have the ability to be unforgettable experiences at FLC.”
We are literally gearing up for another exciting summer at FLC. This summer we continue to remain grounded in our roots by sharing the glory days of adventuring in the mountains surrounding FLC. We will be offering even more opportunities to GET INTO THE WOODS in 2016 with a focus on off-camp canoeing and hiking trips. We can’t wait for our campers to join us!
Juniors have the opportunity to climb some of the most spectacular mountains in the Adirondack’s, hike around pristine lakes and cascading waterfalls, while also trying out a day long canoe trip. Junior overnights will be action-packed this summer. Campers will experience the woods with their entire cabin and share s’mores around the campfire and tell stories under the stars. Seniors too will have the opportunity to experience trips galore! With many overnight canoe trips and backpacking trips, you are sure to experience the Adirondacks in new and exciting ways. I personally can’t wait to explore the remote St. Regis Canoe Area with you and put some more high peaks under our belt together.
As a bonus, we want to introduce Aaron Bacon, two year veteran at FLC, as our new Wilderness Assistant Director! Aaron began FLC as a climbing aficionado, canoe expert in training, and all over mountain-man counselor. He will be leading many off camp trips this summer and assisting in the long awaited and now infamous wild crew campfire skits!
Our Wilderness Crew this summer is out of this world. They come with knowledge of the Adirondacks and a deep commitment to the outdoors. They cannot wait to share their love of tripping with YOU! Emily Fagan is excited to join the crew after years of tripping at FLC. She recounts, “A favorite trip of mine has to be hiking Mt. Marcy back in 2012. Four fellow campers, two counselors and I headed out- we took a few wrong turns along the way but made it with plenty of smiles. The view was unbelievable. Second to that hike would be an overnight canoe trip in the pouring rain. No greater feeling then to camp, swim and cook over a fire. Being surrounded by the woods and mountains at Forest Lake is among my favorite things about camp. I like to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with friends in the back country. Hiking and camping brings me a lot of peace and it’s a time when I feel happiest and most myself; that’s definitely an aspect of FLC to take advantage of.”
Two year wilderness trip leader Elyse Rubchinuk shares that “having time in the back country gives me the chance to connect with campers I might not spend as much time with on camp, and also allows me to connect to nature in a deeper way than we already do at camp. My favorite trips are always the junior overnights. Even though it’s only across the lake, it feels like we are in a different world. Some of the girls are apprehensive at first to spend a night in the woods, but they’re all smiles once we get out there and start making dinner together. It gives them a sense of responsibility, because we all have to work together to collect firewood, prepare dinner, and keep our campsite clean. They can look back to their overnight and remember how they worked together to get things done, not to mention making incredible friendships and memories. I would encourage others to go on a hike or an overnight this coming summer because you get to see some of the most gorgeous views. When you’re up there, you know you worked really hard to get there. It is especially rewarding to step out of your comfort zone and try a tough hike, or even any hike for the first time.”
So remember, pack your hiking shoes this summer. Summer 2016 brings many opportunities to cover a lot of ground and waterways. Can’t wait to experience this all with you!
-Olivia Ridge, FLC Wilderness Director