St. Regis Canoe Expedition
In the summer of 2016 we introduced a new rite of passage for our oldest cabin group, a canoe expedition into the remote upper St. Regis Lakes. We created our St. Regis Lake Canoe Expedition for our oldest age group in an effort to provide a transformational experience for our veteran campers. This two night, three day paddle affords our oldest campers the opportunity to explore their leadership skills, hone their outdoor skills, and physically and mentally challenge themselves. Campers will work together to improve their paddling skills, learn to portage, and cook and sleep under the starry night sky.
On this trip campers will deepen their bonds of friendship with one another while exploring remote waterways in the most spectacular outdoor classroom imaginable. Our campers will return home following their time together feeling stronger, more deeply connected to one another and their environment and with a deeper understanding of their leadership potential. Whether they experience head winds or rain or sunny skies while on their trip, they always return with smiles and endless stories to share. Our St. Regis Lake Canoe Expedition was designed especially to prepare our oldest campers for their Leader in Training summer, which they have the opportunity to apply for as 16 year olds. Interested in joining? Let’s hear from some of the leaders on these trips…..
I led a trip to the St. Regis Canoe Area, northwest of Forest Lake Camp. This trip is a key highlight of my summer for multiple reasons. I learned new things about myself and my campers each moment I was in the beautiful wilderness. I was reminded of how much I enjoy peaceful mornings on a lake and the sound of a paddle entering and exiting the water. I was reminded of how valuable working as a team was, and I know that my campers learned this too through miles of portaging and the expected campsite chores. I encourage everyone to give this trip a try! -Emily Fagan, FLC Trip Leader and Counselor
I think my favourite stories were all about the girls’ strength during the many portages. They pushed through the entire way, always finding ways to help the group, even if they could no longer physically carry a canoe. On our second to last portage, I was carrying a canoe with two of the campers . We had just done a mile long portage, and had another one coming up, but also needed to get through this quarter-mile one first. The girls were exhausted, but would not leave me behind with the canoe. They each carried the canoe part of the way and were always willing to lift it off of my shoulders if I needed a break. After we got the canoe through, they immediately turned around to grab bags, and were even prepared to carry another canoe if need be.
I can honestly say that all of my campers were the most positive people. Seeing them overcome challenges of canoe-tripping while always smiling and offering assistance was just amazing. I can single out a great moment for each one of my campers, and that is outstanding. The girls really made the trip, and pushed themselves to their limits for what was an amazing three days.
Even though it ’s technically a tale from the land, portaging is by far the hardest part of canoe tripping. I have led trips with adults, and I’ve never seen them motivate each other the way that all of my girls did on this trip. It was so inspiring and amazing to see. – April Fowler, FLC Trip Leader and Counselor
I know these campers will remember falling asleep this summer in their lean-to’s, near the water, as the embers of the fire went out and the night sounds filled the evening skies. We spent some glorious days out on the beautiful Adirondack lakes for a total of seven canoe trips this summer, many of which were with our 15 year old campers. My favorite trips explored the Saint Regis Canoe Area in a three-day loop. Other favorites explored the Marion River from Utowana Lake. To all of the wonderful campers that felt the sore muscles on their shoulders from carrying canoes, that waited spoon in hand for a fire cooked helping of pasta and who paddled in all hours of the day and set up tents in the dark, we thank you! To all of the Wilderness Crew and cabin counselors, thank you for your trail magic. These trips were the highlight of my summers at Forest Lake Camp. The moonlight did feel good for the soul. I’d like to give a personal shoutout to Caroline Collins and Sofia Ghahremanpour for collecting fresh mussels and teaching us how to Cook them on an open fire. Adventure on. – Olivia Ridge, Trips Director
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