For the entire Canadian summer 2016, I had the incredible pleasure of working as a canoe trip guide in Algonquin Park for Camp Tamakwa. Hundreds of kilometres paddled and a fair few kilometres portaged.
Leading girls and boys on multi day trips is one of the most rewarding and challenging things I’ve ever done. It’s not just the physical challenge of carrying the canoe between lakes, or paddling for seven to eight hours a day, but also the mental challenge of leading these kids. When we get to site each night, there’s no rest until tents are up, dinner is made, eaten and cleaned up, and the kids have brushed their teeth. It’s constant, it’s tiring, and it’s incredible. The way the campers change over the trip is staggering and I can’t think of a better way for them to learn about themselves, their environment and how to cope under pressure.
The cabin trips range from three to five days and are mandatory. The longer trips are voluntary. I had the honour of leading the girl’s thirteen day and it’s an experience I will never forget.