Camp Pathfinder

Source Lake Algonquin Park Huntsville, Ontario, P1H 2H1 (view map)

Ages:
7 to 16 (All Boys )
Type:
Overnight camp, Family programs
Programs:
0 available; 10 TBD
Specialty:
Traditional (multi activity)
Cost:
$1,000 to $1,600
Special Needs:
Yes, Mild support (Not all campers have special needs)

ADD TO SHORTLIST  

Request More Info

  Michael Sladden
  Phone Camp

About this Camp

Camp Pathfinder
 

Est. 1914, Pathfinder is a lifetime gift for boys. Located on historic, private Pathfinder Island in world-famous Algonquin Park. True community, woods skills, values, character, friendship and teamwork. A century's tradition of summer camp for boys from around the world. Renowned Algonquin and northern river canoe trips, 3- to 40-days. A fun and full in-camp activities program includes top swimming, paddling, camping, art and ecology experiences. Top-flight veteran staff, homegrown young men who know the camper experience. A unique 1:2 staff-to-camper ratio. Highest quality gear and food. No-tech rusticity, stunning natural setting. Positive, supportive masculine culture. Healthy challenge, brotherhood and fun. Friendships for life.


The Our Kids review of Camp Pathfinder

 

Founded in 1914, Pathfinder has a long and distinguished history, one that rightly informs the camp experience today. The camp facility is, frankly, stunning, occupying an island of its own. The structures sit beneath mature pines, with technology limited to basically to the kitchen. As such, it’s as authentic a camp experience as you could hope to find, and a traditional camp in the best sense of the term. On one hand that term refers to the activities, including canoeing, tripping, camp craft, water sports. More importantly, it refers to the culture of the camp. When boys arrive, they participate within an environment and community that is much, much larger than themselves, one that includes the many generations of campers that have come before. They feel a world away, yet part of a community that is formed around a clear set of values, including conservation, positive mentorship, team work, challenge, and growth. At Pathfinder, boys have time to focus on a different set of priorities, something that has been a core element of the camp experience since it was founded, though arguably more needed today than ever. Campers leave feeling that they’ve accomplished something, while having also become a part of something, a sense which they carry with them throughout the year. Pathfinder is, plainly put, one of the best all-boys’ programs in the country.


Programs and Sessions Calendar

Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; currently 0 program available; 10 TBD.

Filter activities at this camp:

Name
Type/Gender
Specialty
Location
Date
Bus
Cost
Email
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 12
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 16
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Reading|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 16
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 12
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Diving|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 12
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 16
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Diving|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
Overnight Camp
Coed
Ages: 5 - 18+
Traditional (multi activity)
Rope courses|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Photo/Video|CIT/LIT Program|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate|Nature/Environment|Writing / journalism|First-aid/lifesaving |Archery|Badminton |Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Sports-Instructional and Training|Swimming|Ultimate Frisbee|Volleyball|Yoga|Zip Line
Overnight Camp
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 12
Traditional (multi activity)
First-aid/lifesaving |Writing / journalism|Nature/Environment|Leadership training|CIT/LIT Program|Public Speaking/Debate|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Sports-Instructional and Training|Diving|Badminton |Zip Line|Ultimate Frisbee|Photo/Video|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills|Travel
 Scroll 

Camp Address
Source Lake Algonquin Park, Huntsville, Ontario, P0A 1B0

Video


Camp Pathfinder
Camp Pathfinder
Source Lake Algonquin Park Huntsville, Ontario, P1H 2H1
Camps.ca logo

Request information from: Camp Pathfinder
please provide your first name
please provide your last name
please provide your email address
please provide your phone number
×

Reviews & Testimonials


What I miss about Pathfinder
Dr. John Herman, Boston - Alumni & Parent — Camp alumni

"I miss a loon's call at dusk, the sputtering light of a Coleman, bug juice, Treasure Hunts, rinsing off soap in a frigid plunge in Source Lake. I miss scrubbing a wrinkled aluminum pot spotless, splitting cedar, starting a fire with one match in the rain, running a long portage and dipping a tin cup in cool water. I miss watching three brilliant red canoes approach from the horizon, nine paddles lifting in silent rhythm, flashing in the sun."


I learned more than I could have anywhere else
2nd Lt. Edward J. Hubbard USMC — Camp alumni

When I look back on my life as I developed into who I am today, Pathfinder stands out as the defining experience that helped me grow the most. In my ten summers as a camper and staff on the lakes and rivers of Algonquin Park I learned more about camaraderie, courage, and dedication to goals than I could have anywhere else.


A Life-Changing Journey - Fall School Group Review
Davin Reddington – faculty advisor, Wilson Outdoor Club — Camp alumni

“The most appealing aspect of Camp Pathfinder is that it offers a combination of all of the elements that a school group seeks in an expeditionary learning experience. Pathfinder presents three essential components: a diverse array of activities; an energetic, engaging and experienced staff; and a technology-free, pristine island location. These all combine to create a unique atmosphere where visitors can focus on developing new relationships and strengthening existing bonds. We use the Camp Pathfinder trip as a culminating activity. The individual challenges and team building activities offered on the island are powerful, memorable experiences. Not only do students report a strong sense of community as a result of the trip, they also exhibit a new relationship with the natural world. For our urban youth, regardless of their comfort and experience with the outdoors, this is a life-changing journey. These transformations have been the greatest rewards and are what generates excitement for our club throughout the year.”


Positive start to the year - Fall School Group review
John Munro, Head of Middle School Nichols School — Camp alumni

The Pathfinder experience for our seventh graders has consistently led to a positive start to the school year. I have worked with Mike Sladden and his team of guides to design a program that ties directly to our school's mission. The community-building activities, based in a pristine, technology-free setting, reinforce our school's goal of promoting character education. Our students return with a clearer sense of empathy and a greater respect for one another and for the natural environment. The experienced guides connect easily with middle schoolers and confidently direct them through, for many, their first wilderness experience. I can't think of a more effective way to jump-start the school year and getting kids, even middle schoolers, excited to work together.


A thankful staffman
Thomas Mackey, former staff — Camp alumni

The staff are the highest quality to be found and no expense is spared in investing in them. The sprite de corp, skill and professionalism is unmatched. As a result no person who interacts with Camp Pathfinder can be left without being better for the experience


Camp Pathfinder was the best thing that ever happened to me
Mac Rand, Alumni & Former Director — Camp alumni

I first attended Pathfinder at age 11 in the mid-1960s, after my father and older brother had already spent many years there. Pathfinder, in a few words, changed my life forever. It taught me to push myself harder than I thought I ever could, while making lifelong friends. It taught me how to be a part of a team but also how to lead a team. And it instilled in me a love of the outdoors that remains incredibly powerful to this day. Camp Pathfinder was the best thing that ever happened to me.


Campsick
Zach Dean — Camp alumni

When I'm at camp, I don't get homesick. When I'm at home, I get campsick. Favorite place in the world- shaped me into the man I am today.


I hope to see camp again
Greg Lansky — Camp alumni

To this day I still hold my memories made and skills learned here to be some of the most important and treasured. This is such a unique place, and one that I always hope to see again.


What a good experience
David, Camp Parent, Parkland, FL — Parent

"He had a great time on both of his trips, and goes over the pictures regularly. What a good experience for those guys! Thanks for the great opportunity you’re offering all of your campers, and my sons in particular. They will carry that experience the rest of their lives."


Incredible 'can do' attitude
Camp parent, Buffalo, NY — Parent

"Pathfinder has been such a big part of his life and his approach to life. Problem-solving, taking responsibility, this incredible 'can do' 'let's get this done' attitude I see him take sometimes. We're indebted to you and the Pathfinder experience."


Thank you Pathfinder
Mr. B. Hickey — Parent

I have been remiss for not writing earlier to thank you, Glenn, and the entire Pathfinder 'family' for all that you do. As we come to know Pathfinder we understand many of its unique characteristics that make it an ideal place for our son. His time spent there has had a very discernable and very positive impact on his life. We feel very fortunate to have the privilege and the opportunity to send him there.


Nowhere else
Chris Thurber, Phillips Exeter Academy Child Psychologist — Parent

Nowhere else are human bonds forged more deeply than at Camp Pathfinder. Other camps shape boys. Pathfinder defines them.


Proud Parent
Peter 2019 — Parent

I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to you and the entire Pathfinder community for Mason’s fantastic summer. Mason came back from his time at Pathfinder with minor outward changes that came from significant inward growth and development. Someone who doesn’t know Mason well might not notice them, but his mother and I certainly did. For example, he became more confident without becoming cocky; he described how quickly his trip group could transfer from paddling on the river to being on the move for a portage and how groups from other camps just didn’t have the same crispness of execution. He told me about this as a matter of personal pride in being part of a team that knows what needs to be done and does it well. He wasn’t boastful, just quietly proud. He also appreciates now, more than pre-Pathfinder, that hard work as an individual on a team is its own reward; that he earns his peers’ respect and friendship are reciprocated by the rest of the team. I have watched him carefully over the months since he has been back and the lessons he learned at Pathfinder have endured and that makes me very pleased. So thank you for all that you and the Pathfinder community have done for Mason.


Best memories I've had in my life
Happy Camper — Camper

Dear Sladds, This year at camp was so much fun, even more so than the last. Even though I was only a first year Ottawa, me and my friends managed to get a thirteen day trip to Temagami! Our trip was amazing, and I experienced some of the best memories I've had in my entire life. I can't wait to go back next year to relive some of the wonderful Pathfinder memories that make us all come running back, and I look forward to seeing you at the camp reunion. Sincerely, Eli



Accommodation & Property Details

Sleeping Accommodations

  • Cabins
  • Platform Tent

Washrooms Facilities

  • Outhouses

Sports facilities

  • Archery Range
  • Basketball Court
  • Climbing Wall
  • Rope Course

Landscape

  • Forested Area
  • Lake/Pond/River
  • Nature Trails


Director's Message

Mike Sladden, Owner-Director

Pathfinder will celebrate 107 years during Summer 2020. Our rustic island camp on historic Pathfinder Island in Algonquin is the setting for traditional, healthy outdoor sports for life. With a 1:2 counselor to camper ratio, a small enrollment size of 110 campers, and a phone-free culture, Pathfinder provides personal attention, expert instruction, thoughtful supervision, and positive masculine culture for our boys.

Our culture emphasizes cooperation, teamwork and comradeship. We remain technology-free and 'screen free,' to give boys a break from contemporary technology and its stresses. Boys reconnect with the world around them.They become focused on face to face personal relationships and the beauty of our stunning natural setting. They get active, relax and stretch personally.

Canoe trips are the ultimate in experiential learning, challenge and fun. Tripping is a core Pathfinder program and the foundation of lifelong abilities, memories and friendships. Our staff are homegrown from their years of tripping and leadership training. They are Pathfinder's greatest ambassadors, and possess the empathy of former campers as well as the long-trained skills of young outdoor professionals. The senior staff is a veteran group with the experience and wisdom of decades of Pathfinder membership. Surrounding all this is an every-day spirit of Pathfinder fun and tradition!

 

 

 


Cost & Financial Aid

Cost: $1,000 to $1,600 /week

Payment Options:

Deposit required with acceptance Yes
Credit card payment Yes
Maximum installments available 9

Discounts

Discount for 2nd child $200

Scholarships & awards:
Total annual scholarship fund: $50,000 CAD

  • Amici Camping Charity

    Amount: 100% Deadline: Rolling
    Type: Need based
    Details: Limited number of awards per summer. For general info, contact the camp director Mike Sladden, [email protected]

    Application Details: See the enrollment page on our camp web site.
  • Kids in Camp Charity

    Amount: 100% Deadline: Rolling
    Type: Need based
    Details: Limited number of awards per summer. For general info, contact the camp director Mike Sladden, [email protected]

    Application Details: See our enrollment page on the web site.
  • Algonquin Campership Fund

    Amount: 100% Deadline: January 20, 2020 annually
    Type: Need based
    Age: 7 to 16
    Details: US residents.

    Application Details: See complete info at link.

Stories


Joe Lightning Race

At the end of each summer, Pathfinder Headmen, Secondmen, and CITs participate in the Joe Lightning - a fast and competitive canoe sprint on our own Source Lake. Thirty or so canoes line up their bows in anticipation the morning of August 19, after days of preparation, practice, and of course…some smack talk.

The horn sounds and they are off, paddling hard and fast, each team their own tactic…short fast strokes…switch every 4, every 6…trying to avoid a paddle breaking, falling in, and just making it past a stir of wild water and cramped canoes. It’s smooth sailing once the boats head southwest, eyes on Landlock.

Boats pile up, crawling out of the water to get a spot on the landing, flipping up mid stride. Red canoes disappear fast into the woods, sprinting toward the end of the portage in Loon Point Bay. Within minutes, canoes come flying out and the last stretch begins. Cedars charge through the water, paddling hard as their muscles allow back to Canoe Dock where all of camp is screaming their names.

With their last stroke shooting them past the finish line, the exhausted boys finally drop their paddles and fall into cold, refreshing Source Lake. This race is even more grueling than the Guides Race.

...



Camp Awards

 

Fred Lampke Award - Lamke was the camp’s longtime caretaker and carpenter, inspiring generations of Pathfinder staff with his wisdom, work ethic, love of camp and craftsmanship. Mr. Lamke was a Huntsville native who worked in logging camps prior to taking a job with Chief Norton to look after Pathfinder Island. He planted many trees, established trails, and built many of  the major buildings at camp. In winter, he cut logs and ice for the summer camp. The Lamke Award is a beautiful canoe paddle. In recent years, it has been given to the Tripping Award winner, but that is not a requirement. It belongs to someone each year whose care for Pathfinder is exemplary.

The Pathfinder Award - Awarded by vote of the older campers to the boy who most embodies Pathfinder spirit and values. He’s often an AA and a great tripper, but has more than just technical skills or strength. The Pathfinder Award camper makes the experience of everyone on his trip and around camp better by his efforts and personality.

The Tripping Award - Awarded by vote of the headmen and senior campers, the Tripping Award recognizes the strongest and most proficient tripper that season. With few exceptions, this award goes to an AA, who has impressed his trip staff and fellow campers with elite tripping skills and a penchant for doing everything possible on the trail and campsite to help the trip move quickly, smoothly and happily for all.

Best & Most Improved - These awards are made by vote of the campers in your tribe for the outright best boy in the group, and the camper who has inspired us all by how much he has improved his Pathfinder skills and attitude in that session. These awards are authentic because they are given literally by the boys to one of their own.

Level IV Canoeing Award - The Level IV AA culminates in a 8 or more stroke style paddling showcase that campers think up themselves and perform for the Directors of Canoeing and other Canoeing staff. The camper must have a strong knowledge of the canoe and demonstrate their ability to master old, new and solo paddle strokes.

...



An Update From Canoe Dock 2019

This summer was amazing on Canoe Dock…As each session began, we had campers come down to the dock to do traditional trip training.

Later in the half, Mics & Chips, Crees and Otts used time in between trips to practice canoemanship - draws, running draws, pries, sweeps, braces and the all-important J stroke! Once campers mastered the basic strokes, they moved on to more advanced solo canoeing skills. The box stroke, Canadian stroke, C-stroke and stylish bow-jam are just a few strokes mastered this summer on the main channel of Source. Even AA’s got in on the style-paddling action when they returned from long trips!

We enjoyed a ton of sun, so campers were eager to practice their ins-and-outs and canoe over canoe rescues. Even when it was overcast and windy, we had great turnouts and campers seized the great opportunity to get more comfortable on the water in less that ideal conditions. Can’t wait to get back in the boats next year!

...



An Update From Sail Dock 2019

Sailing at CPI started out with a gust during staff week. With it being my first season at Pathfinder I didn’t know what to expect but was greeted with a range of staff, from CITs to senior Headman, who wanted to be apart of the sailing program.

The excitement for sailing only grew once campers arrived. Three new AA levels were created and boys were revving to get out on the water. Countless AAs were earned this summer by boys of all ages. When we didn’t have enough wind to get out on the water, knots and parts of the boat were practiced. Or on more creative days we found our inner pirates and made treasure maps.

Source Lake posed a struggle to sail at times with her ever changing wind directions but the boys took the challenge in stride, learning to hike without falling out of the boat (most of the time!). A crowd pleaser on both windy and calm days was capsizing drills, a skill that came in handy once our upper level sailors gained their confidence to take out boats without a staff.

Overall, an amazing summer of sailing and canoe trippers getting more comfortable in a boat other than a canoe!

...



An Update From Swimdock 2019

Greetings from the Pathfinder swim dock! This summer, the dock was filled with big jumps, big splashes, and tons of energy. We started out with a z-drag to the tower crib, and thanks to Timo and his powercrew team, we were able to fix up our main attraction - the 10 and 20 ft towers! With our dock structurally sound, the swim shack freshly painted and re-constructed, and a new order of noodles, we were ready for the arrival of our campers.

The next two months were filled with swim tests and lessons, and the late July heat made our Source Lake Swimming Pool warmer than ever. We had well over 20 boys receive their Swimming AA both first and second half. Even more excitingly, we had some of our campers take the plunge into deep water learning to swim for the very first time - no small feat in the depths of Source Lake. Campers went home with accomplishments to show and tell their families - from jumps off the towers to swimming AA's achieved.

As you guessed, free swims were popular as ever following any game of Turbo dodgeball or capture the flag, with campers making use of every minute of sunlight. Some of the best swim dock memories came from beautiful Source sunsets paired with the laughing fun of free swim.

Our Pathfinder swim staff of summer 2019 had an incredible time teaching, learning, and keeping the Pathfinder swim dock as safe and fun as ever. We can't wait for another season filled with front crawl, 20 foot style jumps, CIT swim tests, and infamous swim parties.

...



Excerpt from Chapter 21

In January of 1962, on the eve of his first year of Pathfinder ownership, Bill Swift wrote to Tom Dodd and asked him to consider returning to lead trips to James Bay. Swifty told Dodd, "We would recruit the boys and the group would spend some time at Pathfinder on short conditioning trips. We would take only older boys, say 15 and up." Dodd immediately wrote back...

..."In 1954 Chief tried to interest campers in taking a trip with me (Dodd) in the James Bay area during the second half of the camping season. The catch was that they would have to pay their own traveling expenses, and nobody was interested...A trip with 15-year old campers in the James Bay area is more hazardous than an equivalent trip in Algonquin Park. Such a trip can be made safe, bu the cost of doing this would be high."...

...That seemed to put an end to thoughts of James Bay trip for the next few decades. But during the winter of 1985 - 1986 I thought a lot about the group of campers that would be returning as Activity Assistants (AAs) that coming summer. Every once in a while, a rare bunch of kids come along that have something special. Physical ability helped, for sure: these guys were good trippers. But it was more than that; it was their self-confidence, bordering on cockiness (good natured, to be sure) that made me think it was time for something completely new and different as their 'graduation present' AA trip...

...Simon Mortimer was my choice to be the headman:"The announcement was to be the second biggest adrenaline rush any of us were to have that summer. [red on for the biggest!] The twelve of us were going 570 kilometers north of Lake Superior (further north that this Canadian had ever been) and Mac might join us halfway...quite literally at the end of the road. James Bay, The Missinaibi River, Moosonee, Moose Factory, Arctic tidewater, beluga whales, and the Little Bear Express were about to become a part of our vocabulary and a lasting part of our lives."

The Missinaibi was to be something totally different from any previous Pathfinder trip. For one thing, the trip was almost entirely a downstream river journey...(the trip) began on Lake Missinaibi, the headwaters of the river, and continued for some 300 miles to its terminus at Moosonee and James Bay...Imagine paddling the same river that fur traders had traversed on their way back and forth from Superior to the Bay.

...we (Mac having joined the trip) coasted downstream to Tidewater and Moosonee and our first glimpse of civilization, Cree style. A different world, one none of us will ever forget. We hired a native to take us out in his freighter canoe, beluga watching; no luck, but we got a jar of salt water. No other Pathfinder trip could claim that souvenir. After a couple of days of sightseeing we portaged through downtown Moosonee to catch the Little Bear Express train to Cochrane, then a connection to North Bay, arriving at 2:00 am for a ride back to camp. It was the day of the Treasure Hunt, but the braves' minds were someplace else...somewhere well north of Source Lake. Thank you Alex, Derrick, Eric, Trip, Shrub, Froggy, Drew, Bucky, Jag, Benji, Wit, and Simon. You are what Pathfinder is all about.

...



A College Essay set at Pathfinder

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
    
We look out from the train as it comes to a crawl at two in the morning on the edge of the abandoned town of Peterbell, beginning this unforgettable journey into the Canadian wilderness.  We throw our packs and canoes from the slowly moving boxcar onto the steep gravel embankment and watch them slide down into the darkness along the Missinaibi River. As the engines roar and the air horn blasts, together we jump off the accelerating train and slide down to where the now drenched packs lay.  Aware of my responsibility for the others, I turn on my flashlight and peer through the pouring rain to account for everyone as the train speeds away.  It’s just the nine of us here now, miles from civilization.  In under a month’s time, we must travel over four hundred miles to James Bay, and meet at the last train stop of the famous Polar Bear Express.

While wilderness canoe tripping, I can forget about my iPod and cell phone.  I must remember to pack the axe, dehydrated food, map and other necessities as I have done so many times before over the past seven years.  I feel confident.  I bring what I need to survive, but only what I’m willing to carry.  Up here, if you forget it, you do without it, or improvise.  Calling home for additional provisions is not an option.

I deftly leap into the cedar canvas canoe, push off from the rocky shore, place my wooden paddle into the raging current, and with each powerful and deliberate stroke I gaze at the tree tops growing shorter and shorter. I watch the jagged and potentially deadly rocks go zooming past as my bowman and I begin to drop over a four-foot ledge into the class three rapids.  Water rushes into our canoe as the bow crashes below the surface, drenching us from head to toe with the icy water.

My bowman and I hold our breath as we jump out of the canoe just before reaching the edge of the thirty-foot waterfall.  We breathe a sigh of relief, splash cold river water on our faces, admire the distance just paddled, rest, and prepare ourselves for the two-kilometer portage ahead.

I secure the fifty-pound pack on my back, flip the even heavier canoe above my head, and begin the challenging hike.  I’m trudging along, confident I will eventually get there.  Keeping a wary eye open for stray bears, I concentrate on the various bird melodies and listen to the crackling of twigs beneath my feet to take my mind off the canoe thwart digging into my neck.
   
Arriving at the next navigable location on the river, we prepare a campsite as the sun begins to set behind the tree line.  The tents are set up, and the fire is lit for dinner, but we are too tired to cook.  The moon rises as the eerie cry of the loon echoes throughout the river basin.  Huddled around the crackling campfire, comforted by its soothing warmth, my friends and I tell our most revealing secrets as we develop our life long friendships.
   
I slip into my sleeping bag and begin to recap the strenuous day.  I realize I have developed self-reliance, individual leadership, the ability to cope with adverse conditions, and most importantly, team cooperation.  All of a sudden it’s morning.  We quickly break camp and prepare, much as in the real world, for the arduous and unknown adventures that lie ahead.

...



Associations

  • Ontario Camps Association Associations
  • Canadian Camping Association/ Association des camps du Canada Associations


Social Feeds



Get more info

Contact Name
Michael Sladden

Phone Number:
click to view number

Website:
visit website

logo   Camp Pathfinder  
View phone #     Camp website



Camps.ca logo

Go back to profile
Camps.ca logo

Go back to profile