Today's Lesson: Keeping Your Head Above Water

The 8-Day Canoeing Expedition

Prior to the expedition

There is a series of meetings and events that will take place before the week-long paddling expedition, the focus of which is to allow the teen and adult participants to begin building trust and get to know each other. These events may include day hikes or other outdoor activities, orientations for the teens’ families, and adult team member trainings. Pre-expedition meetings can take place up to several months before the week-long journey.

Day 1

The first day brings the team together as teens and adults converge at the youth agency or BCM’s program staging area.  Once everyone is together, the team loads the food and personal gear and drives to the outfitter camp where they will stay for the first two nights.  After settling in, dinner is arranged and the evening is spent getting to know each other.

Day 2

Day 2 is for getting familiar with the boats, tents, packs & other equipment.  You will practice paddling strokes, rescues & portaging. You will also get the chance to practice using the camp gear. You will also need to pack all of your food for the next five days and issue personal and group gear to the team.  There is a lot of ground to cover, so be prepared for a busy day.

Day 3

This is your first day on the water and getting an early start is very important.  The outfitter will transport your team, boats and gear to the entry point.  Once you are loaded up you will be begin your five day, backcountry journey! This day can be challenging due to the portaging, paddling in a group and navigating through difficult terrain. Once you arrive at your campsite your Instructor will go over the chores that need to be done.  After dinner and bear bagging, there is time for quotes, reflection, and fun games before everyone falls into a well-deserved sleep.

Day 4

The fourth day is more travel. This day is much like day 3, except that the team has a better idea of what to expect from each other, the environment, and the art of canoeing!

Day 5

Day five is more paddling and with improving skills, your team should feel more comfortable in the boats and surroundings which will lead to more efficient portaging and campsite set up. As on any other day, you may have to deal with periods of wind or rain.

Day 6

On the sixth day you are closer to civilization and may begin to see more paddlers. Available campsites may not be as plentiful as on prior days.  Hopefully your campsite will be close to your exit point so tomorrow is not a long paddling day, but that does not always happen!

Day 7

On the morning of day seven, the teens are almost always up and packed before their leaders!  You will paddle to the exit point and be picked up by the outfitter (your Instructor will take care of the logistics). Once back at the outfitter, the gear is cleaned and everybody is able to take a much-anticipated shower.  In the evening there is an awards dinner where the teens are commended for their accomplishments on the expedition.  Everyone talks about the incredible feats and the majestic scenery of the past five days.

Day 8

On the last day everyone heads for home.  Good-byes and congratulations are passed around and final pictures are taken.