Wilderness Canoe Trips

Every year I go to Stephens, I have a better time than the year before. It doesn’t seem like that would be possible, since every year has been consistently amazing, from my one week June session to my 4 week canoe trip. Every trip seems like the trip of a lifetime. I can’t wait for next year.
– 2012 Six-week Participant

The Camp Stephens Wilderness Program Develops Skills and Confidence for Life.

The Camp Stephens Wilderness Program offers youth aged 13 – 17 trips of 2, 3, 4 and 6 weeks.

The trips traverse many remote areas of Ontario’s wilderness, where participants may catch a glimpse of wildlife and enjoy the astounding beauty and serenity of these rarely seen areas. The routes vary in length and difficulty, according to age and experience. Days can be long and arduous, but the rewards are evident in the smiles shared between friends as the sun sets on a quiet lake.

The Camp Stephens Wilderness Program takes pride in the quality of its staff. Two trippers with extensive counselling, camping and first aid experience lead all trips.  In addition to a vigorous training period, staff attend skill development clinics. Many staff are also former camp participants. Their love and commitment to the program speaks volumes to its high quality throughout the past, and its continued success in the future.

Explore – Two Week Canoe Trip (13 – 14 years) – This introduction to wilderness canoe tripping will offer plenty of time for all participants to learn and practice a variety of new skills. Paddling flat water on beautiful Lake of the Woods provides a unique opportunity to develop an appreciation of nature and the environment.  During the trip campers will develop skills such as paddling, team work and low-impact camping as they explore the network of campsites surrounding Camp Stephens.

So much fun we were thinking of changing our age with a time travelling machine so we could go next summer!
– Jealous Parents

Advanced – Two Week Canoe Trip (14 – 15 years) – This trip is for campers who are older or have a little more canoeing experience. The addition of portages opens new areas and possibilities for these campers on Lake of the Woods. Campers will take on more responsibility in leadership, learning map reading, navigation, and campsite selection & set up. Canoeing skills will continue to be taught at a progressive level. As with all our canoe trips, focus will remain on safety, fun skill development and appreciation for nature and the environment.

Pathfinder – Three Week Canoe Trip (15 – 16 years) – This trip is for those who have completed a Two Week Advanced Trip and are ready to expand their wilderness tripping skills. This trip includes an introduction to basic white water paddling and a review of advanced flat water strokes. The route is designed to include remote travel.

Four Week Canoe Trip (16 – 17 years) – This trip is for those campers who have completed the Three Week Canoe Trip or Leadership Development Program. The remote route for this trip allows campers to become more comfortable on whitewater, continue to practice their strokes and add some experience in soloing a canoe. Campers will take on a large leadership role on the trip with the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable staff.

Six Week Canoe Trip (16 – 17 years) -Six week participants are selected based on an application process as well as prior resident and wilderness experiences with Camp Stephens. These young leaders travel through remote northern areas that are accessible by paddle or plane only. They will experience the vastness of the Canadian Shield in all its glory. These groups will learn intermediate white-water paddling manoeuvres. They will also explore current issues facing Canada’s Indigenous population and experience life on Northern Reserves. They will be fully involved in every aspect of the planning, implementation and completion of the trip. This truly is the experience of a lifetime!

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