Busy Boys!

As the title of this blog suggests, we've been getting quite busy recently!  Not only have the boys completed the colossal days of food packing and the crew olympics, but also expanded their knowledge in areas of canoe paddle strokes, in-water rescue maneuvers, knots, tarp placement, kettle pack packing and just about everything in between!  As everyone is getting better at portaging, it becomes a little easier to portage farther and farther and in the near future it's quite possible the Krew Crew goes for the BIG portage to the road (about a mile from our starting position).  We've spent a lot of time out on the water recently and everyone is really getting a hang of how the canoe flows and how to get it to go where they want it, even if there are still a few wrong turns in there.  Recently, the Krew Crew has learned of the J-Leaning game.  The whole point of the game is to sink the canoe without tipping over.  This is accomplished by leaning to a side and using what we call a brace stroke to stop the canoe from leaning too far and tipping.  It's quite a challenge to perfect but when done correctly it's a super fun way to learn balance and keep the canoe stable in rough conditions!  We've still got a lot of busy days in the near future and we're looking forward to seeing everything come together for the big trip!  Only 24 more days until we leave for our great adventure!!

Getting Things Started

Today was the first time the Krew boys have met in a while.  We've got a busy group of guys on our hands!! Nonetheless, we finally have a system worked out that should work for everyone involved.  Much has happened since our last blog post and things are just starting to pick up.  Today we discussed our menu for trail.  This consisted of our food manager (Otto) informing the rest of the boys what some possible food options and together they decided what and how much to bring.  Then their personal gear was passed out and everyone seemed pretty excited to have their new items for the summer.  We also started our new meeting schedule tonight.  From here on out we plan to have one scheduled meeting a week on Wednesdays.  After that meeting we will then have a kid in charge of planning and coordinating our next meeting, making sure all or nearly all of us can make it.  This not only replicates the responsibility needed as Guide Of the Day (G.O.D.) on trail, but also reinforces good communication among the crew.  Since Otto did such a nice job taking the reins on our menu planning, we decided to have him plan our next meeting.  We are all very excited for the next few weeks as they will be some of the most action-packed and memorable days of our time before we leave for Canada.


Signing off, 

Brew & Kuhn

And so it Begins

Welcome to the experience of a lifetime!!  The Les Voyageurs program has been going strong since 1971 and helped thousands of young men and women experience a freedom known by too few these days.  Both of us have two voyageur trips under our belt and are very excited to pass on our knowledge to you guys and make this summer one for the books. 

This blog (along with the crew calendar and group message/email) will be used for keeping crew members and their parents updated on what we're up to and what the plan is for the near future.

A little background on our previous trips, each of us have completed 2 trips through Les Voyageurs. The first trip in 2015 and the second in 2017, which consisted of the first ever 50 day Coppermine River expedition, traversing Great Slave Lake, in Voyageurs history.

I (Aidan) am currently a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth studying biochemistry.  I am beyond stoked for this opportunity to spend another summer with nothing but a few canoes and the packs on our backs.  It might seem intimidating now but I have no doubts that everyone will have an unbelievable summer with many surprises along the way.

I (Turner) am currently a student at Saint Johns University studying english and environmental science. I, like Aidan, am eager to get started with training. The thought of an upcoming summer filled with paddling, portaging, and a freedom only attainable at the hands of nature, is the motivation getting me through the few remaining weeks of school. I can only imagine the mixture of feelings everyone is experiencing currently, but rest assured it will all be more than worth it.

The following is a quote by American Environmentalist, Aldo Leopold, on the wonder that is wilderness travel, 

"The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel are thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represent complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gives them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers. These boys were ‘on their own’ in this particular sense."

Perhaps every youth needs an occasional wilderness trip, in order to learn the meaning of this particular freedom.” 

This quote captures one of Les Voyageurs central ideals: That to make mistakes is a healthy way to learn, and that the ways you overcome obstacles on trail are applicable to life at home as well. Aidan and I cannot be more excited to meet the crew and get started preparing for the trip of a lifetime!

Our first meeting will be on 4/21 at 10 AM at the St. John's climbing wall to introduce the crew and do a little climbing.  The next meeting is TBD but as the school year comes to a close our meetings will become more frequent to prepare for this upcoming adventure!

Stay Sensitive, Stay Outdoorsy, Signing Off,

Brew & Kuhn