Featuring Guest Blogger, Ellie Harrington.
Clearwater Camp for Girls is not just a summer home for our campers, but also a basecamp for greater adventure. Each session, our campers embark on either a hiking or canoe trip to a beautiful destination in the Northwood such as the Sylvania Wilderness, Lost Lake or Porcupine Mountains.
These trips let our campers venture forth even further out of their comfort zone, and work together to test their new skills in the backcountry. In the past few weeks, our first session campers travelled away from camp and overcame unexpected challenges. Canoers portaged over dams, and navigated rapids- hikers braved muddy trails and elevation gains. When one trip set up camp in the rain, they wove together a shelter of tarps so they could still gather outside and cook a hot dinner. Another trip rigged their tents with rope when their tent poles were left behind.
We watched our campers tie clotheslines on old-growth conifers, and scour the forest floor for dry kindling to start a campfire- utilizing the wilderness itself to solve their problems. They found roles- some realized their affinity for camp cooking, others found their talent to hang a bearpack over a branch high overhead. As the sun goes down on a long trek or paddle, girls circled around a campfire they are slowly letting die for the approaching night of sleep- there is loud laughter breaking nature’s quiet. Moments that seemed frustrating earlier that day were now laughable- they had made it!
Even when campsites were difficult to reach, and the days long, our campers faced these challenges head-on. They returned with a new trip song, chaco tans, and a gritty kind of confidence that can only be gained in the hindsight of braving of a difficult journey.