For our Breakout Week experience, we set out on a four-day canoe trip in the Temagami wilderness area. This style of canoe tripping combines methods first used by many Native First Nations peoples which were adopted by early European explorers and fur traders, most notably, the French voyageurs.
The students acquired many hard skills along the trip which include tumping and portaging wanigans, learning the essential J - stroke a steering paddle stroke, portaging cedar-strip prospector canoes, selecting, cutting and splitting wood, cooking meals over a fire and baking delights such as cinnamon buns and bread in reflector ovens.
The challenges of any canoe trip brings paddlers together - this CDS October trip was no different. In Temagami, sitting around the fire, hanging out in the hot tent or humping gear across portages allowed students to get to know each other better. Disconnected from their phones, students actually talked to each other!
“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” Students faced many challenges - the weather was at times was “the worst” with cold temperatures brought by a north wind, and at times hail which made it hard to paddle and it made sleep a little chilly. Thankfully, most students prepared for the worst and the sun on the final day warmed and lifted everyone's spirits.
Anyone can be a good canoe tripper when the sun is shining, it takes a real grit and perseverance to paddle in the cold and rain of October. Congratulations to all trippers on the completion of your first adventure! A big thanks to Mr. Fell, Jr. & Sr. Mac, and Ms. Castellan for organizing this memorable experience.