The Temagami canoe trip was a trip filled with laughs, excitement, and relaxation. At first, the thought of five days with no phone was terrible, but once we realized that there is always something to do during the day we forgot all about it. For someone who has never been camping before for fear of sleeping next to a bear, I had the most memorable time and would definitely recommend the trip to anyone with a sense of adventure.
On our first day at Camp Temagami, we learned all about how to set up a tent, tie up a wannigan, how to paddle a canoe, and how to use a saw and axe to cut firewood. After learning these important survival skills, we practiced them for the next couple days while paddling to the two different campsites.
We left base camp early the second morning and got to our first campsite in the afternoon. We paddled approximately 10 km to get to our first campsite. When we got there we set up our tents and had some time to ourselves to go swimming, take a nap, sit by the water, and journal. After that hour spent unwinding, we all got to work. This meant some of us went to collect wood to start the fire, while others started to untie the wannigans to get out the pots, pans and food to start preparing dinner and make lunch for the next day. Once the wood gatherers came back from the forest, we all pitched in to saw and chop the wood for the fire. We boiled the pasta water over the fire, made our pasta sauce, and baked bread for the next day’s lunch. After enjoying our delicious spaghetti dinner, we sat by the fire eating s’mores and playing a game of Farkle, which got everyone on the edge of their seats. After that intense game we finished off the night stargazing. The beautiful clear night sky was mesmerizing. By the first night our whole group had already gotten much closer. We made new friendships that made the rest of the trip so much more fun. After watching many shooting stars we went to bed.
The next day we woke up to the smell of bacon on the fire. After breakfast some of us did the dishes and packed up the wanigans with all the kitchen supplies, while others packed up the tents and dry bags to get ready to put into the canoe. We were well-rested and ready for another 10 km canoe to our next campsite. While canoeing we played games and sang songs until our portage. We unloaded all our stuff, carried it over to the other side, loaded the canoes back up, had lunch, and then went on our way to the second campsite. When we got to the second campsite we did the exact same thing as the day before - enjoyed some time to ourselves before chopping wood and getting ready for dinner and lunch the next day. While having our ham steaks (we all thought that sounded gross when we heard about it and saw it for the first time, but it turned out to be pretty good) and pineapple cake for dessert. We laughed and talked about how much fun we had playing games the night before and while canoeing. Even though we added sugar rather than salt to the mashed potatoes or when we didn’t properly measure out the ratio of soup to salt, it created even more hilarious memories to tell when we got back home. We played another game of Farkle and sardines in the forest. And of course we had to end the night off by watching the stars and having some more good laughs with all the guides.
When we all woke up the next morning to another beautiful day we were wishing the trip was longer. We packed up after breakfast and paddled another 12 km to the cliff jumping that was near Camp Temagami. We had lunch and went for a swim. The view was beautiful and the water was so refreshing. When we got back to the camp we unloaded all our gear and properly cleaned the wannigans and dishes. Once we got all that done we had a few hours to enjoy the beautiful weather and swim before dinner. We met up with the two other CDS groups for dinner and enjoyed some laughs sharing our different trip highlights. We gave a big thank you to all our guides, teachers, and chefs for preparing the food and ingredients for our trips. We ended our trip watching the beautiful sunset with all our new friends.
The next morning we were on our way back home! I am happy to say I had an amazing time on this trip and am doubly pleased to know that it counts toward my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award too!
Of note: Our 28 student canoe trippers were divided into three groups. Seher was with the grade 10 boys and grade 11 girls led by former teacher Mr. Andy MacMillan, and his daughter Allie, as their guides. Each trip group had one experienced CDS teacher and two Camp Temagami guides who were exceptional in their experience, professionalism and patience. Mr. Mac continues to enjoy his long-standing connection with CDS and our commitment to getting students outside!
CDS wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. For thousands of years, these have been the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We also recognize the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples who also shared this land. CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for these lands and waters for future generations.
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