A Look Back at 2017

As we say goodbye to 2017 and look forward to the open waters and blue skies of 2018, here is a glimpse of the smiles and adventures of last summer.




Time Changes and Falling Back into Summer Memories

As the days grow shorter, we dream of being back on Temagami. The longer days, slower pace, and extended time outside are missing in our daily routines of school and work.  While memories, pictures, and stories take us back to those days of summer, the real power of a Wabun summer comes precisely at this time of year. The newness of school is over and most of us have faced challenges either in the classroom, on the athletic field or stage, or with friends. It is at these times that you need to draw on the strength you have stored up from summer. Think back on those accomplishments and remember that you have strength you didn’t know existed. Lean on your section, they may be thousands of miles away, but together you can accomplish anything, so reach out. We will be sending out address lists before Thanksgiving, but email Jess if you need one before then.


As we turn our focus to Summer 2018, we wanted everyone to have links to 2017 Section Alignment and Itinerary.  We’re putting together slideshows and videos of last summer, so send  Sarah your best photos/videos to include!


Here are the Wabun canoes snuggled in for their long winter’s nap.


Mid-Season Mega Post!

We have been busy with seven sections for the past week. Here is an update on all the comings and goings. We’ll work to get more photos up in the next few days.


Wabun E: The Wabun basecamp staff celebrated Bastille Day on Friday, July 14th by welcoming the Wabun E boys back into camp. The boys just came off a 10-day trip to Red Squirrel Lake and all were in good health and good spirits, ready to rejuvenate and get back out into the bush as soon as possible. While in basecamp, there was a rousing game of Bingo, a few games of “Mafia,” and even more games of “Magic: The Gathering” played. The boys were teaching the basecamp staff how to play this complicated game, and it turned out to be quite fun. All the boys were eager to try out the new “Tiki Toss” game installed on the porch. Tiki Toss is simply a pendulum: a string hanging from the ceiling with a ring attached to the bottom, and the goal is to use the pendulum to get the ring on a metal hook attached to the wall. This produced hours of fun for the Wabun E boys as well as the rest of the sections who have come through base camp. The Wabun E boys have since left for their second trip: 9 days to Center Falls and Diamond Lake.


Wenonah: The Wenonah girls arrived on the morning of July 16th, the same day that the Wabun E boys left for their second trip. The girls came off a 6-day trip to Diamond, Wakimika, and Obabika lakes. These girls made it in for mid-season, said goodbye to their beloved Lucia, who was only at camp for the first three week session and read a log at the mid-season campfire, telling all about the adventures of their first three weeks. It continues to be clear that these girls are an amazingly cohesive group, very caring and supportive of one another, and they will only grow stronger in the second half of the summer. Lucia may be gone, but they gained another camper: River, and they are excited to bring River into the fold of this special group.


Wabun C: The Wabun C boys also came into basecamp on the morning of July 16th, off a 9-day trip down the Temagami River. They also read a log at the mid-season campfire, revealing that they have a motley crew of boys indeed, but all the Wabun C characters complement each other nicely. The boys got a taste of whitewater during this last trip, paddling down the Temagami River. Whitewater is a lot of fun, and this stint on the Temagami River taught them how to read moving water and maneuver canoes, preparing them well for their next adventure: a 22-day trip to Wabun Lake and the Wanapitei River. We are so excited to see the boys return to base camp on August 7th!


Cayuga C: The Cayuga C girls arrived on the Wabun beach the morning of July 17th, coming in from their 8-day trip to Mountain Lake. The girls did a lot of great work, moving quickly through the water and land, and were rewarded by having quite a few half days (in addition to a rest day on Mountain Lake). While in basecamp, the girls enjoyed swimming, re-outfitting, and hanging out and talking as a whole group, which says a lot about their strong group dynamics. If the girls still want to spend so much time with each other after being together 24/7 out in the bush, the girls must really like each other. The Cayuga C girls left for their 21-day trip to Wabun Lake, a rite of passage for many Wabun campers. Although there will be much portaging, they’ll be rewarded with spectacular waterfalls, crystal-clear mineral lakes, and an introduction to whitewater on the Sturgeon River. We cannot wait to hear their stories when they return to base camp on the 7th!


Chippy N, Chippy T, Wawatay: At long last, the Chippies and Wawatays have arrived to basecamp! They arrived the evening of July 18th, and after a day of outfitting food, learning to paddle and tump, they headed out for six days on their first trip. The Chippy Ns will be going to Skunk and Gull Lakes, the Chippy Ts will be traveling through KoKoKo, Cross, and Wasakina Lakes, and the Wawatays will be doing the Cross/Wasaksina Loop in reverse. For most of the campers, this is their first taste of canoe tripping, and they are so lucky to be canoe tripping in the Temagami Lakes Region of eastern Ontario.




Cayuga C, Wabun C, and Wabun B return!

Wabun C: On the morning of July 6th the Wabun C boys paddled in from their 8-day trip to Hobart Lake

Wabun C on Maple Mountain

via Lady Evelyn lake. On their trip they took a rest day to climb the popular “Maple Mountain” and snap some beautiful photos. Once they returned to base camp, they finished their section chores quickly so that they could have some valuable free time. The boys got a chance to play “Mafia” with the Cayuga C girls section and write some letters home. Today they are hoping to complete a base-camp compass orienteering course and have some relaxation time before they head back out tomorrow and have some more fun in the bush. The boys leave tomorrow morning for their 9-day trip to the Temagami River.


Cayuga C Getting Ready to Outfit

Cayuga C: On the morning of July 6th, the Cayuga girls section also paddled onto the shores of Wabun beach. Most of these girls have tripped together before, whether it was last year or in years prior, and as they returned from this trip it was nice to see that the girls have again formed an amazingly cohesive section. Canoe tripping certainly bonds kids together in a special way. These girls were also on an 8-day trip, going to, among others, Cross Lake and Wasaksina Lake. They had an especially fun evening at “The Heights” campsite, where they created “Hammock City.” These girls are pros – back at base camp they finished their section work quickly, and today they are re-outfitting their provisions and getting ready for their next trip: 10 days to Mountain Lake. Today, they have a fun-filled day planned before they head back out to do some hard (but rewarding and fun) work in the bush.


Wabun B: This morning, July 7th, the Wabun B boys paddled in from a 9-day trip to Hobart Lake via Diamond and Obabika lakes. They also enjoyed a climb up “Maple Mountain,” although on a different day than the Wabun C boys made the ascent. Amazingly, they saw a five eagles

Wabun B Returns!

and five otters on their trip. When the boys returned to Wabun, they were greeted with hugs by the sections and base camp staff on the beach, and then began to swiftly unload their canoes like professionals. The communication, camaraderie, and cooperation these young men demonstrated in the simple act of effectively and efficiently unloading their canoes and taking their gear up to their cabin offers a small window into their strong bond and interdependence. For the next two days they will be busily preparing to head out for their 4-week trip down the Missinaibi River. The Missinaibi is a beautiful river to the northwest of Temagami that ultimately flows into James Bay. Once their trip is through, they will load all their canoes and gear onto a train and take an awesome ride back south from the coast toward Wabun. This river and trip is a favorite among many Wabun staff/alumni, and the boys are sure to have an unforgettable time.

Wenonahs & Wabun E Depart for their Second Trip

On July 2nd the Wenonah girls section paddled in from their first trip. After 4 days in the bush, paddling around Lake Temagami and KoKoKo Lake, the five girls returned with stronger tripping skills and stronger muscles! The group then spent two days at base camp, doing laundry, cleaning out their tents, and re-outfitting their food for the upcoming trip. Although their last trip offered quite a bit of rain, the girls kept their spirits high, and they were rewarded by paddling back out in gorgeous sunny weather this morning. They are now on a five-day trip through Cross and Wasaksina Lakes, a route well-traveled by Camp Wabun.

The Wabun E boys trip arrived on the morning of July 3rd. The new campers are getting the hang of the “Wabun Way,” and the seasoned campers are becoming be even better trippers by learning to stern in the “camper canoe” and carry that canoe on portages. The boys also did their laundry and re-outfitted, etc., and they found some time to relax by challenging the Wenonah girls to “Catchphrase” and a ball game called “Nuke ‘Em.” Wabun E will leave tomorrow on their 9-day trip to Mountain Lake.

Both trips took some time to write letters home, swim off the Wabun dock, and some even took a keen interest in learning to tie knots. Although base camp is fun, and offers some of the comforts of home (like dining room tables and bed bunks), all the staff and campers of these two trips certainly are/will be excited to return to the bush and the simple comforts that come along with that life.  

Wabun E Departing for a Mountain Lake Trip

Wenonahs Departing on Their Second Trip

Announcing Wabun’s Inaugural Family Trip

Have you always wanted to get a taste of the Wabun Way? We are thrilled to announce Wabun’s inaugural family trip. If you are interested, download the registration here or email Jess with questions. 


Countdown to Camp & Spring Newsletter!

Two months from today, campers will be waking up after having spent their first night on Garden Island and Wabun’s 2017 Season will be underway.  As route planning and ideas for opening work projects are well underway, the spring newsletter is available for those of us who are ready to trade in textbooks for canoe paddles! Although sections are filling fast, there are still spaces available. For more information, contact Jessica Lewis at jess@wabun.com  or fill out an application.

Click on the Spring Newsletter below to read the articles and see the smiling faces!

Happy Reading! See you in June!!


2016: A Retrospective

As 2016 draws to a close, look back and celebrate all the kilometers traveled, bannocks baked, and laughter shared this summer at Wabun.  Enjoy the memories that come flooding back with the retrospective video and remember to join us at an upcoming open house, fill out a 2017 application, and reach our to sectionmates! Thank you 2016 campers and staff for a wonderful 84th season!

Happy New Year! See you in June!



Nurturing Resilience

“Summer Camps Make Kids Resilient”


This article appeared several years ago in Psychology Today and confirms what we know about the benefits of a Wabun experience. A parent recently shared her reflections on picking up her daughter at summer’s end.


I think it was the car ride home when she said it. Jo was in the back seat gazing out the window, far from her canoe’s stern seat on the Missinaibi River. But I think that’s what she was seeing in her mind’s eye, the long view over water and scrubby vegetation that opeslide_musclesns up to the sky of the far north: 

“You know, the more beautiful stuff you look at, the healthier your eyes get.”

All summer this theory, proposed by her bowman Annie, had been a guiding point for them. Living with the land, following the water, reading the sky, their journey took them far from the ease of home. With each sunset or waterfall, I imagine them turning to each other knowing that yes, their eyes were growing stronger, and so was their friendship, their inner strength, their physical endurance, their freedom.


If you are interested in learning more about Wabun’s incredible program,

email Director Jessica Lewis jess@wabun.com or visit an open house in your area.


Antidote to Darkness: A Dose of Wabun D!

As the days get shorter and we lose Vitamin D, enjoy a glimpse of bright sunny days and the fun that Wabun D had this summer!  A big thank you to Headstaff Colin Hartzell for putting the video together and leading this extraordinary group of young men!