Overview of Wabun’s Program
Boys & Girls – Experience leads us to believe that there is a special dynamic that occurs in a single-sex group, therefore Wabun does not offer co-ed canoe tripping. Girls’ sections with female staff operate independently of boys’ sections which are led by male staff. The ratio of staff to campers ranges from 1:2 to 1:6 depending on the ages and experience of the campers. Campers are divided into canoe-trip sections based on age, grade, experience and physical stature.
All Sections – Chopping wood, cooking over an open fire, and the multitude of chores that need to be completed around a campsite help campers learn the value of cooperation in a group as everyone has an important task to accomplish. Under the guidance of experienced staff members, campers learn significant lessons in leadership and have a chance to develop new cooking and camping skills and polish up those that they have brought with them to Wabun. Campers of all ages find that paddling, portaging and running whitewater gets them into exceptional physical condition and prepares them well for their return to for soccer, football, field hockey, tennis and cross-country teams at school.
Younger Sections (10-12) – Younger campers will travel Lake Temagami and beyond, across Diamond, Wakimka, Obabika and Kokoko Lakes and perhaps into the Lady Evelyn and Wakimika Rivers. Their first trip will be away from base camp for four nights while new skills and techniques are introduced. Later trips will go farther afield with the last away from base camp for nearly two weeks.
Middle Sections (13-15) – Middle sections will range farther from base camp perhaps onto Florence, Pinetorch, Wawiagama or Chiniguchi Lakes or down the Makoke, Temagami, Sturgeon or Montreal Rivers. Their longest expedition may have them away from base camp for up to three weeks. They will be comfortable navigating waterways, portaging canoes and gear, and experiencing whitewater.
Senior Sections (15-18) – Senior campers spend most of their summer on rivers. The “B” sections will take two trips, the first of two weeks duration in the Temagami Region followed by a twenty-six to twenty-eight day trip farther north in Ontario or into nearby Quebec to run the whitewaters of the Coulonge, Missinabi, or Dumoine Rivers. The Ultimate adventure, for experienced campers, is the six week “A” sections who paddle to James or Hudon Bay on the major rivers above the Arctic Divide in Ontario or Quebec. These campers must develop self reliance as they will see few people during their travels other than the sparse populations of the northern Cree settlements. Their journey follows the routes of the indigenous people early fur traders down rivers such as the Attawapiskat, Winisk, Fawn and Severn Rivers in northern Ontario and the Rupert in Quebec.
Staff – Sections are led by mature, experienced staff, a number of whom are parents themselves. Head staff are at least twenty-one, and assistant staff are at least seventeen. The majority of Wabun staff members are former Wabun campers and are expert in the use of all Wabun equipment. All trip staff are required to hold current certification in Wilderness Water Safety, Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness Advanced First Aid and CPR.
Equipment – Wabun provides canoes, paddles, life jackets, tents and cooking gear. Campers need to provide personal clothing and a sleeping bag. A ground sheet, duffle and tump strap can be purchased at Wabun. There are detailed clothing lists available on the camper page.