This is a three-week white water canoeing expedition in New England's largest undeveloped region, the Maine Northwoods. This trip is geared for teens and will include paddling on whitewater section up to class III.
Your wilderness classroom will be the rivers in the headwaters of the Penobscot and Kennebec watersheds in Maine's Northwoods, the land that Thoreau immortalized in The Maine Woods. This five million acre forest has a vast history.
The indigenous Abenaki people lived along the banks of these rivers during the winter, planted crops in the spring, and then traveled downstream by canoe to coastal summer sites. After the discovery of massive white pines in the 17th century, these waterways were used by Europeans to transport logs from the forests to the mills downstream. Today, some of the forest is protected for recreation and the lakes and rivers are used primarily by canoeists, fisherman, and other recreationalists.
Your course starts with learning paddle strokes such as the draw, pry, and J-stroke. In tandem canoes. You will progress to running white water of increasing difficulty. You will learn how to scout a rapid, reading the river: picking out the lines that you want to paddle and the hazards that you want to avoid. You may also learn how to line (guiding your canoe with ropes down un-run able rapids) and poling (the art of guiding a canoe in white water with a 12 foot “setting pole” rather than a paddle).
You will learn how to safely swim rapids in the event of a capsize, self rescue your self and canoe, set up safety systems for the group and perform rescues drills. After mastering the skills in tandem boats you may learn to paddle solo white water boats depending on water levels and paddling skills.
Your group will learn to cook simple but nourishing food using backpacking stoves and on open fires. Baking in Dutch ovens daily provides fresh bread for lunch and dinner. You will camp in either two - or four-person tents, and the group will divide and share the camp chores on a daily basis.
To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.