The History of Becoming A Boundary Waters Family
Last winter, some Gunflint Trail Outfitters got together and began to envision ways to support Boundary Waters adventures for families. We wanted to take the mystery out of canoe camping—and the 6 of us initiated a program called BECOMING A BOUNDARY WATERS FAMILY.
(Andy and Shelby)
Dave and the boys.
We’re continuing free seminars for families on Tuesdays this summer. All of the outfitters on the Gunflint Trail will participate, along with US Forest Service Rangers.
We approached Kelly Dupre to help us spruce up our Woods Wisdom ideas–add some images and some whirly-gig activities. We had envisioned some pdf files.
Well, it turns out that Kelly Dupre doesn’t just spruce up a project.
She took hold of this idea and ran with it, and she pulled me along with her. She’s an animated educator, advocate for children, avid outdoors woman, author, illustrator, connector,—all around pretty amazing person.
And, she’s fun. So, this winter I’ve been drinking a lot a lot of licorice tea in her kitchen, as she has shepherded us through a book project. She does FABULOUS work.
In the meantime, the Forest Service has been supporting the project as well—they are equally enthusiastic about getting kids in the woods. Jon Benson added expertise in editing to the book, and joined us with his Ranger buddy Ryan at the Canoecopia show in Madison. He’s sitting by the mock campfire to be approachable. Not a slacker, nosirreeee! Neither one of them. They brought Smokey out of hibernation, and hauled him along with them. And you can see, even if it might have been a bit warm for Smokey inside the building, a little sweatiness was not keeping children away.
It is really rewarding to share our “secret.”
We know that there is great joy to be found in the BWCAW…and actually it just might be most accessible through 4 year old eyes.
(Excerpt from the book)
“We believe the natural world holds fundamental value for kids’ physical, emotional, and cognitive well being. We’ve experienced the amazing power of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We’ve seen the ways it call calm and focus children at the same time it stimulates their senses. We want to welcome you and your kids to this place that our families love.”