Maggie’s Story (by staffer Maggie)

As summer quickly approaches, my ability to focus on school work declines. May 21st cannot come soon enough.

I first began working at Tuscarora last summer. I discovered the job opportunity online and it became increasingly evident to me that spending another summer in a city simply would not do, so I took it. A three month long experience to fish, camp, canoe, and swim [and yes, Sue, work] in one of the most pristine areas of the U.S. could not passed up. Within the first few weeks as an employee, I had listened intently to the eerie sound of wolves howling to one another at dusk and had seen moose calves trot by the Dining Hall. When living in the woods 40-something miles from any town for a summer, these things are expected. After all, I took this job because in order to experience this on a daily basis.

Now, as I sit at my small desk attempting to study the “Strategic Planning for Wildlife Conservation”, my mind begins to wander: right onto highway 53 north, right onto highway 61 north, left onto the gunflint trail. Never has the Boundary Waters meant so much to me. As a twenty-year-old college student, I have had the wonderful pleasure of venturing into the Boundary Waters 25 times. 25 times. I cannot be thankful enough for these opportunities-most women will never get this chance and if they do, they will choose not to take it. In a world where makeup, parties, and gossip rule in the lives of young women, I have chosen fishing and camping, kayaking and hiking. Now, don’t get me wrong-as a sophomore at UW-Madison, I have experienced and actually enjoyed the makeup and parties. But, what truly makes me happy is being woken by the sound of a calling loon, or by a bright moon shining through the vent in my tent. This is something that cannot be explained to someone who has never experienced it. “Cool” they might say, but with very little recognition of the fact that this place I am describing to them is wild; it’s actually happening. The sound of the loon is not coming from a recording in a museum or a National Geographic special, and the light shining into my tent is not the product of a street lamp outside. And this is why I will be returning to Tuscarora for another summer: to experience all of these wonderful things yet again.

The Boundary Waters is a place of solitude and peace. It is where I have learned the most, grown the most, and seen things that not even National Geographic can capture. It is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth.

To all families: Children are never too young for canoeing, fishing, and camping, so start them off early in life!

3 Responses

  1. KEN says:

    Great article, so good to see sombody is paying attention to the most important thing in Life, LIFE ITSELF. Wish i could be there, so nice to see people understanding things other than the current run of “reality” TV
    Ken Fordahl

  2. Hey Ken–Glad to hear from you! Great your nice family for us would you?

  3. Beth (Huyber) Driskell says:

    Thank you Maggie,
    Your story took me back some 15+ years when I was returning to Tuscarora for my 2nd summer on staff. I spent 3 years there and as you said, I learned the most, grew the most and love that place like no other.
    When I’m tucking my 2 boys in for the night, they often ask…. “mom, will you tell us a story about when you lived in the Boundary Waters?”
    Have a great summer Maggie!