YMCA Camp Northern Lights is for families

YMCA Camp Northern Lights gives families time to bond, deepen their appreciation for wild places, and, if they want, gain skills for a wilderness adventure near the Boundary Waters.

Sharing the wilderness with women—of any age

“There is a measurable amount of growth with every trip and every person I take out… And it really is empowering, especially for mature women who think that, physically, they aren’t capable anymore,” wilderness guide Peta Barrett says.

Urban Boatbuilders Partnership Program Manager Collette King spent three weeks at Camp Ogiche Daa Kwe, helping campers and staff build a skin-on frame canoe, which they named Morning Light. All photos by Liz Hattemer.

Morning Light – A Canoe Built by Campers at Ogiche Daa Kwe

There is something delicate about the look of a skin-on frame canoe. In the sunlight, the wooden frame shows through its skin, as do the shadows of paddlers. Looking down into the boat, the line where water meets air is visible. Yet it is a seaworthy craft, light enough for the youngest and oldest of paddlers to carry, and, at girls’ wilderness camp Ogiche Daa Kwe, a perfect metaphor for community. Last summer, campers and staff at the Rainy Lake camp built a 17.5-foot wilderness traveler skin-on frame canoe.

Northern Lakes Canoe Base

Picture the Girl Scouts, and it’s likely that young girls selling cookies come to mind. And while that can be part of the experience, Northern Lakes Canoe Base is offering up …


Laketrails Base Camp

By Alissa Johnson When Laketrails campers arrive at base camp, costumed counselors greet them, singing and dancing, hooting and hollering, and banging on drums. “We’re famous for our welcomes of campers,” …


Northern Tier High Adventure Program

Steeped in 90 years of canoeing tradition By Alissa Johnson During the summer of 2012, the Northern Tier High Adventure Program helped 755 crews, most of them Boy Scouts, explore the …


Tim Heinle

Camp Kooch-i-ching Director  and Alumnus Tim Heinle is in his early 70s, but he still has vivid memories of his first trip to Camp Kooch-i-ching on Rainy Lake. He spent eight …


YMCA Camp Warren Turns 85

About two hours north of the Twin Cities, YMCA Camp Warren sits on Half Moon Lake near Eveleth, Minnesota. Once a summer home for the Warren Family, the land is now …


Hub’s Place – The Wilderness Research Center

The landscape of northeast Minnesota would look different today if not for the efforts of a Harvard educated, Chicago lawyer by the name of Frank Hubachek. Born in 1894 to parents of means and influence, Hubachek spent his boyhood holidays in northern Minnesota and learned at a young age the need to experience nature in unspoiled, unfenced settings. It may be tempting to assume that rich people don’t get their hands dirty, that Hubachek’s support was purely financial or legal and that the real firebrands of the wilderness preservation effort were the likes of Ernest Oberholtzer and Sigurd Olson, but you would be wrong.