Teens enter essay contest for chance to win “no parents” BWCA trip

teen BWCA essay contest
Past trip winners and participants. (Photos courtesy Ely Outfitting Company)

An Ely, Minnesota canoe outfitter is sponsoring an essay contest for teenagers, seeking to promote Boundary Waters paddling, and connecting with the outdoors. The writer of the winning essay receives a parent-free, fully outfitted five-day canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for themselves and up to three friends.

“Recent studies show that young people today spend as little as four to seven minutes outside each day – less time outside than prison inmates,” said Ely Outfitting Co. owner Jason Zabokrtsky. “The Boundary Waters Teen Essay Contest is a celebration of unstructured time outside. It’s a chance to prove that young people can safely challenge themselves in the outdoors and return more confident leaders and self-reliant individuals.”

The contest sponsored by Ely Outfitting Co. is open to current high school sophomores, juniors and seniors anywhere in the US. Essays should answer the question: Why do you want to go on a parent-free BWCA Wilderness canoe-camping adventure with your friends? Parent permission is required, and the outfitter stresses safety, accessibility and wilderness travel skills.

Participants have just a few days left to enter, the entry deadline is Feb. 4, 2024.

In addition to Zabokrtsky, contest judges include podcaster Joe Friedrichs, Joseph Goldstein, founder of Kids for the Boundary Waters, and Cory Kolodji, long-time educator and wilderness guide.

More information:

Ely Outfitting Company Teen Essay Contest

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