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LeCastor

Region 7 Northern Wisconsin Canoe Base, Boulder Junction

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I have been doing research on high adventure in Scouting and, since I live in Wisconsin, I am especially interested in the former Region 7 Explorer Canoe Base/Northern Wisconsin Canoe Base near Boulder Junction, WI. I know of a site that was set up online several years back for staff alumni but the stories there are more from the 1930s and 1940s.

 

http://www.w9fz.com/canoebase/

 

I'm interested to hear any personal stories or anecdotes of being on staff during the 1970s. What was it like there? What were some of the activities? Any photos from the trips?

 

For a Boy's Life article from 1972, please view page six in the link below:

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=sfXpaT4q89EC&printsec=frontcover&rview=1&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

******

 

(In addition, I hear that this Canoe Base was a popular place to conduct Wood Badge during the 1960s. Did anyone participate there? What was it like? Photos?)

 

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I realize this is more a history topic but it still seems valid in regards to high adventure. We can learn from these experiences and use them for today's programming. Also, I know that Northern Tier exists today but I still am interested to know more about Wisconsin's Scouting heritage.

 

Looking forward to hearing some fun stories!

 

Yours in Scouting,

 

LeCastor

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What memories! I learned to canoe at the old Region 7 Canoe Base on White Sand Lake in the late 60's as a scout and took our troop up there four times as SM. Great water, lots of mosquitoes, and a wood burning sauna that felt heavenly after a long week's trip! I do have some pics (all slides I think) and could dig them out of the attic if you would like.

 

Dale

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I went to Region 7 Canoe  base as a Life Scout.  We had a group of about 10 from our troop from Woodridge, IL, a suburb of Chicago.

It was one of the hardest things I had ever done up until that time but I (we) loved it.  It was a 50 mile canoe trip where we portage at least 5 times.  It was beautiful and I think about it often.  This think that this was in the summer of 1969 - I had just graduated 8th grade.

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Never a staffer, but back when my Troop went in 1980 & 1981, I think, it was referred to as the "Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base".

I seem to remember a total of six high adventure bases being listed at the time: Philmont, the Sea Base, what is now Northern Teir, Land-Between-The-Lakes in Kentucky, the Wisconsin Canoe Base and something in Maine(?).

We also did the 50 miler afloat one year. And we kind of wish we hadn't. We were doing a "whitewater trip" that year and between the distance and our conservation work we didn't feel like we had enough time to "play" in the whitewater. But some great memories. In spite of all the mosquitoes...

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I just finished a book,Up a Creek, With a Paddle. The first third of the book is about Region 7 Canoe Base. You might enjoy the rueful write-ups. To quote from the publisher's ad,

Up a Creek, With a Paddle is an intimate and often humorous memoir by the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen, who holds the distinction of being the best-selling living sociologist today. Rivers are good metaphors for life, and paddling for living. In this little book, Loewen skillfully makes these connections without sermonizing, resulting in nuggets of wisdom about how to live, how to act meaningfully, and perhaps how to die. Loewen also returns to his life’s work and gently addresses the origins of racism and inequality, the theory of history, and the ties between the two. But mostly, as in his life, he finds rueful humor in every canoeing debacle—and he has had many!

 

It's cheap, $15.95 list, and has various line drawings as illustrations throughout. On the back is a photo I took for Canoe Base promotional materials in about 1963, a beautiful B/W photo of four canoes on White Sand Lake.

The best way to get the book is through the publisher, PM Press, at

https://www.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1139

because they have a discount: Use the code "TALES" and you get 40% off. You can also get this book at list price (!) from Amazon, but whoever heard of paying list price at Amazon?!! So if you want to do that, instead I suggest you order it thru your local bookstore.

And I do invite your feedback after you read it. I hope you enjoy it! -- Jim Loewen, Canoe Base staff, 1960-64.

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Having read the article, I really liked how the prices of the different HA bases were more affordable.  Imagine Philmont costing $60.  Boy have things changed.  I saw a 2021 Jamboree price at a council near Summit being $1500.

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