A group of DeKalb’s Boy Scouts Troop 33 recently enjoyed paddling in one of the greatest canoe areas in the world, a recent news release said. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota is situated along the international border with Canada.
Boundary Waters covers roughly the northern third of the Superior National Forest, headquartered in Ely, Minn. Created tens of thousands of years ago, glaciers scraped and gouged out rugged cliffs and crags, canyons, gentle hills, towering rock formations, rocky shores, sandy beaches and several thousand lakes which are now covered by a blanket of scenic virgin forest.
The Boy Scouts had the opportunity to paddle into a wilderness area covering more than 1 million acres along the international boundary with Canada. Their canoe route provided an opportunity to paddle, portage and camp in the spirit of the French voyageurs of 200 years ago. Portages are a means of traveling from one lake to another across land, a challenging activity that requires moving all canoes, food, camping and personal equipment along a rugged trail. The boys rose to the challenge, working as a team to overcome portages along their route.
In the wilderness, Scouts enjoyed the freedom to experience an expansive solitude, physical challenge and personal integration with nature. They spent long sun-filled days paddling and fishing, camping and journeying deeper into unknown places.
They ventured into an area where no glass, cans or motors are allowed. The only sounds to be heard were the wind, rushing rapids, native birds and their own laughter. Meals were cooked and each night, food had to be made safe from bears that, along with moose, make this place their home.
After a week of wilderness adventure, they returned to DeKalb.