Be a Happy Camper


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    Is there something keeping you from being a happy camper?  A recent survey conducted by the DNR determined some folks don’t camp because they don’t know how to.  “This came as somewhat of a surprise for those of us who have been involved with camping and outdoor activities from childhood,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation. “It stands to reason, if you haven’t had the experience or training, a new venture can be intimidating.”

     This does not surprise me since my family never went camping.  The only camping experiences I had as a child were once at a Girl Scout Camp and once when the church youth group went camping in a campground.  My family didn’t own a tent and I think we had one army sleeping bag of my dads between the four of us.  When we vacationed we stayed in motels and on the pavement(no hiking or paddling).

     Camping and spending time in the great outdoors is the best experience there is.  When you’re paddling or hiking your senses are awakened and your mind is cleared.  Peace and tranquility wash over you as everday troubles disappear.  It is an experience people of all ages and abilities should experience and this is the reason I outfit canoe trips into the wilderness.  

     At Voyageur Canoe Outfitters we help people get out into the woods.  Our complete outfitting package is designed so people without any camping gear or prior camping experience can come up and get out into the great outdoors.  We spend as much time or as little time with groups as needed.  If people want us to show them how to set up the tent, portage the canoe, start the stove or paddle a canoe then we’ll teach them how.   That’s what we are here for and that’s what we enjoy.  

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  We feel it is especially important to get kids into the outdoors.  We offer great rates for children and youth groups and helped create the Gunflint Trail’s very own program, Becoming a Boundary Waters Family.  This is where families can vacation at any of the resorts on the Gunflint Trail from June 16-July 14th and participate at any number of the seminars put on at various businesses.  There’s clinics on paddling, portaging, cooking, navigating and much more.  It’s an awesome opportunity for you to learn all there is to know about camping and experience the great outdoors. 

     If you can’t get all of the way up to the Gunflint Trail this summer then be sure to check out the State Parks new program, "I Can Camp".  They have partnered with REI and are offering a terrific program for families to learn how to camp.  The best part about their program is it is practically free. They teach you how to camp, how to cook, provide the meal and provide the equipment for only $7.00/adult and $5.00/youth!  I wish I could go check it out because it sounds awesome.  You can find out more about this opportunity on this website or call REI in Roseville or Maple Grove.

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    With all of these wonderful opportunities there is no excuse to not be a happy camper.  These experiences are not only educational and affordable but also can be life changing.  Teaching your child the benefits of the great outdoors and experiencing them yourself is probably better for you than eating right and getting exercise.  Start today by thinking, I Can Camp, I Can Camp, I Can Camp then pick up the phone,  make plans to Become a Boundary Waters Family, visit Voyageur and most importantly be a happy camper.