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I was a summer camper at Sherwood Forest Camp in Grand Rapids MN and twice I took a boundary waters canoe trip with Sherwood Campers arranged by Widjiwagan. I can remember every detail from being one of the few campers tall enough to carry a canoe, to a campsite on an island between two water falls where a lake ran in to a river. One time at this site we found an injured young man with his father,who sat him on a rock so he wouldn't bleed on the camping gear. We were all dumbfounded and I paddled with the guide across a lake to an emergency phone...no satellite or cell phones then. A plane was landing on the lake to evacuate him by the time we got back. I like to think that we might have saved his life. I developed a good deal of self reliance on these trips where your responsible behavior was vital to the success and safety of all. Certainly lessons that have carried me throughout all of life's ups and downs. Thank you Widjiwagan!
I canoed 3 summers 62, 63, 64. I can truthfully say that those weeks were some of the most rewarding and character building experiences of my early life. The physical challenges and the conquering of fear set guidelines for the future. The trips gave me a love for the north country that is still with me today. Great memories.
I was a Widji camper from 1959 through 1962, the last year being my Voyageur year. I was a Kitchen Helper in 1963, leaving for camp the day after I graduated from Sibley High School. As I'm currently working on a scrapbook of my Widji experience to bring to the 90th reunion this coming summer, I have been reflecting on my past experiences, sometimes laughing, sometimes reminiscing and sometimes bawling my eyes out. I remember growing up barely able to meet someone in the eyes and barely able to speak to that person. So shy! I credit my camping experiences to Widji, which certainly helped me grow up, to eventually becoming an instructor at Michigan State University being able to lecture with ease to over 300 students at a time. Whitey once challenged me to write a "cookbook" as food, nutrition and cooking cooking have always been a passion. Well, I met the challenge and wrote two! I taught at MSU for over 30 years. I loved camping and canoeing with a passion and have tried to pass that passion to others. Our daughter was also a Widji camper for a few years. Hope to see some long-lost friends at Widji this summer.