With so many parents fearful about long distance travel during the pandemic, Wilderness Works took advantage of a Summer 2020 guide service offer by sending a small group of senior Wilderness Works campers on a Boundary Waters canoe expedition in upstate Minnesota. The Land of 10,000 Lakes did not disappoint. Several portages and many scenic vistas framed four epic days on the water. We salvaged a spectacular value through the guide service itinerary, and added another trip to our history of sending underserved children into the wilderness. All of this amidst a very challenging summer.
Wilderness Works offers long distance, longer duration trips to our youth who have “grown up” in our programs. They earn their spot by making steady progress over the years and finally reach our most challenging level: Field Camp. Now they discover new worlds and real engagement.
Our Field Camp often involves demanding, strenuous multi-day deep woods backpacking in national parks and forests. On this recent excursion, the challenge came in the form of gale force winds. On our third day of canoeing, winds that we had not expected or experienced buffeted our three canoes. We had a destination we needed to reach, but the wind was blowing right in our faces. What began as a moderately challenging distance on our itinerary became a very strenuous effort. For five whole hours, we battled the headwinds that seemed intent on stopping us from getting where we were going. It was a struggle. A couple times we wanted to quit. But the determination and will to reach our destination eventually won. In a way, that day illustrated what Wilderness Works is all about. Overcoming adversity, rising to meet challenges, and continuing to strive and work toward goals even in bad circumstances – these are the ideals that our Wilderness Works children learn through participating in our programs.
It was a tough day, but there were many other days of gorgeous scenery, of incredible weather, and of fellowship with some young men who have been involved with Wilderness Works for years.
We continue to be grateful to our friends at Julie’s Dream. Without their continued support, this trip, and many others like it, would not be possible for the underserved children of Atlanta that Wilderness Works has been working for since 1997.