Where kids become GUTSY, COURAGEOUS, SELF-ASSURED & LEARN TO TAKE RISKS.
Read below to learn more about Keewaydin and then, let’s make some plans together.
Do you know someone who might like Keewaydin? Invite them to join us for an event with the directors.
Open House Schedule
There are no Open Houses on the schedule at this time, if you or someone you know is interested in Keewaydin, please email Emily Schoelzel at [email protected] for more information!
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for Boys & Girls
Keewaydin Temagami camp provides single-gender wilderness canoe trips for boys and girls ages 10 to 18. Keewaydin remains true to the vision of our founder, A.S. Greg Clarke, “The Commodore,” who 130 years ago wanted to start a camp that focused on canoe trips.
Today we look much the same as we did in 1893; paddling in wood canvas canoes, using tump lines to portage canoes, double packs, and wannigans (the wooden boxes) in which we carry food and equipment. Meals are cooked over open fires and sections prepare all of their food from scratch. Groups (sections) of six to eight kids travel the surrounding wilderness waterways, often portaging from lake to lake or up and down rivers, making camp at new spots each night, and sleeping in tents with one or two other campers.
Campers grow with our program, returning each summer, expanding their skills, and traveling to new lakes and rivers, for longer intervals, all while enjoying the beautiful landscapes and simple living camping provides. Campers between the ages of 10-13 can attend Keewaydin for 3 or 6 weeks. Introductions to camping skills provided in the first days of camp set them up for their first 5-day canoe trip. Upon returning from their first trip, campers and their sectionmates share stories from trip and prepare for their second 10-day canoe trip.
Preparation for each trip includes learning to tump, paddle, carry their gear, and help pack the food. If your camper is attending camp for 6 weeks in the younger wigwam they will do two more trips in the second half of the summer.
For first-time campers attending Keewaydin for 6 weeks who are between the ages of 13.6 -15, they will have a similar schedule, with two canoe trips in the first half of the summer. Following our MidSeason events, this age group of campers will prepare and head out on a 21-day canoe trip! A trip that cements the Keewaydin experience for teenagers.
Traveling in the pristine wilderness of Ontario and Quebec, kids become part of a team, each member essential to the group’s success. Fun, empowering and safe excursions build outdoor skills while fostering strength, leadership, self-reliance, and confidence. Lifelong friendships are formed and campers return home with a renewed sense of self. Dive into more information by visiting our For Girls or For Boys pages.
My family and I will forever be grateful to our family friends for introducing us to Keewaydin and for the transformative experience it has provided to our oldest son and daughter. To call Keewaydin a “camp” is a misnomer; it is a challenging journey that builds resilience, grit, character and deep friendships based on shared accomplishments and moments of pure joy in the Canadian wilderness. If your son or daughter is looking for a summer experience that is like few others these days, I really encourage you to consider signing up for one of the following virtual information sessions the camp directors will be holding this fall and winter. – Ben Mulcahy, Keewaydin Temagami Parent
A camp that builds resilience, grit, character, and deep friendships.
Emily Schoelzel, Director, is dedicated to the opportunity Keewaydin gives young people to immerse themselves into a simple way of living, learning to lean upon themselves and their section during a summer away from home. Emily is thrilled to help shepherd Keewaydin traditions and welcome new and old campers and their families to Keewaydin. Emily began her career at Keewaydin in 1999 as a pioneer—helping start the girl’s program and leading the first Keewaydin girls’ trips from the shores of Devil Island. She led trips for 4 summers before switching gears to a professional wooden boat builder, and 10 summers as the Associate Director.
Over the last 20-plus years with Keewaydin she has built relationships with parents and focused on expanding Keewaydin’s risk management, social and emotional needs of campers and staff, and the quality of equipment used on the canoe trips. As the Director of Keewaydin, Emily is excited to talk with parents about the ways Keewaydin can positively impact their child’s life.
The camp is well run and very organized. Emily does an outstanding job in leading and motivating the staff and campers. I see it when I talk to my son, Grant, see his pictures and read the reports from the staff. – Alexandra Chesney, Keewaydin Temagami Parent
John Frazier, Associate Director, grew up spending summers on Lake Temagami and started at Keewaydin Temagami as a twelve-year-old camper in 1996. After six years as a camper, John joined the trip staff for eighteen years. He worked with campers in each of the age groups, from Manitou to Long Trips, and led Section A for his final eight summers on trip staff. John grew up steeped in the stories, traditions, and reverence for the experience that Keewaydin provides, with his father being deeply connected to the camp since the 1950s. After 24 years as either camper or trip leader, John has seen and felt this firsthand. As Associate Director, he is able to work with the next generation of trip leaders, campers, and parents, and assist in the day-to-day operations and ongoing stewardship of the camp’s values.
Founded in 1893 by A.S. Gregg Clarke and located on Devil’s Island on Lake Temagami in Ontario, Canada, Keewaydin is the world’s oldest canoe-tripping camp. The camp remains true to Clarke’s vision: to operate a program focused on wilderness canoe tripping, with minimum time spent in base camp. Traveling in wood and canvas canoes, using leather tumplines, and following routes that are centuries old, there is not much that has changed at Keewaydin since 1893.
At Devil’s Island, we embrace our traditions and we employ the most up-to-date outdoor education best practices and philosophies. Our youngest campers, ages 10-15, use Devil’s Island as their home base. When in camp, they stay in cabins, eat meals in our dining hall, and enjoy the slower pace of base camp. They have time to play basketball, tennis, tetherball, ping pong, write a letter home, do their laundry, take a hot shower, and prepare for their next canoe trip. Our older campers who participate in longer canoe trips will come to Devil’s Island for a night before departing on their summer-long adventures. In August, the whole camp returns for our EndSeason, each section paddling into our docks, sharing in the community experience, and telling stories.
Keewaydin Foundation Land Acknowledgment
The Keewaydin Foundation acknowledges that our organization and camp programs are based on the traditional territories of the Western Abenaki and the Teme-Augama Anishinabai. We respect their past, present, and future generations, the land, and their traditions. We are grateful for the opportunity to gather, learn, and travel on these lands and waterways.
You can learn more about the Vermont Abenaki here and more about Temagami First Nation here.