50 Days of Brotherhood

On July 1st they board yellow school buses in Algonquin Park, destined for remote northern regions of Ontario that few in the city would recognize - Aubrey Falls, Wawa or Gogama. They are full of apprehension for the journey ahead, some of them meeting their cabinmates for the first time. Over the next fifty days, they will paddle and portage their way back to Algonquin Park, covering close to 1,000 kilometres over the Canadian Shield.

The distance covered is no small feat of physical strength, but even more impressive are the leaps and bounds these young men grow in working together. There is no room for egos in the boat and teamwork is the only way to persevere. By the end of the trip, the boys work as one and their relationship with each other changes from one of friendship to brotherhood. The bonds they form on these trips will last a lifetime, proven by the alumni of fifty-day trips that have gone before them, dating back to 1965.

“My favourite part of trip was watching the kids develop over fifty days. It’s pretty cool when you get seven 16 year-old boys together and on day one they’re not really working together as a team, arguing about little things and struggling with the longer days. By the time you are into days thirty, forty and then day fifty, you’re just working so well together, everyone is getting along, and you’re just moving so much faster than you were at the beginning.” – A 50 Day Staff Member 

We’re calling these three trips the 50 Days of Brotherhood.

Lake Superior Provincial Park to Algonquin Provincial Park

Aubrey Falls to Algonquin Provincial Park

Groundhog Lake - North of Gogama to Algonquin Provincial Park

A big thank you to the campers and staff of the Fifty Day trips for sharing their stories and the staff of The Taylor Statten Camps for allowing us to share those stories with you. For more information on the Fifty Day trip and other canoe trips offered by the camps, please visit: TSC – Canoe Tripping Program.