Mic Macs & Chippewas: Age 7-10 Campers
The Mic Mac and Chippewa tribes are known around camp as the Mics 'n Chipps. The Mic-Mac tribe is age 7-8, the Chipp tribe is age 9-10.
The Mic 'n Chipp program has its own unique flavor at Pathfinder, but it often merges and shares exciting events with the whole camp community. These young campers are the stars of Pathfinder, because they represent the next generation of canoe trippers and counselors.
These boys live in rustic cabins called Lodges, along the front shore of Pathfinder Island. Lodges accommodate 6-8 boys and 3 staff men. Senior counselors live in each Lodge, and a camp director is in charge of this age group overall.
Mic-Mac Campers, age 7-8, may attend one of two special One-week sessions. Age 8 Campers may attend for 2-weeks or 3 1/2-weeks. The perfect first Pathfinder experience for this age group, the short sessions give them all the excitement of both the in-camp activities and a first canoe trip experience.
Chippewa Campers, age 9-10, have the same great choices Pathfinder has traditionally offered. The Chipps may attend for a 2-week session, or a customary 3 1/2-week session. The older and more experienced of the Chipps get to have a 4-7 day canoe trip and spend time in activities with age-11 Crees.
A Mic Chipp day probably includes lodge clean-up after the all-camp breakfast; a morning of exploration, swim class and a sports period; then lunch and a rest hour; an afternoon of choosing favorite activities; later, an evening program after dinner is the chance to play all-camp games with the big guys.
Evening free swim is a favorite, followed by call to quarters, when counselors read to the boys before lights out. Tomorrow may bring a canoe trip!
Crees: Age 11-12 Campers
The Cree tribe is a large and busy group at Pathfinder. These boys are age 11-12, taking full advantage of everything Camp has to offer, both on the Island and on the trail.
Crees live in tent lodges along the waterfront. Each tent has a counselor and three boys. The boys have small group instructional periods in the morning, and optionals in the afternoons. Typically, a Cree may be swimming and climbing or paddling in the morning, and choosing from sailing, kayaking, archery, mountain biking, athletics or survival skills after lunch.
Canoe trips for Crees are exciting, with treks of 3 days to a week at a time, exploring all corners of Algonquin. This is the age when many Cree boys get hooked on tripping and start building up their tripping resumes to get ready for 2-week and even 3-week trips as older campers. Their growing size and strength make for fast and fun woods travel.
For Crees, social interactions with peers and counselors are all-important. The camp staff works hard with this age group to encourage positive friendships and to help boys learn how to interact with peers, to pull together on tasks, to treat each other as they would like to be treated in return. This is also an age when the boys aspire to expertise in athletics, canoeing, swimming, climbing and camping skills. A counselor's dream, the Cree camper wants to learn how to do it right and do it well.
Ottawas: Age 13-14 Campers
The Otts are a tribe of trippers, likely paddling in the backcountry for more than half their camp stay of 25 days. Their in-camp time includes opportunities to focus on high achievement in camp sports. Ott campers have the chance to practice leadership skills, and to be more independent in their living areas and activity choices.
The "Otts" still have Pathfinder counselors who live in a 1:3 ratio per each tent lodge, but the campers are at the age to choose how they will handle their clean-up duties, divide responsibilities, and agree to 'house rules' in their living areas. Otts are able to sign up for all-day out trips on trail bikes or in kayaks. They can push their limits at ropes-challenge and survival skills. And they can reach for the highest skill levels in swimming and canoeing.
Ott trips are exciting, often a week to 10+ days at a time. Once they have adequate Algonquin experience, Ott trippers venture outside Algonquin on treks into Temagami and other areas of Ontario.
Being an Ott also means being an active part of sustaining Pathfinder traditions, whether it's leadership at a council fire, showing friendship to younger campers, helping with conservation and island stewardship, or setting a good example for the camp in partnership with the staff.
AA's: Age 15 Campers
AAs is the old Pathfinder jargon for 'Activity Assistants,' the oldest campers and those who are canoe tripping in preparation for invitation to the staff ranks next year.
This is the ultimate summer for trips, and AAs will typically go on a 17-25 day canoe adventure during this year. Some boys attend for the full summer and are likely to have over 40 days of tripping before it's over. Their journeys take AAs down rivers in northern and western Ontario or Quebec. The bonds of friendship and the feelings of accomplishment are lifelong.
AAs who show real leadership potential and are steeped in Pathfinder values may be invited to join the CIT Leaders Program in the coming year, beginning a 3-year staff apprenticeship at Pathfinder.