First Half 2016 is On

For our July 1 Big Moment, Pathfinder opened the 103rd season with 127 excited campers, arriving from all over the U.S. and Canada, and from as far away as Shanghai, Ivory Coast, France, Spain, Australia and Mexico. The boys got right down to business, trip training and packing. Already DOT Aydin Perese has 13 trips posted, including some great 6-day cruises in Algonquin, the awesome 18-day Meanest Link, 10-day and 13-day trips in the Park, a classic Kipawa/Dumoine trek led by a third-generation headman. The Mics and Chipps are now out on the trail for their first trips. And four AA trips are posted, with two already departed. These include the first wood-canvas descent of the Missinaibi River, and Pathfinder's longest trip to date -- 41 days for a crew heading through Wabakimi, the Albany, Marten-Drinking and Attawapiskat country. (photo: Sam Egan's Kip-Dumoine crew leaves Source)


Winter's End 2016

Campers - check out who's signed up already for the summer.
Enrollment 2016 ...

Staff - here is the summer roster so far ... more to come
Staff 2016 ...


A Gallery of Season Posters

Click to view 7 years of the poster ...

2015 poster reaches back to '42 to a vintage blueprint Park map.

The 2015 Season

A marvelous summer for our crew! A brimming enrollment included over 260 different campers and more than 80 staff, hailing from around the world. Only 61 campers were new boys lucky enough to make it into camp to enjoy the rookie season of their Pathfinder careers. Trip director Aydin Perese organized a whopping 74 canoe trips throughout the Park and far afield, from the rivers of the Ottawa Valley, to the shores of Hudson's Bay. See trips ...

Among many highlights, a few standouts. Early in June, the trip staff's Headmen held a first-ever conference, bringing 18 experts in wilderness leadership to their inaugural "Spruce Root" event. Chippewa campers took 7-day trips, no mean feat. First year Ottawas got their chance to push the tripping envelope by traveling the Dumoine River. New canoes from a spectacular new mold came out of Warren's Canoe Shop.


Ice Out 2015!


As luck would have it, the Algonquin weather softened in late April, and as of Friday May 1, Source Lake was open and ice-free.

Pathfinder parents! Click over to Info for Parents for updated 2015 season info, tips, links and forms.

As April arrived, Pathfinder Island remained locked in a wintry embrace, with over 20 inches of solid lake ice on Source and no sign of ice-out until at least May 1. Meanwhile, Pathfinder’s winter folder is bursting, reaching full enrollment for the coming 102nd season. 
View May 1 2015 Camper roster … 
Only a few spots remaining for 1-week or 2-week boys, in the Mic Mac and Chippewa tribes in July’s 1st Half, and for the final two weeks of August’s 2nd Half.

Pathfinder offers two great family events mid-summer. 
Mini-Camp and Family Camp details and sign up ...

First, Pathfinder Mini-Camp is for age 6-7 boys to jump into the fun for 3 days in July, while their parents vacation in Algonquin via a special package with Bartlett Lodge or on an Algonquin canoe trip.

Pathfinder Family Camp is next, during early August, with special tents, activities and staff dedicated to families on the Island during the action of Second Half.

In other news, a large, expert AA class will be posted on three trips this year, tackling northern rivers in Ontario and Quebec. 

Another stellar Pathfinder Staff roster is set, and the school program is already booked up through 2016 in the spring and autumn months. 
View 2015 staff roster …
Click to Staff web page ...


Jack Hurley and The Red Canoes

Summer 2014 a landmark for our wood canoe culture. Read the full feature ...


Pathfinder Autumn 2014


The Pathfinder Centennial 1914 - 2013

A special logo for Pathfinder's Centennial, created by alumnus Chris Brackley.


Season 2013

Historic Trips / Historic Year
The 24 full-season AAs and 12 staff men pictured here made us proud by celebrating the 100th anniversary season with three 33-day canoe trips on the Pipestone, Asheweig and Winisk Rivers to Hudson Bay. Among the thousands of stills and hours of video to plow through, here is a video remembrance of one trip ... Winisk crew ..


Out the side door ...

A late winter day 2013, just off the railbed portage. The photog trained her lens on the Little Mad pond between Source and Hwy. 60. This wolf is standing where every Pathfinder canoe must pass on the way out of Source to Tanamakoon. Note the beaver lodge: Pathfinder trippers know that the beaver activity here created a formidable dam just before the traditional portage take-out here. Now, we take out at a new spot. However the beaver have kept water levels up in this shallow country between Source and Tan.


May Crew News


It was an anxious wait - with later ice-out and news reports of flooded towns and Park access roads washed out - but on May 1 the Crew started to appear at a soggy Car Dock. First on scene Gill Stanley, joined by Sladds, Joe Egan, Tom Bryce, Warren McDermott, then Quin Sladden and Kathryn Babin. Karl Doench and Kyle Warren weren't far behind arriving May 8. First order of business was a hobo kitchen set up, so we could eat on the run and focus all the energy on refitting the renovated camp kitchen. The pictures tell the story.

More than a year ago we started planning this Centennial project. The goal was to have the job done for the start of the 100th season. That season would begin as early as May 20, with the arrival of Nardin Academy grade 8. Last fall, the old walk in and shelving was demo'd, the floor removed, and a lifetime of rot confronted. It is no exaggeration that the walls were being held up by habit more than wood. Doug Boyes crew and Kirby Brandt / Jim Brown went to work, lifting the building and replacing rotted foundation. Wall studs replaced, walls pulled into place with chain tackle, a new floor and wall boards. An interior wall under the former gable end of the old kitchen and a small support wall mid-kitchen bolstered the roof.

That was autumn. Spring work began May 2. Multiple coats of paint, from floor to peak, new window openings facing Stalker Park, a new wider doorway, and the appliances replaced. Then, the big purchase. A new combination walk-in cooler and freezer, assembled and installed on-site. And finally, farewell the rotten freezer shed, known to so many as the generator shed and later the g-shed. Throughout the process, the weather was gorgeous. When the shed was hauled away, the weather turned and we're in freezing temps and rain/snow showers.

That's May.

We lucked out on opening week weather. Aydin Perese just reported for May, and chefs Fernanda Muniz and Rosa Gonzalez arrived safe and sound from Mexico in time to see the new digs.

Next chapter - the Palace fireplace ....


Ice Out 2013 News

Fergy's poster 2012. Opeongo campsite.

Current 2013 Pathfinder staff roster ...

Current 2013 Pathfinder camper roster ...

As the historic 100th Pathfinder summer approaches, Camp is blessed by a completely full enrollment and wait lists. There are, however, a couple of openings. In the Mic Mac One-Weeker sessions in July and August, there are 2 spots available in each for boys age 7. And, in the B Session July 13 there are 2 places available for boys ages 8-10.

If you are still interested in getting a place, please get in touch with me and we'll add your camper to the wait list. So far, 4 boys have gotten in off the wait list, and there are 8 more waiting at this time.

Meanwhile, the Pathfinder spring crew is waiting for the ice to finally go out in the Park, and for the Source Lake Road to open. Until mid-April there were no signs of melting. Last year the ice was out record-early on March 26. But this time around ice remained at 22-inches thick with plenty of snow in the bush. Then last week the warm temps and rains came. The rivers opened up and by the April 20 weekend, the Park lakes were brimming over and the roads of Huntsville and Bracebridge flooding and washing out. In the Park, the Source and Opeongo Roads are closed due to washouts. We are setting our sights on May 1 for an arrival at Pathfinder Island, where work has to begin immediately on the kitchen renovation and opening camp for our first school groups on May 20.


Autumn News 2012

Woolrich CPI Centennial Blanket

Early Bird Sign Ups for 2013 Season
Veteran families of Pathfinder and Pathfinder Alumni families signed up for next summer during October-November through the Super Early Bird offer. Early Bird Campers receive a cash discount on tuition, confirm their preferred session and tribe for next summer, and receive a free canoe paddle and red wool centennial blanket as gifts. The blanket is a special edition from Woolrich with the Pathfinder crest embroidered in.

Check out the 2013 Pathfinder Early Bird Roster ...

City Receptions Celebrating the Centennial Year
You are welcome! Be sure to RSVP to Jim Coakley, at

Boston Centennial Reception
Fri. Oct. 26, 7pm @ The Hermans, Waban, MA
Hosts: The Herman Family

New York City Centennial Reception
Fri. Nov. 9, 7pm @ The Princeton Club of NY
Sponsor: Alum Todd Marks, Mindgrub Technologies

Toronto Cetennial Reception
Fri. Nov. 23, 7pm @ Badminton & Racquet Club
Hosts: Pat Hodgson, Sr. and Don Lamont

Buffalo Centennial Receptions
Sat. Nov. 24, @ The Saturn Club
1 - 3pm, Camp Families Reunion
6pm, Alumni Reception

Rochester Centennial Reception
Fri. Nov. 30, 6pm @ Genesee Valley Club
Host: Tim Sladden


Second Half Cruises Along

James Hurley, 3rd generation. photo: Glenn

See the Second Half trips so far ...

Pathfinder bade farewell July 25 to our 99th season First Halfers, and while the Albany River AAs kept on paddling toward James Bay, Camp welcomed a record 127 campers to the island for Second Half. Right away the trip training, trad-lore, swimming, paddling, ropes and archery kicked into high gear. Trips flew onto the bulletin board and canoes flew off the dock and into the Park.

The drought continued into Second Half, with a province-wide fire ban in place. But the days cooled, a rain shower passed over, and suddenly the Park has been blanketed with rain and a September feel. The fire ban is lifted, the island is quiet but for some mini-camp and one-weeker arrivals, and the trips paddle on.

Check out our second half postings and watch for news of Sleep-In Sunday, All Trips In, last filming days for the paddling movie, the Adventure Race/Paper Chase, final trip reports, and fire coals collected by Toncacoo.


Fun in First Half

First lesson with Aydin

The 99th Pathfinder summer has played out under bright sunny skies and starry nights. Since July 1 we saw not a drop of rain until a brief shower rolled over Pathfinder Island on Sunday 7/15. At last, a little moisture for the Island and the Braves. With over 26 trips on the board and a flurry of in-camp activities, the A session boys bid farewell and a batch of Bs pulled up to the dock. We also welcomed Mic Mac one-weekers for their first camp experience, and hosted a group of teachers and their families over the past weekend. These are friends at schools who refer students for an ACF scholarship, and who partner with Camp in outdoor education weeks at CPI.

Where do we trip? See the 2012 trips ...

How is our camp doing? An overview ...

July 1 has arrived and it's the BIG MOMENT at Pathfinder! The first half Campers are in, and at Council Fire, the community showed the respect needed for Toncacoo to light this year's fire from the coals of last. July 2 will be trip training, athletics, swimming and woods skills for all. Trip sign ups aren't far behind, and  the first trips of the 99th season paddle out July 3. The AA Trip will depart shortly thereafter on a 27-day odyssey.

Meanwhile, Parents of Second Half and Session B Campers, this is your time to complete the Transport, Health, and Clothing tasks. Check out our forms, rosters and camp news below!

Camp Rosters 2012

Latest Camper roster, June 1 ...

Latest Staff roster, July 1 ...


Spring has Sprung, May 18

After a tropical start to April, Algonquin got freezing temps, snow, etc from the end of the month into early May. This view from the visitor centre shows Sunday Creek with hardwoods just budding out. At Camp, the days finally warmed and on Thursday we waved farewell to our first school group and started getting bit in the car dock by black flies.



While we guided Lakefield College students to the Rock Lake pictographs and Canoe Lake remnants of Mowat and Tom Thomon's grave, the Rec Lodge chimney was being repointed inside and out and the PX received its new front door and interior floor plan. A few more spring crew staff reported. Fernanda and Rosa are here cooking for 10, and the next ten days will see Nardin Academy and Wilson HS moving in. Trout count now 6, 2 kept.


R.I.P. PX Chimney, May 11

Director of Demolition Jess stands on the rubble.

Spring Crew has been working hard and the Island is looking ready! 
The biggest project of the Spring is the renovations to the PX. It's time to straighten the building and stabilize the foundation. Sadly the old chimney has been pushing the PX toward the lake for some years now. The chimney had been standing for around 80 years until Tuesday, when the demolition was completed. Dwight contractors are working on straightening out the walls and rebuilding rear wall. Next comes new insulation, doors, roof and interior hearth.
Other tasks in the last week include putting up tents, getting the ropes course ready, and setting in more docks. Fernanda and Rosa have arrived and the kitchen is being set up right now. Lakefield College School arrives on Monday and the current sunshine makes the island look as ready as ever. Now it is time to sit back on the Cedar Deck and bask in the beauty of an Algonquin Spring day! No black flies as yet.


Update, May 4th

Canoe Dock 5/4/2012

May Crew is used to having the canoe dock set and the tower platform on by the end of the month. This year, however, it is done on the 4th. In addition, two new tent platforms have been completed, the rec lodge cleaned, and the canoe shop opened. Kathryn Babin and Warren McDermott have joined the others already on the island and the crew is working very well to complete all tasks. The first school group, Lakefield College School, is coming on the 14th, and with a little cooperation from the weather, tents should be put up and the island ready. Warren has three new canoes ready to go and we are running out of room for all the boats on the docks. Ki Yi, Ki Yi we are ready for camp!


Hammer Time!

New Tent Platforms 4/30/2012

Construction on the new tent platforms has begun. The weather has finally improved, the snow has melted, and April Crew spent the day hammering nails. The crew made great progress as the foundations were set and the floor was nailed down in one day. Construction on the walls should begin tomorrow as May Crew Arrives.



Tough Trippin Chipps Meet Pathfinder Legend

In August 2011, one of Camp's 83 canoe trips reached Cedar Lake and the Brent Store. They ran into a celebrity: genuine Pathfinder Award Winner, Fred Jackson. In charge was Headman Henry Kronk, with his staff team of four. Why so many sternmen? To help carry the pounds for 5 hard core Chippewas who at age 10 already wanted to go long...really long: 7 days in the glorious Park. Pathfinder Chipps get to push the envelope with the 4-staff/5-camper setup. More to come in Summer 99. (From left: Forrester Bristol, Millard Young, Max Blum, Gabe Myrick, Eoin Hourihane. Back row: Fred Jackson, Henry Kronk, Phil Duggan, Max Goranson, Jack Sanford)


Camp Banquet Speech

Arch Fraser, 6-year veteran, spent his AA Summer tripping 37 days on the Attawapiskat and in Temagami. Read his Camper Speech, delivered at the Final Banquet ...


The Return of the Virtual Candy Store

Tiger, Gill, Mara, Steve rockin the new shirts

A new Pathfinder shirt! It's Here for Only $20.00US/CN plus ship. This is a pre-order offer. We will take your orders until Jan. 20, then fulfill for the number of shirts requested by that time. Anyone who has ordered the shirt through Sladds so far will automatically get theirs. Everyone else click the link below and complete the request.

Long sleeve all-cotton classic logo Pathfinder shirt. One color: awesome gray, hunter logos.
Hanes Heavyweight quality, all sizes. Tagless, preshrunk, resists fading.
Available only by pre-order. Click this link to order!

small  34-36
medium 38-40
large 42-44
xl 46-48
2xl 50-52

small 6-8
medium 10-12
large 14-16
xl 18-20


Pathfinder Holidays 2011

photo: T. Bryce 2011

New Year Candy Store - the new t-shirt is available
See the story above and click through to our candy store page to order your Pathfinder long sleeve shirt. This is a pre-order and we'll ship shirts after we give everyone two weeks to order. Don't miss your chance.

Super Early Bird 2012
With American Thanksgiving closing in, and Pathfinder Island closed down, it's Early Bird Time. You can print this year's Super Early Bird enrollment form here ... This year's Early Bird rate is identical to last year's, and again this year you will receive a cash discount and your Camper will receive his choice from 3 awesome pieces of gear: the North Face staff jacket, the Mountain Hardware pack, or this year's big surprise gift.

Summer 2011 Final Bills
Thank you to all who wrapped up their final bills so quickly this season. If you have a balance due on your camper, or any questions at all about our statements, please give Sladds a call at 585.249.0716
You can also read details about charges and billing in Parent Info / Billing ... 

Upcoming Events
November's big event is the Autumn Reunion, held each year at Saturn Club, Buffalo. This year's event, Nov. 26, is the 13th annual edition of the event, which welcomes all Campers, Parents, Staff and Alumni for a festive reception including the famous Staff Introductions and the slides and videos of the 98th Summer at Pathfinder! Please come! RSVP to Sladds' email ...


Pathfinder Wraps up 98th Season

photo: Fergy

August 21, 2011 -- Campers and Staff home safe. Fall Crew taking over the Island.
The weather's already signaling autumn, and the Park is quiet. We miss all you guys here on Source Lake. The summer went by too fast! It's hard to go back to modern life. You may feel strange for a few days, but hang in there, it passes. It's just hard to leave the backwoods buzz of life on CPI. Good luck with school and pre-season sports, you're the fittest you've been in a while. Send me your summer photos in full res. please!


An All-Out Trip Camp for Our Girls

For years Pathfinder has recommended with enthusiasm the girls' camps Northway and Tanamakoon here in Algonquin. If a girl you know is ready for broader tripping horizons, here is another option. Our friends at Camp Keewaydin in Temagami established a first-rate girls' wilderness tripping program in recent years, and after a couple of seasons learning about it and the professionals guiding it, I am convinced that this is a great option for the girls in our Pathfinder family who want get a chance to trip like the Pathfinder boys! Here is a special invitation from Bruce and Emily at Keewaydin with a link to their information.
Keewaydin-Pathfinder letter ...


August - All Trips In!

Check the latest trip postings, current to All Trips In Aug. 17, 2011. See 2011 trips ...


Mid-Season News, July 2011

Moose!!! Big bull moose moseys around Pathfinder Island today. Check him out ...

Sunrise Canoe Dock. Check out Gill's time lapse...

Trip postings so far this season. Sixty trips and counting. See them all ...

Rosters for First Half and Second Half 2011. 1st Half .... 2nd Half


Spring Crew News

Wilson trips to Rock L.

Alumnus Gyro Coakley has been putting out newsletters for the Pathfinder family over the past few months, and his June edition is here. Read Gyro's June News ...

The interview Gyro did with Mac Rand is a great read for anyone looking forward to heading out again this summer on a Pathfinder trip. The fun, the challenges, the friendship of the trail. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Pathfinder's Spring Crew shared a taste of that experience with our annual guests from Wilson HS in Rochester. High school kids from the city, most of whom have little time off pavement, worked their way onto a select list eligible to attend the Pathfinder event, now in its fourth year. Supported by grants from our own Algonquin Campership Fund, the kids spent time on the Ropes Course, on the old railbed bike trail, and loaded with packs and canoes on overnight trips to Little Island and Rock Lakes.


Report from May Crew

Fire up the outboards, restore the plumbing, clear the brush, haul lots of lumber, put up tents, repair canoes. With a full camp roster and our first spring group just days away, the pace is picking up at Pathfinder. While we work, the lake is coming to life for summer.


That’s May. From ice out on May 1 to the first black fly bites, the mission for 8 Pathfinder Headmen is to open up the Island. Again this year, this also means the start of an exciting new project. A brand new canoe shop, located behind the PX along the Ballfield Trail. 

First on the scene were Karl Doench, Matt Onyskow and Sladds. Days later Aydin Perese, Kyle Warren, Gill Stanley and Callum McCance reported. Finally, Warren McDermott, chef Fernanda Muniz, and Charlie Katrycz made their arrivals. With May Crew at full strength, we’re ready to tackle the big stuff: moving docks into place, putting up the rest of the tents, and bringing out all the canoes to warm in the sun. Then there’s the endless cleaning, fixes and activity set-ups, so we can welcome our groups. This year’s clients include Wilson HS (4th year), John Seaton School (3rd year), and a Park wedding weekend for Cody Collins and Liz Jonkers from Ottawa.


Canoes and paddling are high on the May Crew list this year. There has been considerable hauling of lumber up the hill to the Canoe Shop work site. Kirby Brandt and Jim Brown of Dwight are the professional carpenters on this job. Watch them work in Gill’s video clip …


The shop is planned for up to 4 canoe repairs at one time, and has facility for canvassing canoes and making woodwork projects with both Staff and Campers. Warren McDermott will be leading the program in 2011 and 2012, having spent last summer apprenticed to a Vermont carpenter, and last winter enrolled at woodwork and furniture school in Maine. This May, his education is rounding out at Hurley Canoe Works where he and Jack Hurley are doing big repairs on 6 Pathfinder trip boats, along with finishing touches on last year’s CIT boat, the Mary Chestnut, and this year’s two new trip canoes. On Island, the crew is continuing the patching, painting and varnishing of the fleet. It is exciting to think of how the shop program can enrich the wood-canvas canoe experience of Pathfinder. The boys can get hands-on experience with craftsmanship and care of the fleet, in a safe and state of the art surrounding. Warren can’t wait to stock the place with tools, and welcome everyone to the new shop!



Chef Fernanda plans the menu for Summer. What are you hungry for at Camp?



Mist surrounds Pathfinder after a dusk rain shower.


Red pines shelter Stalker Park.


News for Camp 2011 - Parent Info and Forms

Clocks forward and then the official arrival of spring means Pathfinder's 98th season is not far off!

Parents, here are 2011 Transport and Health Forms. Print, complete and return to Camp.
2011 Camper Transport Form
2011 Camper Health Form

You can also read the Camper Clothing and Equipment article, and print the clothing list.
2011 Camper Clothing & Equipment

For general advice and answers to many common questions about camper life at Pathfinder, click over to our Parent Info article "Moms ask ..."

If you have questions about anything, don't hesitate:email or phone me- 585-249-0716. Sladds


A staff note from the rain forest

Carolyn Gombert runs Arts and Crafts at Pathfinder. She's back this summer for her second season. Carolyn's a Rochester, NY native studying at Univ. Penn. She first came to Pathfinder as a student with the Wilson OC group in May 2008. This semester Carolyn's been doing field work in the rain forest of Costa Rica, and writes:

"Hope all is well as May 1 approaches. Our semester here is just over halfway through. I've done some amazing things, including hiking up a mountain to camp overnight, visiting the paramo (a unique ecosystem above treeline but below snowline), working on an organic cacao farm, and snorkeling. I spend lots of time in the Caribbean sun and am slowly turning the shade of a chocolate chip cookie. It'll be good to get back into the rhythm of classes. I've really been enjoying learning about larger picture geology, like plate tectonics, as well as marine ecology. The most fascinating topic so far has been mangroves. They have all sorts of mechanisms for storing salt, to be able to live in estuaries. I must say, though, for all the trees and white sand, I still miss the cedar shorelines of the Park. I can't wait for another Pathfinder summer. Noonway, Carolyn"


April News - Sign Ups and Rosters!

Check out this NOAA satellite image of the Great Lakes on April 14, 2011. Can you see the Algonquin highlands between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River valley? Everything around this highland region has melted in central Ontario, but the higher-elevation Algonquin lakes remain locked in ice. But not for long. Ice-out in Algonquin is generally in late April. Jump over to Pathfinder's Facebook page ... to join the Ice Out Guess game.

As of Apr. 15,camper sign ups are nearly complete. See the Roster so far ... First Half has only 6-8 spots left. Second Half is full except for a few Session D spots available for younger campers. If you still want to get into this session, call Sladds ASAP. Meanwhile, take a look at the Staff Roster so far ...


Pathfinder Canoes


This winter Pathfinder's trip canoe "Wendy Swift" has been on display at various Ontario outdoor and sportsmen's shows, courtesy of Swift Canoe. This gorgeous Jack Hurley canoe was cleaned, painted and varnished in October in front of the Dining Hall fireplace by Fall Crew headmen, cached in the bush on the Source Lake shoreline in late November by Sladds, then portaged out by snowshoe to the modern world in December by Bill Swift. Wrapped in plastic, she has logged many miles between events this winter, and everywhere she appears, purists and novices alike gawk and gape. The Wendy is shown here in a test pool at Toronto's recent Outdoor Adventure Expo.

photo: Don Standfield

A great photo made by photographer Don Standfield, of a Pathfinder trip canoe on the form at Jack Hurley's shop in winter. This year, with snow swirling outside and the lakes frozen over, Jack's shop gave birth to two more new canoes for the coming Pathfinder trip season.

Currently Pathfinder's trip fleet includes three dozen gorgeous Hurley canoes.


Pathfinder News - December 2010

Images New and Old ... Links to latest camp photo album and YouTube video.

See a classic 1950s canoe trip in Kodacolor  View it ...

View photos from Summer 2010  See the album ...


Conor in Kenya ... Conor Peterson writes from his semester in E. Africa

"So far, my traveling has brought me to the rural agricultural area of central Kenya called Meru, to a hunting and gathering community in an area of Tanzania called the Yaeda Valley, to the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro to stay with the Maasai people, and to the coastal city of Mombasa." Read Conor's note ...


Algonquin Bears in Winter ... Park Staff tag hibernating bears, Rick Mercer helps

This segment of Canada's popular Rick Mercer Report was shot last year. View it ...


Pathfinder on Christmas Day 2010

photo: Bill Swift


The 2010 Pathfinder Poster is Here!

Every 2010 Camper receives this classic Pathfinder Island image, shot by Staffman Conor Peterson during an evening swim. Alumni and friends are welcome to a copy, just contact Sladds.

Autumn Reunion - Saturn Club Nov. 27

A 12 Year Tradition -- the Pathfinder Autumn Reunion, held Thranksgiving weekend in Buffalo. Join us for food and drink, friends and fun, photos and film of the 2010 Season. Meet the Staff. Chat with fellow Aiumni and Parents.

Autumn Reunion - Sat. Nov. 27, 1:00 pm

Saturn Cub of Buffalo, 977 Delaware Ave.

rsvp - Sladds,


November -- Super Early Birds Sign Up Now! Jacket or Pack?


Super Early Bird only has a few days left! Sign up your veteran Camper, and get tuition discounts of $250-$750, plus your choice of the Pathfinder Staff Jacket, or the newest piece of cool gear, the North Face Big Shot pack, a perfect 'baby' or day pack for Campers or Staff. Both items are sized to your Camper and embroidered with the Pathfinder logo. And all Early Birds receive a free Oconto maple trip paddle when they return next summer.

When you return your Early Bird enrollment, indicate which item your Camper wants, and his jacket size. Early Bird gifts will be shipped just after Thanksgiving.

Campers and Staff love these Early Bird gifts. The famous Pathfinder/North Face Apex Bionic Jacket is now known in camp circles simply as the "Staff Jacket."


The North Face Big Shot back pack is an excellent all-around technical pack that will fit Mic-Chipps as well as AAs. It's state of the art and carries a special Pathfinder retro logo. Use this pack for your school days, to stash your laptop, or as a rugged day pack for biking, hikes, big-mountain skiing, or as a baby under your canoe.

Pathfinder Island, Oct 5, 2010

photo: Gord Baker

A great view of the Island, taken by our friend Gord Baker, up in the Ministry helicopter over Source Lake on Oct. 5. This is a more shallow angle of view than recent aerials we've seen, and it really gives a sense of the vastness of the forest, and a nice view of Bruce Lake to the north. By this time, most of the maples had dropped their leaves, but plenty of color remains. The leaf "peak" came earlier this year than last, at the close of a rainy and grey September in the Park. October started out much more sunny and calm. Fall Crew hosted the alumni George Liederhaus weekend, and had Camp closed by October 15.


Mid-Session News July 18


Seel the complete set of 2010 Canoe Trips ...


Warm days, cool nights, lots of sun and stars, a few welcome rain showers. That’s the weather story for July in Algonquin. Compared to last summer’s cold, cloudy, drippy July this year’s a bit of heaven on earth. Water levels are good, the bugs are less intense this year. The canoe tripping is fine!

In-Camp highlights include swimming, paddling, ropes, archery and arts/crafts. The new Swim Dock is a pleasure to spend time on, with lake water so nice that the boys are choosing AA work for afternoon Optionals. At Canoeing, a painted band award for their paddle shaft draw boys to complete the challenges of Levels II and III. Between swim and paddle, there is a lot of action, and this year’s First Half Regatta should be highly competitive. Meanwhile, lots of basketball, soccer, ultimate and disc golf are filling in the activity periods.

Hot days at Camp are saved by the super-powered "Heat Crew" who roam the Island with water and sun-bloc. 

In and Around Camp


Certain Pathfinder routines never go out of style. Campers will still jump to help out on the Food Order, especially if the new goods have arrived for Candy Store.

On the Turbo field on honor, the Campers have managed to win a few games from the Staff, Campers are capitalizing on the Staff’s low numbers, so when Camp becomes full again in a couple days, there will be a deciding match. Staff must retaliate with more advanced tactics. Incrediball games have been hysterical low-camp evening events, with a recent contest ended with a game-saving line drive catch by our smallest Mic Mac James Morton! 


So far DOT Steve Szymkowiak has posted 40 trips on the Bulletin Board. The whole camp has been tripping like crazy since July 3. Our long second set trips from the Park and Temagami are heading for home. The end of session Extravaganza trips are out for a last hurrah. The two big AA trips, running the last sets of their Bloodvein odyssey, will board the train in Winnipeg on the 22nd for the long journey home to Banquet.

I’ve been so impressed this summer by the spirit of adventure and friendship thriving in the Camper ranks. We’re blessed with young gentlemen who get along with everyone and embrace Pathfinder traditions … and they’re having a ball in camp and on the trail.

The CIT class has finished training trips in the Park, and their first canoe trips as Third Men. Their lifesaving and medical certifications are complete. In a few days they will head to the rapids of the lower Madawaska River to take their ORCA I cert.

The Alumni Guest Staff this session included Gyro and Sue Coakley, Tiger Lion, Jamey Bumbalo, and the redoubtable Johnny Baronich as Jacques Bee

All Staff now step up once more, this time to fill the final days of First Half with AA work and Brain Rot atmosphere. Stay tuned for end of session highlights!


Greetings from Pathfinder July 6 Update!


We’re Underway!

July 1, the Big Moment, was smooth, with 104 Campers arriving safely from far and wide. Late June rains and cool temps brought the low water conditions back up to normal and the canoe routes are in prime shape!


Parents – send mail!

Write or fax your Camper. Watch for his first Sunday letter home from July 4!

Write to: Source Lake, Algonquin Park, ON P1H 2H1 Canada. Fax: 705-633-5500.


The Campers

At home away from home at Pathfinder are boys from Buffalo, boys from Rochester, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. We have boys from Burlington and Boston, Greenwich, Princeton, Wilmington, Rockville and Washington; boys from Pittsburgh and Cleveland; boys from Indiana, Illinois, Texas, California, Colorado, Oregon. And we have boys from Mexico, Argentina, Spain, UK and France again this year. 


The Lodges and Tent 1 this half boast a large Mic Mac and Chippeway group of 20+, while a big Cree tribe extends all the way from Tent 2 to 17. Otts crowd Skid Row and the Long House. Fourteen AAs arrived at Luigiville, and quickly departed on their big journeys after two days of preparation.

Staff wise, 16 CITs, 21 Second Men and 21 Headmen are trail-ready. The In-Camp Staff includes Alumni Guest Staffers Gyro, Jamey and Tiger.
See our Staff Members …


DOT Steve Szymkowiak has 18 trips on the Bulletin Board at Pathfinder, the last being a Mic Mac training trip to glorious Glen Donald for tonight, and the first two postings are 20-day AA trips to Bloodvein River and Gammons River in western Ontario and Manitoba. As well there are 5-, 8- and 14-day cruises through the Park. Some First Set trippers are already back in camp and gearing up for another journey.

See the 2010 trips …

Small News
Sunday Chapel’s talk from Sladds was ‘It’s amazing what we can do at Pathfinder, and what we can do without.’ Everyone is settling in well to life without gizmos and technology. The inaugural Turbododgeball game was gigantic, with over 180 players in the fray. This year’s Nalgene bottle is crystal clear with a Pathfinder red cap and logo. The Old Tooner finally succumbed to the ages and lies on the beach at the Car Dock awaiting the aluminum salvage guys, while a new Old Tooner takes shape at the boat yard for delivery later in First Half. Lance Kennedy made a landfall on Sunday to shepherd the Gooding-Townsend brothers toward their first-ever Treasure Hunt, scheduled for Second Half.


Swim Dock
Begun last May and continued starting May 10 this year, the final phase of the Swim Dock renovation is almost complete. The dock is six feet longer along the shore, and the floating sections are 16 feet in width with lots of floatation. Under the leadership of Gill Stanley, we have torn off the old decks, built new cribs and a new walk-on ramp from the shore, and replaced the soap dock floater and the raft. The Towers are revamped and stand on a new platform. A new railing and bench are underway. Pete Johnson and Matt Onyskow put a gorgeous new cedar shingle roof on the Swim Shack for good measure. We are living on a gleaming, blond eastern white cedar swim dock!


First Days at Camp
Opening Council Fire saw cold windy conditions yield to a mild evening and a lighting of the fire by the ancient Toncacoo from Bear Mountain. The Camp showed ultimate respect to our native mentor. The Mics and Chipps were so silent that Toncacoo laid a bell from his staff at their feet in praise.

The Trading Post buzzes with outfitting and departures. The trippers are certainly going to eat well. Popular trip fare still includes Bannock for pizzas, cinnamon buns, calzones and even fondue. Potato pearls and soup mix are both a hit. The Tuna Soona fresh tunafish is flying out the door, as well as the Spinache pasta and the Ghetto Gato, a great meal borrowed from NOLS cooks. Fresh frozen steaks are still a hit for the first night, Mac and Cheese for later days, and the peameal bacon is unbeatable. So is the meat stick from Ulrich’s, and the Corn Nuts and Sesame Snaps from John Vince. Dried apricots, bananas and apples are back in vogue this year, as well as perennial faves peanut M&Ms and Sierra mix gorp. Marie-Eve Morin is baking Trip Bread for trip PB & Js and grilled cheeses, with bagels and tortillas in reserve.

The in-camp menu is under the reign of head chef Paulina Eguiarte, taking over in her third season from Querretaro, Mexico. No one is losing any winter weight just yet, since the food is so good. More tripping needed!!!

What’s Doing on the Programme?
Trip training is complete. Swim instruction is de rigeur in the morming. Everyone has been at Ropes Course, Athletics and Archery so far. Optionals are on the afternoon programme. Day trips for trail biking and kayaking are set for sign-ups when the trippers get back from First Set.

What’s Ahead?
We will be welcoming One-Week first year Mic Macs to Camp on July 8. Then the Mic-Chipp and Cree Two-Weekers paddle in from trips on July 11, and depart Pathfinder on July 13. Jacques B is said to be riding a trained moose toward Camp, arriving July 12 for a speech in the Dining Hall.



Trout and Blackflies Biting on Source - May 22


Alex and Leah trolled by this afternoon, and landed a nice laker. The paddler had to clean him as well?!

This evening, braving the black fly frenzy, Sladds and Aydin fished from the Chief Norton and Aydin landed the biggest so far this month. Legit fish. Aydin's on a tear: he also got his boat operator's card on the 'first cast.'

Meanwhile, the Norton cabin renovation is moving along. Tuesday the Crew hosts the first of three consecutive school groups.

It's Not All Fishing in May


Tent 11 was rebuilt this week by Ben, Aydin and Gill. Lots of other opening chores are already complete, with warm, dry weather and school groups arriving in just a few days. Carl Eppers joins the crew shortly, followed by Steve Szymkowiak and Grif Edwards. 

Late sign ups are coming in from all angles now, and it's time for Parents to send Sladds their camper transport and health forms. Parents can check the Parent Info page on this site for lots of details and links. Call if you need anything! 705-633-5553.

Meanwhile, the view from this office remains the best in the world.

Tom Unger - Paddling the Erie Canal


CPI Staff man Tom Unger and Nichols pal JP are paddling the Amy Purdy camp canoe 363 miles for their Senior project. Currently in central New York, Tommy and JP are making 30-40 miles per day in their quest to complete the entire Canal before  prom! Caught up with them in Pittsford, NY at the Canal's Great Embankment, where thousands labored to bridge the Irondequoit Creek Valley with Clinton's Ditch.

Pathfinder Guys in the Buffalo News

mirror-calm waters, Rupert River '08

In the News Today --Thursday, May 13 --  
Phil and Nathan write ...

Here's a link to a great article in the Buffalo News today, written by two of our staff men, Nathan Kowalski and Phil Duggan. They were AAs on the first-ever Pathfinder Rupert River trip, and wrote their column on the benefits of getting away from iPhones, pavement and motorized travel for the summer.
I know you can relate! 

Counting the Days to Another Pathfinder Summer

Pathfinder guys have waited through a long winter to get back to Algonquin Park, Source Lake, and all their friends at CPI.

Spring is here, and we're all counting days not months until Pathfinder opens her 97th consecutive summer on Source! 

Camp stands now at over 90 campers in each half, and it looks like we'll be wait listing campers in June, so any last minute sign-ups, get to Sladds now!

May 2010 - Spring Crew to Pathfinder!


Spring Crew means photos of guys working heads-down on Power Crew!Ice was out record-early, on Easter Sunday April 4. The Park is dry with low water levels. Everyone is hoping for some spring showers to fill up the waterways for our tripping this summer.

Karl Doench was first to the Island this year, followed by Sladds, Ben Bristow, and Aydin Perese. Spring Crew will soon include Gill Stanley, Carl Eppers, Grif Edwards and Steve Szymkowiak. Swim Dock, phase II, began right away with inspecting the main dock's cribs and planning renovation. Stay tuned on this project!


A Unique Pathfinder Poster

Colin Bristow is another in a long string of gifted Pathfinder photographers. In fact, Colin's in the Photo degree program at prestigious RIT in Rochester. This summer he made a midnight photo of a canoe on the Canoe Dock, and we've reproduced it as a 12 x 18" color poster commemorating Pathfinder's 96th Summer.

Colin wrote me: I used a Canon 5d with Tamron lens, the aperture was f/5 and the shutter speed was 30 seconds with an iso of 400. This one was taken at 11:52 pm 8/7/09.
All Campers are getting one of these in the mail, rolled so it's in perfect shape to frame or plak-mount. If any Staff or Alumni would like one, contact Sladds.

Pathfinder News & Notes

Mic 'n Chipp beach day commute

Pathfinder Winter - March 2010

Enrollment is starting to fill up, and the 2010 Staff is taking shape. Check out who's on board for the 97th summer. Campers and Staff ...

The 2009 Poster has been mailed out to all Campers. Staff and Alumni, order yours by emailing Sladds any time.


Camp Trails 2009!

Corey's latest Trails edition is awesome. All 2009 Campers and Staff received theirs, and you can get your own copy of the 140 page full color catalogue. Contact Sladds.


News and Notes

Repair canoes at Jack's shop, Dec. '09

Pathfinder Winter - February 2010

I just got back from visiting Pathfinder Island, where the lake ice is over a foot thick and the winter trail through beaver marshes to Source Lake is rock solid. There were wolf tracks all over the lake, and a pine marten was hanging around the PX hoping for some of my food.

Want to see Algonquin wolves in action? Check out this YouTube video shot by the Friends of Algonquin, of oureastern wolves on a deer kill this winter

2009 - A Season to Remember!

Headlamp trails leave Council Fire, July '09. Photo: Corey Floyd

"Thanks again for providing a wonderful camp experience for Evan this past summer. He thoroughly enjoyed time with his friends, and his 5-day trip was a highlight. I believe it was his best year so far! 
I wanted to tell you how impressed and moved I was while packing up the car at the dock. The counselors who had been there the entire summer, and probably many summers before, were saying their goodbyes. We witnessed an emotional moment for them, many of whom were crying, knowing they were leaving their camp family until they return next year. It just really put into perspective the relationships and experiences that Camp Pathfinder is providing for all the young men who attend. Another tremendous year had by all!"

Pathfinder parent of a 2009 Camper.



Camp and College Essays.
Applying to college includes sharing something real and resonant about yourself. No surprise, then, that a lot of Pathfinder Staff men write about their experiences up north.

Here's a recent college essay by Rob Hayden ...

Another wonderful college essay by Nick Cavallo ... 



Off-season Wedding. Our camp caterers Michel and Lucy were married in November in her home country, Mexico. The Ouellets' guests included Paulina Eguiarte, Dave Munns, and Fernanda Muniz. We look forward to seeing them all back at camp next summer.


Saturn Club Autumn Reunion
Saturday, November 28
Camp families converged at Saturn on Thanksgiving weekend. Official count was 148 Campers, Staff, Parents, Alumni.


Annual Scholarship Fund Appeal. Quin Sladden and Callum McCance met up at the annual meeting of the Algonquin Campership Fund in November. Our young staff men joined cpi alumni to volunteer on this year's scholarship appeal, inviting donations to the fund that helps Campers in need get to Pathfinder. More on ACF ...



Fall Crew '09! A phenomenal fall at Pathfinder, thanks to the Staff. School group programs, a wedding event, and the OP Weekend as well as George Liederhaus weekend, and lots of close-up. From left: Matt Onyskow, Steve Szymkowiak, Mara Peacock, Dan Bird, Ben Bristow, Aydin Perese, Kris Karstedt.



George Liederhaus Race Celebrates 10th Anniversary.
Pathfinder's Headmen and young alumni gather each October for a canoe trip race and banquet at cpi, proceeds to the Algonquin Campership Fund. 
GLM Highlights are on the Alumni Chatter page ...




Your 2009 Camper Award Winners!
Dave Herman, Waban MA, 3rd year Camper. Accepting the Pathfinder Award from past winner and CIT Director Corey Floyd.

Russell Hanson, Toronto ON, 4th year Camper. Winner of the 2009 Tripping Award and the Fred Lamke paddle.


May Crew at Pathfinder!




Ice was out Friday afternoon Apr. 24, and Camp was reached on May 1. The usual routines of melting the pump tank and cleaning up downed trees marked the first couple of days. Then it was on to setting up the Dining Hall and Kitchen, and the building of a new Swim Dock section, part one of a project supported by proceeds from the 95th anniversary reunion. Our May Crew boys worked hard and are shown having a much-deserved beer and watching video clips of their chores.

Pathfinder News and Notes - Spring 2009


Earth Day 2009 -- Read our essay 'Green Means the Little Things at Pathfinder.'
"...Maybe more than anything else, the Pathfinder tripper feels differently about the world, having traveled it by his own muscle power, with only what he can carry in his canoe and between his shoulders. He comes to feel he belongs to this world. He is cooled by a swim in it, quenched like never before after a long drink of it. He spends his nights closer to it than he does in his house. He listens to and watches it ‘from the front row,’ at dawn, dusk and noon..."



April Update -- Summer 2009 is on the Way! See our latest Camp info below.

-- Current Campers and Staff on board for 2009
-- Parent Forms, Get Our Camp Forms: Health, Transport, Clothing
-- Be aware of passport requirements for adults in 2009
-- Recruit a new camper and receive a cash credit in 2009
-- Get answers to questions about Pathfinder and life at camp. Read more ...

I’m getting more calls and messages every day! Another Pathfinder season is close at hand. But winter needs to yield to spring, and as we know spring comes reluctantly to the north.

Mid-March I visited the Park and found brilliant sunshine, the joy of longer daylight hours, and a much-reduced snow pack on the ground. There were even bare patches of pine-needled ground on the Island. The needles glowed in the sun’s warmth, though surrounded by snow and ice. I saw where moose had bedded down on the Island to soak up some warmth as well. It gave me a hope of spring. April, though, is a cruel month in Algonquin. . The lake ice was still almost two feet thick in March, and by now it’s rotting and unsafe. In April, you can’t travel on the lakes by foot or canoe. Cold rain and grey skies are the order of the month. At least at the end, there is the joy of ice-out! I’m thinking somewhere around April 25, just like last year. We can again expect high water, as the snow pack runs into the still-frozen lakes. Docks will be way under water and the camp road will be muddy at best. Finally, on May 1 a few Pathfinder men venture across Source Lake and unlock the buildings. May Crew is then underway, and summer can’t be far behind!   sladds

Recruiting Update '09

Help us fill those final spots at Camp for the season.

Pathfinder has spaces available in the First or Second Half for age 11-12 boys. These boys can choose a 2-week slot or the traditional 3 1/2 week slot.

Pathfinder has spaces available for age 8 -10 boys in Session A July 1-13, Session B July 13-25, and Session D Aug. 8-20. Session C is now full and accepting wait list.

Pathfinder has limited spaces available for age 7-8 boys in our One Week Mic Mac Sessions, July 7-13 and Aug. 2-8.

Refer a new family to Pathfinder, and if they sign up a boy for camp you will receive a $100 credit for your son's session.


Vital Parent Info - Health, Transport & Clothing Forms '09 !

The Camper Health Form
Vital Camper Health Info --  view / print the form …
Please print, complete and return the camp health form. The doctor’s office should add information, but a physical exam is not required. Return the completed form to the Rochester camp office by June 1. Include both parent and doctor signatures.

The Camper Transportation Form
How’s your boy traveling? -- view / print the form …
Please print, complete and return the transport form. This is your signed authorization for your son to travel to Canada by air, coach or parent vehicle.

Be aware when making Toronto flight arrangements of our van shuttle times. We prefer to meet airline flights between 10am – 1pm if at all possible. Please help us!

If your Camper’s session is 2nd half or session D, consider a Family Camp stay, and make your transport plans accordingly. Family Camp is a fun tradition at Pathfinder. You will love it and your Camper stays free. Check out Family Camp info …

Make sure your bus Camper has food and drink for the ride, and has his rain jacket handy along with his medications and identification. Make sure your airline Camper follows air travel rules on carry-on items, and has the camp's phone number and some pocket money on hand. Read tips in Transport Specifics 2009 ...

Passports, Birth Certificates, and the Border in 2009
US kids under age 16 will still be able to re-enter the US on just their birth certificate this summer. The US changes taking effect on June 1, 2009 will not require kids to have a US passport. Adults, however, will need one or an Enhanced License.

Clothing and Equipment for Camp
Clothing list – view / print it here …
Parents, it you want Camp to purchase a new sleeping bag, dry bag, life vest, paddle or hooded camp sweatshirt for your son, please contact Sladds on email. Check the clothing section for details – we can obtain high quality items for a very low cost.
Be sure to review those items that are recommended, permitted and not permitted.

Campers So Far!

Here are the ’09 Campers to date – roster link ...
Remember, there is still space available. Sign up a friend and earn a cash bonus!


Check  out -- 
Pathfinder session dates and rates ...
The Pathfinder experience is terrific for our boys ...


Staff on Board for '09!

Up to date staff roster '09 ...
Learn more about our Pathfinder Staff members ...

CIT power, war canoe races '08

     "A huge thank-you to you and all your incredible staff at Pathfinder. Coulter was delivered to us safely yesterday, complete with big smiles and a goodbye hug for his counselor. Coulter had a wonderful two weeks! He tells us next year he will be a Cree and wants to go for the first half. So, as I am sure you have experienced before, you have hooked another camper!" 
-- Bill & Janet, Toronto 2008






Do We Dare Think Spring?

The thaw will shortly be underway. Time to think about Algonquin in spring and summer! Check out some of the migrating bird species that stop over at Pathfinder in the spring. These photos were shot on the Island in May 2008.

Top left: magnolia warbler
Middle left: yellow rumped warbler
Bottom left: wood cock
Top & Middle right: american redstart female
Bottom right: yellow-bellied sap sucker 


March News 2009

Come meet camp families and the camp director at Camp Pathfinder Open Houses in Toronto this week.

Tues. March 3, 7:30 pm, Karen and Jason Hanson's
Wed. March 4, 6:30 pm, Patti and Joe Lawrence's

In Buffalo and Rochester this month:
Wed. March 18, 7:00 pm, Dennis and Whitney Beecher, Buffalo
Thurs. March 19, 5:00 pm, Ani and Trip Pierson, Pittsford
Mon. March30, 6:00 pm, Chris and Debbie Malof, Buffalo

Open house is a small informal gathering, perfect for meeting the Director and seeing a slide show highlighting Pathfinder life.  Contact me if you'd like to attend!


February News 2009

photos: Pete Johnson

Pathfinder and Elmwood Franklin School have partnered for many years to give their grade 8 students Pathfinder experiences. Each fall, the entire eighth grade visits camp for a week of outdoor ed. and adventure. Each winter, some of them return to see Algonquin in winter.

January News 2009

Nice Shot!

Pathfinder friend Mike Wilton, chairman of Algonquin Eco Watch, took this picture of Source Lake and Pathfinder Island, on a peak fall foliage day in late September 2008. Note how well our west-side Algonquin forest type shows up at this time of year. Evergreens like cedar, spruce, hemlock and balsam fir ring the shorelines, where soil type and moisture from run-off are ideal. On the higher elevations, the hardwoods like maple, beech, birch and poplar show up in vibrant colors.


More from January

The Latest Camp Trails is Here!
The yearbook is hot off the presses and headed to all campers. All campers receive a copy automatically. If you are a staff member or alumnus, please contact Sladds to get a copy of this great pictorial, edited by Corey Floyd.

One Camper Writes:
One of our trippers Jasper Bingham sent me an essay he wrote recently, and I thought it was terrific. He gave me permission to post it up on our site. Recently we heard that his essay won a scholastic writing award. Bravissimo Jasper!
I think you'll enjoy it ...


Holidays 2008 News

Print your Camper's 2009 Enroll Forms by clicking enroll forms ...

Now you don't have to wait to visit the Candy Store ...

Rupert update: Pathfinder has been asked to submit a trip report on the recent Rupert expedition to Che-mun Magazine. Check out this fascinating journal of tripping, click ...

Little Madawaska R., Nov 2008. Karl Doench

Autumn 2008 News

Nov. 30 -- update!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone ... There was a nice gathering yesterday at the Saturn Club in Buffalo. Over 100 campers, staff and parents were munching wings and watching camp photos from the 2008 season. It was great to see how much everyone enjoyed seeing each other again and talking about their trips. You can see the photos we showed on our web galleries: Trip photos ...   and   In-camp photos ...

If you're thinking about the Park, try opening this PDF map of Algonquin, then zoom in on your favorite route, or take it into PhotoShop. Park Map ...

Another cool map: Take a look at an Algonquin map project done by an avid Park tripper named Jeffrey McMurtrie. You can download his awesome map, but his web page also has cool information about making the map, and free versions of vintage Algonquin maps. Jeffrey's Algonquin map project ...

Nov. 23 -- update!
The Buffalo News has a Sunday feature article about Pathfinder's 2008 trip on the Rupert River in north-central Quebec. Read the online edition ...

Treasure Hunt 2008 is here!
Click over to the Library to view and play Lance's Hunt ...

Nov. 20 -- update!
Just a reminder that on June 1, 2009 a passport will be required to return to the US from Canada and Mexico. HOWEVER, children don't need one! If they are 16 or younger a birth certificate is still o.k. Of course, air travelers will need a passport, but this is great news for the many Campers who travel by bus or parent vehicle! For more information, click ...

Click through to some interesting pages on our site:

2008 Photo Galleries ...

2008 Trip Postings ...

2009 Calendar of Events ...

2008 Treasure Hunt ...

Please Come To The Saturn Club, Nov. 29 Autumn Reunion!
If you're anywhere near western New York at Thanksgiving, you can't miss the 10th annual Pathfinder Autumn Reunion. The Saturn Club on Sat. Nov. 29 at 2:00 pm. Parents, staff and alumni all gather to eat and drink yet more Thanksgiving weekend goodies, and to share stories about canoe trips and in-camp fun. There will be movies and photo shows, and the Staff as always will muster for introductions. Please RSVP to Sladds so we can plan for the food!

November News

Early Bird Offer is Still On!
Camp families can still enroll Early Bird for 2009. We have extended the e.b. offer for a few weeks. Remember, there are two Early Bird options. You can do Early Bird PrePay and save up to $275 on your camper's tuition. Or, put down just the $600 enroll deposit and your camper is an Early Bird with first dibs on the available slots in his favorite session. All Early Birds receive a free Oconto maple trip paddle!
Enroll Forms ...

New Session Options for New Boys in 2009!
A new camper who is age 7-8 now has a One-week session option in 2009.
A new camper who is age 11-12 now has a Two-week session option in 2009.
Check the details in Rates & Dates ...

The New Yearbook is Under Construction!
Camp Trails 2008 is now on the layout screens. Again this year, Corey and Sladds will produce a full-color 100+ page recap of all the campers, staff, sleepage, trips and candids of the '08 95th Pathfinder season. This year's book will include Lance's treasure hunt, as well as gorgeous photos from the 80 Pathfinder trips sent out this summer. Every '08 camper automatically receives a copy of Camp Trails. We will be shipping out the book at holiday time.



October News

Early Bird Enrollment Continues
The Early Bird enrollment period for current families and alumni families runs from September through November 1. This year we are offering families a grace period, so they can choose the Early Bird option into November as well. This gives current Pathfinder family members some extra time to choose one of the great Early Bird options. With Early Bird, your camper gets first choice of the available slots in '09!

Early Bird PrePay allows you to sign up a boy and pay the tuition now with a discount. For example, half-season sign up would save $275 and a two-weeker would save $175.

Regular Early Bird sign up means paying just the $600 deposit now, to secure your camper's preferred session. Every Early Bird camper receives a gorgeous maple Oconto Paddle Works trip paddle upon arrival at camp.

Early Birds, make sure to sign up now and get your spot for 2009! New families will start to enroll on November 1 at regular rates.

New Sessions for Younger Campers in 2009
For new Pathfinder boys, we have some new session options next summer.
Boys ages 7-8 will now enroll in a new "Mic-Mac" 1-week session, offered twice each summer. 

New boys ages 11-12 who are starting Pathfinder in the Cree tribe can choose a special new 2-week session, offered twice each summer. For more on dates and rates, click to enrollment ...



Pathfinder Autumn Reunion, Sat. Nov. 29 at Saturn Club, Buffalo
Everyone within reach of western New York is invited to make the annual trek to our big reunion reception in Buffalo on Thanksgiving weekend. The date is Saturday, Nov. 29, time is 2:00 - 5:00 pm, the place is Saturn Club at 944 Delaware Ave. Each year we enjoy food and drink, movies and slide shows, and the whole Pathfinder family of campers, parents, staff and alumni. Let Sladds know you're coming!

Looking Ahead ... Will our Campers need passports in 2009?
According to Homeland Security, on June 1, 2009 any US citizen over age 16 will need a passport to return to the States from Canada by road or air. However, children age 16 and under will still be able to return from Canada with just their birth certificates. Check the Info. for Parents page on this web site for more details.


Fall Crew Close Up '08

Fall crew '08

The Pathfinder Fall Crew this season included Sladds, Steve Szymkowiak, Aydin Perese, Finn McCance, Caleb Musgrave, Matt Onyskow and Dan Bird. Our fall chef was the incredible Dave Munns from Belleville, and his bakers/assistants from Mexico Fernanda and Paulina. Zach Arem and Max Brown each returned to camp to help us with a couple of events.

Pathfinder played host for outdoor education experiences this year to Lakefield College School, Wilson Magnet High School, Nichols School, Elmwood Franklin School, Allendale Columbia School, Huntsville High School, and the annual Father-Kid camp crew from Orchard Park, NY. A special doff of the cap to Elmwood Franklin on its 15th consecutive season at Pathfinder! 

September News - Final Banquet Aug. 19


Nathan Kowalski and Evan Dent were recognized at Final Banquet with our most coveted awards. Nathan won the Tripping Award, and Evan was voted winner of the Pathfinder Award. They nailed up their names in the Dining Hall for all time, as the entire camp community looked on.

First Half Camper Awards

Most Improved Mic-Chipp, Santi Sosa
Best Mic-Chipp, Jared Reeber
Most Improved Cree, Riley Hanson
Best Cree, Sam Merriman
Most Improved Ott, Rafa Parra
Best Ott, Ben Vaughan
Most Improved AA, Harrison Stinnett
Best AA, Nick Ferrara

Second Half Camper Awards

Best Mic-Chipp, Max Caplan
Most Improved Mic-Chipp, King Bassett
Best Cree, Ben Clement
Most Improved Cree, Bo Whitney
Best Ott, Rafa Parra
Most Improved Ott, Rafa Parra!
Best AA, Royce Hepburn
Most Improved AA, Evan Woodcock


Many campers were winners this night, as dozens received their AA cards and their Best and Most Improved Awards.


News and Notes - Summer 2008

Looking Back on Summer 2008
Read the June 1 bulletin here for key parent information.June 1 bulletin ...
Read the July Highlights 2008. July ...
Read the August Highlights 2008. August ...
95th Anniversary Alumni Reunion. Reunion ...

Mini-Camp Aug 8 - 10, 2008!

This is our 3-day camp just for new boys, ages 6-9, who are ready to try camp fun, in anticipation of attending Pathfinder next summer. 
More about Mini-Camp ...
Mini-camp 2009 details ...


May News


May highlights. Ice-out and early work crews reach camp ... students from Lakefield College and Wilson High School experience Pathfinder ... bugs bite and moose feed ... June crew arrives ... read and see more ...

The Newest Pathfinders: Wilson High School Outdoor Club
30 outstanding people became part of the Pathfinder family with a first-ever foray into the backwoods from their inner-city Rochester high school. The group worked with Pathfinder Headmen from May 23-26, and were among our camp's best-ever school guests.  Oh, there's photos. 
Wilson OC album 1 ...
Wilson OC album 2 ...


“The most appealing aspect of Camp Pathfinder is that it offers a combination of all of the elements that a school group seeks in an expeditionary learning experience. Pathfinder presents three essential components: a diverse array of activities; an energetic, engaging and experienced staff; and a technology-free, pristine island location. These all combine to create a unique atmosphere where visitors can focus on developing new relationships and strengthening existing bonds."
Davin Reddington, Wilson HS

More May highlights ...

Flower Beds planted in May. Peggy Hurley and Margot Cook of Dwight gifted Pathfinder with perrenials for new garden beds out front of the Dining Hall.


April's Notes ...

The ice is out at Source Lake!
Friday, April 25, 2008.

Pathfinder 'green' is doing the little things - Essay ...

Pathfinder to use water bottles sans BPA - Read more ...

Current parent eMail News April 9 - Parent news ...


April News

Source Lake April 22, 2008
View from the Ministry helicopter on Earth Day '08. The Park staff are watching developments from the air, in anticipation of major lakes being ice-free in a few days' time. Last year, Source was already open at this date, but the recent winter saw a huge build-up of snow and lake ice after a big January '08 thaw. Right now, the Source Lake road is barricaded and washed out in several places. Snow is still deep in the bush, and in places on the road. The parking lot is too soft for vehicles. Reports from our guys at the MNR say that water is several feet over the Car Dock, and as you can see from the aerial photo, the Canoe Dock may be partially submerged, while the Motorboat Dock, Kitchen Dock and main Swim Dock are all invisible, with water and ice well over them. Stay tuned for updates! sladds


Classic Snapshots Found

March 26 - Corot Reason sent me these yesterday, just what we're looking for in the 95th year! sladds

"I read on the alumni chatter page on the camp site about the pics you are accumulating ...

1967 AA trip: Taken on the canoe dock before the trip left. A young Richard Swift is also in the shot. Campers: myself, Herman, Lundquist, Hayes, Reed Lannom and Tim Arem.

Bob Roggow, JLay Leighbody and Jack Hurley, taken at the end of the trip at Opeongo. Note the decals on the three red canoes.

AAs and staff on the trip at the Pick Up showing the old stake truck that AO had.

An unusual shot of a logging truck on the road somewhere between Phillips and Radiant. We convinced the driver that he was going in the wrong direction. So we rode the logs over to Radiant. I'm sure it was very safe."



March News

Pathfinder News and Notes - March 2008

March 27 - see the latest camper sign-ups so far! Click roster ...

March 20 - You can find the latest parent forms for Summer 2008 on this web site, at the Parent Info page. To see the clothing list, the camper transport form, and the camper health form, click to Parent Info/forms.

March 10 - this morning Sladds was interviewed about Pathfinder by Spirit Magazine, a publication of the Tennis Clubs of America affiliate in Rochester. The piece runs in the April issue. Read the interview ...

March 1 - another Pathfinder article appeared in the March issue of Rochester Magazine, published by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The short piece by Nancy O'Donnell highlights Pathfinder's school group programs. Read the article ...


February News

Looking Ahead to 2008, the 95th Summer

Enrollment Update March 2008
Only a few places remain available for camp ages 13-15. Many Mics and Chipps are already signed up, but there are openings still in each 2-week session. The Cree tribe (11-12) has places as well, for either First Half or Second Half. 

Contact Camp for updates on sessions and space available. 
Call Sladds at 585.249.0716

Don't forget Mini-Camp '08, a 3-day trial camp session for our youngest prospects, ages 6-8. There's more info. about this special event on the News & Notes page.

95th Anniversary Celebration
Plans or the 95th anniversary alumni celebration are taking shape. Alumni, check regularly on the Alumni Chatter page of this web site!

Will Pathfinder Boys Need US Passports Next Summer?
As of March, US border policy is that American citizens returning by AIR to the US from Canada must have a valid passport. For Americans returning to the US from Canada by ROAD (e.g. camp bus or parent car), a passport is not required, only a birth certificate. Children age 18 and under are only required to prove citizenship with a birth certificate. Check our information in the Parent Info. section of this web site!


Camp Trails Yearbook 2007

Camp Trails is Out!

Pathfinder's 2007 Summer yearbook Camp Trails is a hit with Campers. All Campers receive a copy of Camp Trails! Staff and Alumni can get a copy, too: please email Sladds to have one sent for $25.00. This 108-page full color book highlights the people, trips and fun of the 94th Pathfinder season.

Camp Trails was designed again this year by Corey Floyd!


Scholarships for Our Campers

You can help a boy experience Pathfinder. Partial and full scholarships for Pathfinder campers in need are provided by a group of Pathfinder alumni who formed the Algonquin Campership Fund. Started in 2001 the Fund helps boys have the life-changing experience of attending Camp Pathfinder. The Fund is administered by the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

To see details about the scholarship process, click to
The Algonquin Campership Fund ...

To print an application for scholarship assistance, click to
ACF application pdf ...

To get details about giving to the Fund, email me

To contribute, send your check for any amount to: Algonquin Campership Fund, Rochester Area Community Foundation, 500 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607.


January News

photo: Ferrara

A Camper Photo Album
Several campers have sent in gorgeous trip photos from the summer. Here is an album from Nick Ferrara and Alex Dillon. Nice job boys! Click and enjoy ...

New Maps From Brack
When you look at your Pathfinder island map, you're looking at the early cartography of Chris Brackley. Chris moved on to study cartography, and has just told us his latest project is coming on line. He's worked at University of Toronto for over two years to bring the Historical Atlas of Canada to the web. Check out his interactive maps on line!
Click for Brack's Atlas ...

Happy New Year to All!


New Years Day at Camp 2008

photo: Karl Doench

December News

Dec. 2

Saturday, brilliant sun and biting cold covered the Park near Source, along with two feet of fresh snow from squalls on Thursday and Friday. Last year at this time, I was able to paddle to the Island on Nov. 30 in 45-degree weather. Today, a year later, the ponds are frozen and the larger lakes half-so. Here is a view from the portage looking back at the pond of the Madawaska River known to so many of our trippers. If you portaged your pack down the old rail bed out of the camp car dock, the shoreline on the far side of this photo is where you slid down the bank to the pond. Then, the muddy load-up and short paddle to the take-out where I stood to take the picture. To get to Tanamakoon Lake and points south, portage across Hwy. 60 and into another beaver pond.



December 7
The Headman's Cookbook Project ...
an assortment of trip food recipes from Headmen past and present.

Addendum: Details on Sandy Gage's Punjab Rice ...


November News

War canoe sprints, 2007 Regatta

November 15

This latest group of photos is about .... Groups. They're all group shots, ranging from Mischievous Mic-Chipps, to Cleaned up Crees, Wacked out Otts, Meanest Link Trippers, Camper All-Stars, Pyramid Builders, AA trip crews, Apache Scouts, Mungdastic Munday competitors, Raft Rockers, Headmen, SecondMen, CITs and Ladies of CPI '07.

I'm busy building web albums with more photos of '07. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, be sure to attend the Pathfinder events this fall: Saturn Club Autumn Reunion Nov. 23, and Rochester Reunion, another Paddle Tennis party at Midtown Athletic Dec. 8.

Noonway for now,










September News - Final Banquet, August 19

Nick Cavallo spoke for the Campers, and Ben Bristow spoke for the Staff. Austin Ferguson, whose father Read and uncle Whit also attended Pathfinder, was voted both the Pathfinder Award and the Tripping Award this year. Here, he hammers up the paddle with DOT Zach Arem lending a hand.

Read Nick's Camper Speech ...


August News

Your Guides' Race Champions
Zach Arem and Adrian Kelly, Aug. 2007


Mini-Camps 2007-2009

August 10, 2007 / August 8, 2008 / August 14, 2009
3 Days of Adventure for New Boys ages 6 - 8

Mini-Camp was a huge hit in 2007. We had a dozen new boys who came to check us out. They had a blast and many felt confident about coming to Pathfinder in 2008. We repeated this offering in Summer 2008, again with great results!

The best way to get a future Camper excited about Pathfinder is for him to visit and spend time here. Doing activities with the Staffmen and other Campers, swimming in Source Lake, discovering the food is amazing, and falling asleep to the wind in the pines and the calls of loons.

Mini-Camp is devoted to just 12 boys, ages 6-8 years. We can sometimes accept a 9 year old as well. They come for a 2-night/3-day stay. They’ll live like Pathfinder Campers, sleep in a lodge, have meals with us in the Dining Hall, go to activity periods, choose Optionals, play Evening Program, hit the Forts, jump in for Soap Bath, and visit Candy Store. All just like real Campers.

Parents are welcome to spend first and last mornings of mini-camp on the island, but for the rest of the weekend have their own Algonquin experience at one of the excellent nearby lodges. This is your chance to let your son be independent, while you enjoy all that Algonquin Park has to offer.

Mini-Camp fee runs about $275.00 and is all-inclusive. For more details, contact Sladds and request your invitation!

Smugmug vimeo.png instagram.png you-tube.png facebook.png