est. 1914

Camp Pathfinder

A Boys Summer Camp • Ages 7-16

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A BOY'S SUMMER LIFE

What is it like to be a Pathfinder camper?...

A Pathfinder camper enjoys exciting outdoor sports and canoe trips - a boy's ideal summer adventure. A Pathfinder summer also means growing independence, character, values, abilities, and friendships for life.

Boys attend Pathfinder from the U.S., Canada, Europe and South America. Our campers hail from 14 U.S. states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 6 overseas countries.

Since 1914, Pathfinder has provided a renowned canoe tripping program, and a rich in-camp program of paddling, nature lore / ecology, swimming, athletics, arts, and ropes-challenge. Traditions are many at Pathfinder, including everything from games to awards, to events celebrating our long history of fellowship. Pathfinder puts the emphasis on friendships and community, on simple-living in a low-technology setting and on a boy's personal connection to the natural world.

Great food, great friends, great memories - the summer experiences of a Pathfinder camper are one of a kind.

 

THE PATHFINDER EXPERIENCE

“ I experienced some of the best times I've had in my entire life. I can't wait to go back next year and relive the wonderful Pathfinder memories that make us all come running back.”

-Eli, Pathfinder Camper

“I was particularly impressed by the character and culture that I saw in your staff. The level of positive engagement and leadership that I saw from the team was really remarkable. Congratulations to your whole staff!”

-Chris Mecray, Pathfinder Parent

 

For Parents

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CANOE TRIPPING

Pathfinder trippers, in our trademark red canoes, explore the 3,000 square mile Algonquin Park backcountry. Older boys trace the northern rivers of Ontario and Quebec, reaching James and Hudson bays.

Learn how our campers enjoy 2-day to 40-day adventures in pure wilderness.

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Among the ways Pathfinder meets its mission to campers and staff is the camp’s outreach to indigenous peoples of the canoe country Pathfinder people have revered since our inception in 1914. 

Pathfinder expeditionary trips paddle to the remote bay communities where our indigenous family partners welcome them, sharing traditional knowledge, activities and meals. Closer to home, the Camp welcomes Algonquin boys and  girls through scholarship and a tripping collaborative.

 

In-Camp Program

Summer days in camp are filled with laughter, fun, tradition and learning.
Summer at Pathfinder is for enjoying the activities and rhythms of north woods camp life. Morning activity periods are for instruction in core activities like swimming, paddling, ropes and camping skills. At afternoon "optionals" campers choose their favorites activities to attend.

 

How about archery, kayaking, art, biking, fishing, climbing and ropes?

Click on an activity below to learn more!
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FRONT-COUNTRY ADVENTURES

Even short trips take Pathfinder Island boys right into the renowned interior of Algonquin.
How about these 2021 camper adventures in what is our ‘Front Country’?
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A Walk to Old Growth of Our Own

A short paddle along the Source shoreline reveals cedar, black spruce, white pine and ancient rock shoals. It all leads into Loon Point Bay, where you can gently watch Loons keeping their nest on the tiniest island of the lake...

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Trout In Our Back Yard

If you can rise before the sun, sip cocoa and munch a bagel or bowl of cereal by headlamp, you can paddle a glass calm Source to reach Ouse or Owl Lakes for a morning ambush mission for Splake or Speckled Trout...

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A Spirit World Revealed in Red Ochre

Whether you bike or paddle to reach Rock Lake, downstream on the Madawaska from Source headwaters, you’ll find massive sheer rock walls diving into deep Algonquin waters, a placid beach shoreline tucked in at the outlet of the river, and a cliff with a water entrance...

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GLM Style - A Rip Round The Horn

The legendary canoe trip Mics and Chipps do in three days can be mastered in three hours by our Otts and AAs. Fast paddling and portaging in Pathfinder canvas canoes takes you through a landscape of small lakes and trails of the Madawaska headwaters country...

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Step Into A Tom Thomson Painting

Follow the route of the camp railway west to Potter’s Creek. Launch the canoes and glide through shallow curves filled with the stumps of giant white pine felled 150 years ago. Pass under a bleached wreck of a timber log road bridge and land at the grassy remnants of Mowat...

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Bike-Paddle-Hike the SkyMount

Paddle through Tanamakoon into Cache, follow the bays to the Madawaska River outlet and dam, leave the boats and walk up into the forest past tumbling creeks and mossy cliff-faces.Through a high draw between hills and up a long flight of primitive trail steps is the route to a cliff-top panorama...

 
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OUR HISTORY

Camp Pathfinder was established on Source Lake in 1914 by Rochester educators Franklin Gray and William Bennett. Pathfinder has been in operation ever since. Past owners Herman Norton, William Swift, Roy Thrall, and Mac Rand were all Camp Pathfinder men, who advanced the camp significantly during their tenures.

 

The current owners are alumni Glenn Arthurs and Mike Sladden, who have continued to steward the camp on Pathfinder Island as a simple, technology-free outpost, a unique community in the heart of wild, world-famous Algonquin Provincial Park. From here, Pathfinder trippers explore throughout backcountry Ontario and Quebec.

Young people come to Pathfinder for experiences that last a lifetime. A summer canoe tripping camp for boys, with a complete in-camp sport and skill program, Pathfinder has become well known for its wilderness tripping and staff leadership programs.
The camp also serves as an outdoor education destination for school, outdoors and family groups from across the northeast.

 
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FAMILY CAMP

Escape to perfect family time on Pathfinder Island

Warm days, cool evenings, morning mists, great swimming, stargazing, and delicious homemade Algonquin woods camp meals. No cooking or cleaning – just the wild beauty of Algonquin Park to share with your family. Join right in with the camp program, and enjoy special family events for parents and kids alike. A great intro for your son to the Pathfinder experience.

- Returning in 2022 -

4 days in both July & Aug.

 
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The Pathfinder Staff is the soul and strength of our century-old culture. Pathfinder boasts a large staff of young men, homegrown from camper age, with canoe country expertise and a dedication to individual camper attention. A talented, expert complement of young women join in as instructors, directors and health professionals, creating a 1:2 staff to camper ratio unique in camping.

 

The position of Pathfinder counselor is one of caretaker, role-model friend and teacher, focused on the campers. Pathfinder staff provide guidance and continuity of tradition. They create that all-important positive masculine culture for the campers. They share core Pathfinder values -- fraternity, service, teamwork, heritage, respect for the natural world, and personal goal-setting, achievement, and reflection.

Our counselors give their guys Pathfinder’s magic mix of challenges and encouragement. They reward each genuine camper effort and milestone. They possess that rarest ingredient - empathy – to blend with the excitement, skills and maturity carried forward from their own camper years.

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Our Staff

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Contact Us

Email or call the camp office any time. Sladds and the crew will return your after-hours messages each morning.

 

Planning a visit? Let us help you with arrangements.

 Remember: snail mail is always a treat for your Camper!

Our Director

 

Michael Sladden

mike@camppathfinder.com

Summer Office

 

Source Lake

Algonquin Park
Huntsville, ON

P1H 2H1 Canada

(705) 633-5553  

Winter Office
 

35 Park Lane
Rochester, NY

14625 USA


(585) 249-0716