" When we’ve paddled and portaged and the day is done, we sit by the fire and watch the setting sun, and as we lay down our heads on our soft balsam beds, we thank the great spirit that our blood runs Pathfinder red."
For 109 years, Camp Pathfinder has preserved the tradition of canoe-tripping in cedar canvas canoes. Our campers and staff have reveled in each others' company and the north woods around them as they've paddled and portaged Algonquin's routes, set up tents and created delicious meals over open fire. While gear, technology, and best practices have evolved over the years, what lies at the core of Pathfinder and its trippers never changes.
"Canoe Tripping defines the Pathfinder spirit better than any other expression... When Pathfinder family gather - young, old, alumni, family, friends - conversations ultimately turn to the one thing we love and remember the most: canoe trips... It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 55. If you attended Pathfinder, canoe tripping is part of your soul... No matter where our journey in life takes us, we will always remember our time at Pathfinder ." -Zach Arem
In Their Own Words
ALUMNI STORIES, LETTERS, SPEECHES & MORE
Tom Hadala, 2006
Our alumni residents are participants in the camp experience, a wonderful vibrant presence. A team of them split up our summer season so we always have a couple on-island, keeping Pathfinder values and traditions alive with the current generation of campers and staff.
Jim Coakley has been active with Pathfinder since the early 1960s and was a headman to Sladds and Glenn in their camper days, as well as serving as a tripping director and
longtime alumni guest staffer with a specialty in trip staff mentoring. In 2012-13, 'Gyro' served as camp's Alumni Director, helping to organize the Centennial celebration. He and his wife Sue are active skiers, hikers and community members on Lake Eastman in NH.
JIM 'GYRO' COAKLEY
Corot Reason joins in the action for his second season. A Toronto-based IT professional, Corot is a 1970s alumnus as camper and staff man. He has recently been extremely
active for Pathfinder as a Spruce Root guest speaker and attendee, and as a liaison for Pathfinder's Syrian Refugee Project. Corot will be all over the Island July 27 - Aug. 4, and wil help host our August Family Camp.
Josh is a 1970s alumnus from a branch of the expansive Anderson clan. He has participated in the residence for several seasons and keeps attending as long as he can keep the dreaded
'nibblers' of his many Boston work obligations at bay. You'll find Josh trucking, handling power crew, working the TP and generally keeping us moving.
Wit famously hailed from 'Historic Acton, Mass' in Lance's 1980s announcements, and spent Pathfinder years as both a camper and trip staff man. Mike was the first Pathfinder Headman - along with
Simon Mortimer - to lead a trip to James Bay. The well-known Missinaibi River trip of 1986 ushered in the far-northern trip program at Pathfinder, and 2019's version was extra sweet to Witmore, since his son Silas paddled the massive 39-day trip to the eastern shores of Hudson Bay. A Spruce Root speaker and all-around recruiter, Mike serves as the director of Washington's Folger Shakespeare Library, from a background as an academic and musician. His Washington home is campsite for annual DC soirees of campers, staff and alumni when we recruit the next generation of Pathfinder campers from the Capitol Hill crowd. Mike may be in residence any time in a summer, and you could find him in the Canoe Shop with Dave Statten.
As a ‘70s camper, Jim won the moniker ‘Tiger’ from owner Roy Thrall, for thriving at Pathfinder after overcoming a bout of rookie homesickness. Thrive he did, tripping
with camp for years and then returning for our alumni program. As an alumnus visiting each summer, El Tigre is still a trusted confidant of campers getting their Pathfinder sea legs. Tiger’s always available to send off and welcome home canoe trippers, and generally liven up in-camp life. A man who relishes the call, “Power Crew!”
JIM 'TIGER' LION
Jamey passed away in Sept. 2021 , following a battle with cancer.
He first came to Pathfinder as camper from Jamestown, New York, home to Andersons, Johnsons, Jennings and more. He went on to work on the trip staff for years and to assist Mac Rand and later Sladds and Glenn over many alumni summers. His AA trips, including a classic with Glenn Arthurs, solidified his love for the Algonquin life, and he was among Pathfinder's longest-tenured alumni guests over several decades. A school teacher recently working in North Dakota, Jamey was our marvelous friend, trucker and boatman during his summer breaks.
REMEMBERING JAMEY BUMBALO
Pete is a Buffalo legend, running the physical education program at Elmwood Franklin School. He's also the award-winning coach of Buffalo Shamrocks Hockey. Pete has been
Elmwood's lead teacher on outdoor education experiences at Pathfinder for over 25 years, and spends the second half of camp seasons in residence on CPI, along with a goodly contingent of EFS boys and many staff friends. An amazing resource and font of energy for the CPI traditions we all love, we simply couldn't do it in August without Pete.