May 26-May 27
Spring on Source Lake has become, over the past two decades, a busy scene with camp projects and outdoor education classes. Despite Pathfinder’s early school programming being cancelled for a second year, we just hosted a unique early-season educational event. Camp was called into service by the government, and in the process got to witness some cool rescuer moves, and practice our Covid-adaptive safety measures on the island.
On May 26-27, Pathfinder served as the host site for a large-scale Algonquin Park inter-agency training session, merging four of the entities serving central Ontario for emergency response and search/rescue. The two-day event involved medical response exercises, aircraft safety and technique seminars, and land-water-air victim transport simulations.
The 40 participants hailed from Ontario Parks emergency management, Renfrew County’s “Sierra Teams” wilderness paramedics service, Canada’s Base Trenton JRCC Search and Rescue unit, and Algonquin Park's team of wardens and pilots.
Having helicopters, float planes and Hercules C130 giants overhead was fascinating learning, but our May Crew headmen were also providing some teaching to the teams, coaching paramedics and wardens in stroke work, shore landings, and portaging. They even ran some chilly waters trip training, including canoe T-rescues, In’s & Out’s, and canoe-raft backboard transports.
Our guests and staff followed strict Pathfinder and Ontario Covid safety guidance, with masking, hand-hygiene, cleaning/disinfection, distanced living (1 per tent), and personal food service courtesy of Chef David Cooke and his staff from our park neighbors at Arowhon Pines Resort.
Pathfinder has always been fortunate to have good relations with Algonquin’s managers, and this year’s partnership is part of a beneficial evolving relationship with Ontario Parks. We’re joining the emergency response landscape here in a new way. Pathfinder trips are the ultimate winners in terms of knowledge and safety. In fact, the elite JRCC SaRTechs (Search and Rescue Technicians) and their planes and helo’s are responsible for ten million square kilometers of Canada and that includes all our AA trip river regions around James and Hudson Bays. Now they’re getting to know our Headmen by name, and our camp culture by cooperation.
We shared some great workshops and meals, learning a lot. We practiced our Covid procedures and found they can be smooth, leaving room for fun. We also saw some cool air operations over Source Lake and will share pictures with everyone in the coming days.
For now, it’s back to getting Camp ready for all of you to arrive. Hang in there, check out our Camp 2021 page, and keep in touch with all the Pathfinder news for June!