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Blog - Ice Out, May 2022

Attention Pathfinder Families!

Please read the whole blog post. There's key info here for you, including: Health and Health Form

Transport and Transport Form

Packing and Clothing/Gear Form Read details here and on the webpage, then jump back into your camper enroll web page to complete:

Ice Is Out - The Game is On!

We've completed one week since our 2022 Spring Crew arrived on May 1. The crew is moving quickly and making record progress getting camp opened up for out first school group arrival on May 16. After a few misty days, the sun came shone for us just in time for moving docks into place and paddling canoes back to the Canoe Dock. Tents have been swept out and canvas began going up Friday.

Ice-Out Crew (with a few more lads joining shortly):

Mike Sladden, Camp Director

Simon McNamee, Director of Facilities

Chris O'Brien, Director of Tripping

Paige Clark, Program Director

Nell Bruckner, Waterfront Director

Gonzalo Pantoja, Head Chef

Andrew Beecher, Senior Headman

Simon Jeens, Veteran Headman Aidan McPhail, Veteran Headman

Aidan Walters, Rising Headman

Jacob Seifred, Rookie Headman

Dan Bundgard, Rookie Headman

May Crew Chases Out Last Algonquin Ice

Camp opens July 1 and closes out the summer August 20. That’s two months, but only half the story of a Pathfinder Season. A small spring crew of senior staff arrive as the ice departs, to open up the Dining Hall, set up the tents, docks and canoes, start essential maintenance projects, and create programs to welcome both school students and staff friends throughout May and June. In autumn the process repeats, when September morphs into October with a parade of school, family and alumni groups using Pathfinder and her staff, until it’s time to drain the plumbing, plastic the windows, post the roof trusses and snug the Island down for November – to – April.

Lake ice comes into the Algonquin highlands with December weather and is good for walking after New Years. A few hardy souls return to Pathfinder on some winter weekends, snowshoe walking and pulling sleds from Highway 60 to reach the sanctuary of the PX and its wood stove, our shelter from those temps that touch -35c, but make for fun hiking and roof-shoveling. Soon the lake ice is almost 2-feet thick, so you can imagine a lot of Spring days are required to melt it all.

Ice-out came in about average this year. Source was becoming ice free on a long-awaited sunny Sunday, Apr. 24 and with evening rains ‘ice-out’ was complete overnight sometime leading into Monday Apr. 25. In Algonquin’s highland lakes, historical ice-out dates have ranged between one crazy early Mid-March date and some crazy late May 10 dates. Generally it’s been around May 1, with some April dates in recent years reflecting perhaps the clearly warming climate.

Typically the bush roads are soft with trees down, and the landings and docks are awash with spring freshet flooding throughout the Park. Large soft drifts of snow linger on north-facing slopes and dot the woods. You will stop working to listen to the drumming of grouse, maybe hear your first loons of the season wailing, or spot a scruffy Moose walking gingerly through the bush, a survivor of another winter.

Warm May days in towns like Gravenhurst and Huntsville belie the freezing overnights and sluggish warming of Algonquin days in this season. The big Palace End fireplace feels especially good at breakfast time and again in the evenings. Lots of blankets in the simple staff cabins.

The weather can turn filthy at any moment, but summer is coming and nothing can stop it.

These days warm to bring songbirds, trout rises and the hum of bugs. They also bring more camp staff who can really team up to polish their certifications or set up the activities in plenty of time for the Big Moment, the arrival July 1 of the first Campers!

For many from the US, this season marks a return after two long years away, or an extended wait to have a rookie Pathfinder season. The Canadian boys are ready and waiting for you, they're about as excited as you!

Camper families -- Check these essential web pages for information as we ramp up to the 109th Pathfinder summer.


We’re full for ages 7 – 10, and age 15 – 16, but we have some spaces for ages 11 – 14. Grab a last spot.

Health and Covid-Practices 2022

The Pathfinder plan includes vaccination, pre-arrival screening, and smart monitoring to prevent even asymptomatic spread of coronavirus in the camp community. Contact Sladds any time with questions. Here’s your part: touch the Covid thumbnail at the News headlines:

Packing, Clothing and Gear

A Pathfinder camper can thrive on just the basics, but make sure he’s coming with what he needs. These lists and tips can help you get packed, and the camp has a few key items available at cost as a courtesy.

Completing your Health and Transport Forms

Log in to your camper enrollment web page, choose your transport options, complete your health form.

Camp Health Form - Be sure you save as you go on this form, and you can upload vaccine info as well.

More on Camp Transport Details

Season Calendar Check out this busy renaissance season at CPI

Special Events ‘22

The 2nd annual Canada inter-agency search-and-rescue training at Pathfinder Island, June 7-8.

The 4th annual Spruce Root headmen’s conference June 10-11.

The first full season of Pathfinder’s Age-16 LIT program.

Family Camps! July 8 - 11 and Aug. 3 - 6. Reception in remembrance of emeritus owner Wendy Swift, Aug. 20.

The return of the "OP at AP" Orchard Park Dads’ Weekend for Year 20, Sept. 22.

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