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Spruce Root 2022

Friday, June 10 - Saturday, June 11

A Chautauqua on Leadership and Wilderness Canoe Trips.

By Invitation, For Pathfinder Headmen & Alumni
Pathfinder Island • Source Lake • Algonquin Park

Chautauqua noun, chau•tau•qua
Describes an adult education movement popular in rural America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Named for the western New York lake where it was first held. Chautauquas assembled notable presenters in culture, philosophy, education arts, sciences and religion.

Our 4th Pathfinder Spruce Root

A Chautauqua on Leadership and Wilderness Canoe Trips, June 10 - 11, 2022
Welcoming field experts to share a weekend with the Pathfinder staff on Source Lake. 
James Raffan, explorer, author, educator
Emma Fogel, family and child social worker
Bob Henderson, professor-author-guide, McMaster Univ.
Linda Leckie, outdoor educator, lifesaving instructor
Christine McRae, indigenous culture educator 
Grace Herman, alumna, Univ. Buffalo Medical  School
Chris Thurber, p
sychologist, Philips Exeter Academy
Marika Chandler, director Outward Bound Canada East
Wally Schaber, founder TrailHead, Dumoine River expert
Rory MacKay, historian, author 'Algonquin Park'
Roy MacGregor, author, columnist
Erin Pehar,  guide, owner MHO Outfitters
Tom Appleyard, public health policy and leadership advisor
Katie Warner, guide Keewaydin Camp, Simms Fishing Co.
Tom Unger, alumnus, scientist,  PhD Boston University
Craig MacDonald,  Algonquin ranger, researcher, map maker
Chris Brackley, alumnus, cartographer Canadian Geographic
David Johnson, founder WMA, ship's doctor
Carolyn Hyslop / Jeremy Ward, Canadian Canoe Museum
Eric Shendelman, Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition
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Hosted by : Mike Sladden, Camp Owner and Director, & Glenn Arthurs, Camp Owner

Moderated by:   Dr. John Herman, Alumnus

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Craig MacDonald, Lands & Forests ranger

Craig was Algonquin Park's chief ranger, just one chapter of a remarkable career from Baffin Island to Temagami and beyond. Craig's research into the traditional winter and  summer travel routes of the indigenous people led him to elders and knowledge  keepers. His life's work make him an encyclopedia of knowing routes Headmen travel.


James Raffan, explorer-author

James Raffan is one of Canada's most influential explorers. A gifted teacher, prolific  writer and driving force of the Canadian Canoe Museum, Raffan is the constant venturer into wild places of the world,  especially the north. His canoe camp roots and enthralling cadence were gems of Spruce Root 3, and we're lucky to have him back.


Emma Fogel, social worker

Emma Fogel is in private practice in Toronto. Her passion and professional mission is to support kids, teens and parents through challenging life moments. A registered social worker with certification in Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and pediatric grief. Beyond her clinical work Emma provides mental health-informed training and webinars for educational, recreational and corporate groups throughout Ontario.


Christine McRae, Indigenous educator

A trusted teacher and advisor to Pathfinder, Christine is a member of the Crane clan of the Algonquins who call the Madawaska River watershed their ancestral lands... more


Wally Schaber, paddler-author-outfitter

Wally attended the first Spruce Root in 2015 and the audience was transfixed by his comprehensive knowledge of the Dumoine, one of our all-time favorite wild rivers. A paddling buddy of the likes of Bill Mason, and founder of TrailHead and Blackfeather, Wally is one of those literal legends in our field. His book on the Dumoine joins with Hap Wilson's guide as the two definitive titles every Headman needs for that trip.


Tom Unger, alumnus - computer scientist

Tommy Unger was a longtime camper and staff, whose academic interests consumed his off-season. A deep dive into physics ultimately led him eventually to artificial intelligence and machine learning. He's currently a PhD candidate at BU.


Tom Appleyard, emergency management

Tom, a trusted  advisor to Pathfinder during Covid, is an independent management consultant and facilitator. With a focus in the health care and camp sectors, Tom's expertise is in emergency and risk management, workplace participation and leadership. He served as Ontario's Manager of Emergency Response & Recovery with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.


Grace Herman, alumna - health provider

Grace served on the Pathfinder staff for six years while attending McGill and pursuing graduate studies. A stint at Mass. General Hospital working in addiction medicine led her to medical school at Univ. Buffalo where she remains close to her camp family.


Bob Henderson, author-professor

Always engaging and thought-provoking, Dr. Bob Henderson spent a career teaching at McMaster and trekking the world, authoring 'Trails and Tales', 'Pike's Portage' and numerous scholarly articles. He serves as a board member of Youth Trails Initiative and is a devotee of Scandinavian music.   PhD. Outdoor Education, Univ. Alberta.


Rory MacKay, historian-author

Rory's seminal title: 'Algonquin Park - A Place Like No Other ' was in publication by the time he presented at Spruce Root 3 - his book was a 20-year labor of love giving us the best chronicle of the Park since Audrey Sanders' 'Algonquin Story' decades ago


Katie Warner, guide-Source Laker

Katie grew up on Source Lake, grand-daughter of Bill and Wendy Swift, former Pathfinder owners and co-founders of Algonquin Outfitters. A Keewaydin guide, Katie led a girls' Nunavik trip in 2019 that was the subject of a remarkable documentary film 'Wood on Water .' Katie returns to Source to screen and discuss the film and trip.


Marika Chandler, Outward Bound

Marika is a 15-year veteran of the outdoor guiding and paddling industry and has served with Outward Bound since 2015. Now the director for Canada - east, Marika is an OCA colleague and fellow board member with Sladds. She served on the OCA Covid-19 Task Force, and is a leader in our field for education, and advocacy for LGBTQ2S+ youth experiences in outdoor settings.

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