Special to the Reporter
The Scouts of Troop 725 from Glen Rose have just returned from a 15-day trip to Ontario Canada where they spent nine days canoeing in the boundary waters area of Quetico Provincial Park. The trip was outfitted by the Northern Tier High Adventure Base near Ely, Minnesota which is operated by the Boy Scouts of America. Five Troop members met the minimum age requirement as well as being able to carry a 100-pound pack for a distance of one mile.
The boys spent nine days on the water, paddled a total of 118 miles, and endured 22 portages. That’s like paddling from Glen Rose to Oklahoma.
Quetico Provincial Park contains thousands of pristine lakes and miles of unspoiled wilderness within its 1.1 million acres. The Canadian government limits the number of visitors and only allows groups to contain nine people or less when visiting the park in order to have less of an impact on the wildlife. The scouts saw bears, moose, bald eagles, beavers, loons, and wolf tracks as well as catching some walleye, pike, and small mouth bass.
The Scouts journey took them through many remote lakes, rivers, and beaver streams. In order to get from one lake to the next you have to “portage” or carry all your canoes and gear over some pretty long and rough trails in order to reach the next lake or river. Just the two food packs weighed more than 100 pounds each, but they got lighter as the days went by.
The journey to get to Northern Minnesota from Glen Rose was 1,500 miles each way and for safety reasons, the Scouts only traveled about 500 miles each day. The group took the Methodist church bus and got to see much of the heartland of our country. The boys visited seven states, stayed at five different churches, and visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Mall of America, the bridges of Madison County, and the most incredible movie theatre in the world in Wichita, Kansas.
Four adults accompanied the Troop including Dr. Paul Schmidt who as a youth spent four summers as a guide for the Boy Scouts at Northern Tier and also served as our guide on this trip.
When asked about the trip Scoutmaster Mike Brady said the boundary waters area is a place of incredible beauty and unspoiled wilderness and our journey through only a small part of it left an indelible mark on the hearts of every member of our group.