Hello all, I've been on this site forever, post once in a while but mainly read. I've been a base camper in BWCA since 1973. Just what my folks did and I've done since I've started leading my own trips. I've taken many guys who's only exposure to BWCA was a youth group trip that moved every day. They were amazed that you could do BWCA in comfort, enjoying the fishing and the scenery, without having to move everyday. The food is better and you are more comfortable in camp. I've based camped on Ensign (a lot), Knife and Agnes in Quetico (my first trip with motors and heavy gas cans on the meadows portages in the early 70's was not fun). Look forward to more conversations on base camping. Saw this group on the main forum and joined.
Like the experiences you describe, many of us chaperoned youth trips back in the day. One of the great strategies for maintaining one's sanity was to keep the kids busy, including moving every day and putting on the miles. I certainly don't regret the experiences... the ground we covered and sights we saw back then seem just a bit out of reach now at our age. But, there is nothing like today's trips: traveling with your peers -- some who also had the experience of guiding youth -- at a far more relaxed pace. We basecamp and either fish or do longer day trips. Heavenly.
"You can observe a lot just by watching." -- Yogi Berra