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      Any concerns for a 20 year woman working in the BWCA?     
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02/04/2020 01:20PM  
My daughter has the BWCA bug. She went with me when she was 12, and then again when she was 15. Now she is a sophomore in college and last summer took a college class in the BWCA. And we also went up there.

She has just received a job offer to work with a Methodist church camp as a BWCA guide for the summer.

I am kind of jealous of her, to be honest.

But, you know, I am a dad. And along with being proud and excited, I have dad worries about a 20 year old woman out there all summer.

Any thoughts?


 
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02/04/2020 01:56PM  
The BWCA is safer than any city. Probably one of the safest places she could spend the summer.
 
tonyyarusso
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02/04/2020 02:04PM  
She might like it too much and never come home again.
 
inspector13
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02/04/2020 02:11PM  

Yeah. Methodists seem like a shifty bunch. : )

 
KarlBAndersen1
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02/04/2020 02:28PM  
tonyyarusso: "She might like it too much and never come home again."

That was the reply I was going to use when I read the post.

Dude - just let her go. She'll have the time of her life. Anyone would.
 
02/04/2020 02:50PM  
You are her dad. You have certain responsibilities to educate, provide and protect your children.

Sounds like you have done a great job so far.

Make sure she is educated on those things you think she ought to know... dehydration, preventing water borne illness, emergency first aid for massive bleeding, keeping body temperature out of extremes....etc.

Talk to her about situational awareness.... not putting herself in high risk situations .

None of this is paranoia that others will brush off, this is your duty.

Educate, prepare and then enjoy her time in the bwca. I agree that she is less likely to be in trouble than if she were going to some city for the summer.
 
Mocha
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02/04/2020 02:55PM  
Well, she wouldnt be the only guide. Generally there needs to be 2 supervisoru people from camps.

I agree...let her go. I went up to do my college internship in 1987 and didn't leave until 2016. ;)
 
02/04/2020 02:56PM  
Best experience anyone could have. She might get a little taken back by how many young newbies will not exactly practice LNT and such. But what better opportunity to share proper ways of doing things out there and appreciating everything.
 
JimmyJustice
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02/04/2020 03:47PM  
Maybe reach out directly (pm) to the women on this site who have been part of outfitters or guide services, for their thoughts and perspectives. Lynn at VNO comes to mind.

Cool opportunity but I too as a dad would ask the same questions.
 
RedwoodRez
 
02/04/2020 04:01PM  
A dad speaking here.

I worked for an outfitters during my college summers nearly 40 years ago. My daughter has worked for same outfitters for three summers. She's going back for a fourth.

Fun fact, two of the guys I worked with had daughters work there as well as one of the women I worked with.

It's not for everyone but if you love the BWCA it will be the best job of your life.
 
02/04/2020 04:24PM  
Beavers: "The BWCA is safer than any city. Probably one of the safest places she could spend the summer." Been saying this for years
 
Northwoodsman
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02/04/2020 05:30PM  
Encourage her to go, to be a positive example, and to make a lasting impact on others. No doubt that at least one person someday will look back and remember something she did or said.
 
02/04/2020 05:30PM  
I thank people for the thoughts and messages so far. To clear up any confusion, I was not asking if I should "let her go." She is 20 years old and thus, you know, an adult.

But I am still a dad, and so can worry and provide some guidance, etc.
 
nooneuno
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02/04/2020 05:42PM  
Drab:
But, you know, I am a dad. And along with being proud and excited, I have dad worries about a 20 year old woman out there all summer.
Any thoughts?
"


You are quite within your rights to be worried, as I surely would be, think realistically about the savagery she faces: sunburn, poison ivy, sprained ankles, running out of contraband beer; the horror.
Be thankful that she does not want to work as a Senate page, a White House intern, google, facebook, wall street..............
 
02/04/2020 06:37PM  
I've got a 20 year old daughter. I think I'd rather have her work around the BWCA trippers that most any other group of people.
 
andym
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02/04/2020 07:13PM  
When my wife was 20 she spent a summer doing geological studies in Alaska with one other person, getting dropped off by bush planes for a week or two at a time. One time she got dropped off by herself after having to help the pilot find the spot. Then she got to sit there for a few hours hoping that he could find it again with her field partner. I think the BW will be absolutely fine and a fantastic experience. Lots of kids that age are probably guiding youth groups.
 
adam
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02/04/2020 07:19PM  
I was just talking to a family friend, and young lady who is a freshman in college to work for an outfitter this summer as a great opportunity.
 
pswith5
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02/04/2020 07:23PM  
I would tell her to always be prepared for any situation. Obviously as a guide wear a pfd and make sure others do to. Maybe troubleshoot situations. Then live vicariously through her.
 
Marten
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02/04/2020 08:53PM  
It will make memories that will last a lifetime, just tell her she can't even think about going into the Rootbeer business.
 
02/04/2020 09:25PM  
Marten: "It will make memories that will last a lifetime, just tell her she can't even think about going into the Rootbeer business."

That made me laugh.
 
straighthairedcurly
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02/04/2020 10:18PM  
A daughter speaking here. I also went to work in the BWCA in my 20's. Best experience of my life. I learned how to lead, how to have confidence in my own abilities, and much, much more. I worked at a YMCA camp and ultimately led extended expeditions in Canada. I had the total blessing of my parents (who also were the ones responsible for instilling my love of the outdoors at a young age).

My dad still tells the story of the year when my long trip had to pull off trail in Canada due to forest fires. We were stuck in a small Manitoba town for quite awhile waiting for roads to open so we could go to Ontario and start a new route. We used our time well by helping cook food for firefighters. The news media caught wind of our group of young women and a local TV station camped out by my parents house. When they interviewed my mom, they were sure they would get some "made for TV news" tears from a frantic mother. When asked if she was worried about me being so close to the forest fire area, my mom calmly replied, "Oh no, I'm not worried. My daughter knows how to take care of herself." Disappointed reporters packed up their cameras and left. They never aired a word of the interview.

Your daughter will go and have amazing experiences. She will come back stronger (physically, spiritually, and mentally) and wiser.

Be a proud dad!
 
02/04/2020 10:29PM  
Check with the Wilderness Canoe Base at the end of the Gunflint Trail. The camp has existed since the late 1940’s I think and has long had female staff taking groups into the BWCA. I never heard of any problems. At least once a group of female staff did an extended all female trip in Canada and came back with great stories. I once went on a 5 day fall trip which was an annual reunion trip for alumni camp staff. The women on that trip were in their 60’s and all talked about how great their staff summers were as young women.
 
jillpine
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02/05/2020 06:03AM  
In my life, most everything has a formula. The risk formula that I apply to
five decades of adventures (nearly all of which as solo female, or solo female with tiny kids or elderly parents), is this: GE + AB = RT

GE = gas engine (car, boat, atv, snow mobile, chain saw, lawn mower, snow blower, tractor, etc)
AB = alcohol beverage
RT = risk of trouble

In terms of this equation, BWCA is minimal risk. She will have an adventure of a lifetime. Be proud, papa!



 
02/05/2020 08:20AM  
My daughter worked up there for 3 summers when she was 21-23. Best 3 summers of her life and it opened the door to many opportunities. It's all about who you meet in life.
 
treehorn
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02/05/2020 08:25AM  
Can't think of a better thing for her to do for a summer, and that's not just because I personally love the BWCA.

I think about the fact that she'll be largely off the grid/internet and all its trappings. I think the worst thing people that age get caught up in is iphone addiction, Instagram competition, social status, internet drama, etc. That stuff is soul sucking.

All that will be pretty limited up there. She'll be feeding her soul, not having it sucked out of her. Good for her.
 
tomo
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02/05/2020 09:12AM  
Agree with the above posters. My wife and I met guiding trips in the BWCA, and I spent five summers as the program director at Camp Widjiwagan. Besides the notorious 2007 event (see below), I never heard about a single issue related to dangers posed by other people--and we sent tons of groups into the BWCA and beyond.

Female groups were occasionally subject to mildly condescending remarks from groups of guys, which was annoying but not frightening.

Groups terrorized in the BWCA
 
02/05/2020 09:44AM  
Its a job she may never have a chance again to experience. Let her go and also you may find her willing to let you go camping with her in the future.
 
heavylunch
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02/05/2020 09:54AM  
I would agree with others that it would be a great opportunity. I guided for the boy scouts when I was 18 and 19 on moose lake and from what I recall there was a girl scout base on moose lake too.

I would say that the biggest risk to get into some sort of trouble is when she is NOT in the BWCA and takes a night to venture into Ely with other staff working at the canoe base. I speak from my general experience there bumming rides into town and back.
 
heavylunch
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02/05/2020 10:03AM  
I should mention that even back then, the canoe base I worked at had very strict 1:1 rules where at no time ever could a guide be 1:1 alone with a minor or allow other minors to be 1:1 with an adult. The only exception was parents and their kids and we actually asked them to honor the rule as well. I assume the Methodist camp probably has similar protective rules.
 
riverrunner
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02/05/2020 11:16AM  
drnatus: "You are her dad. You have certain responsibilities to educate, provide and protect your children.


Sounds like you have done a great job so far.


Make sure she is educated on those things you think she ought to know... dehydration, preventing water borne illness, emergency first aid for massive bleeding, keeping body temperature out of extremes....etc.


Talk to her about situational awareness.... not putting herself in high risk situations .


None of this is paranoia that others will brush off, this is your duty.


Educate, prepare and then enjoy her time in the bwca. I agree that she is less likely to be in trouble than if she were going to some city for the summer. "


Exactly
 
02/05/2020 11:50AM  
what everyone else said
 
02/05/2020 11:57AM  
Seen all gal-young women leaders be it YMCA or others on Rose lake area often. They had a lot of self confidence. The BWCA and what goes with it (like camps etc) can build that.
 
BadgerFan
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02/05/2020 12:46PM  
My youngest daughter spent a year or so working for the Montana Conservation Corps several years ago. She was out in the wilderness doing trail maintenance and other work out in the state and national parks around Bozeman.

I'll be honest and say I was worried the whole time she was out there. It's what dads do :)

But she was just fine and had a great experience. And now she can work a chain saw better than anyone I know!!
 
Portage99
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02/05/2020 03:37PM  
Working at camps for five summers was the best times of my life. No joke- I took an assistantship and went to Grad school so I could work at camp for two more summers. I ate really cheap food to save money for camp. Ahhhh summer camp.....

It’s so cute when guys think you don’t know how to build a fire because you’re a girl.

Tell her to be confident and enjoy every second!
 
Grandma L
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02/05/2020 09:19PM  
As a former Camp Director and now a grandmother, let her go and support her all the way!!!
I led canoe trips in the 1980's and my daughter started guiding trips in the 1990's. Best experience ever for both of us. Your daughter will be safer in the BWCA than in the cities on the freeway! Mocha is right, accredited camps are required to send 2 adults on canoe trips. They are also required to follow many trip standards that apply to planning, preparation and safety. Lots of time and thought goes into risk management. I too am jealous - best memories are frim some of those trips.
 
VoyageurNorth
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02/05/2020 10:59PM  
I'd be happy to talk to your daughter. I'm sure she will be fine but in case you want her to call me, just ask for Lynn. Or you can call too. :-)


JimmyJustice: "Maybe reach out directly (pm) to the women on this site who have been part of outfitters or guide services, for their thoughts and perspectives. Lynn at VNO comes to mind.

Cool opportunity but I too as a dad would ask the same questions."
 
CoachBigD
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02/06/2020 06:52PM  
inspector13: "
Yeah. Methodists seem like a shifty bunch. : )

"


Reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes

Blazing Saddles
 
02/06/2020 09:37PM  
CoachBigD: "inspector13: "
Yeah. Methodists seem like a shifty bunch. : )


"



Reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes
https://youtu.be/fLpmswBKVN4
"


I had the exact same thought...

:)
 
LDB
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02/08/2020 08:33PM  
The greatest dangers: slipping and falling, dehydration, hyperthermia, hypothermia, lightening and ticks. We have experienced drunks on entrance lakes, but while being irritating, they were not dangerous to girls. The roads up north are a greater danger, especially at nights on the weekends, than anything out in the wilderness.
 
yogi59weedr
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02/09/2020 01:38AM  
A little insurance I got for my daughters. It's called The Terminator. $20.00. Looks like a cell phone but it's a 12 million volt stun phone.
 
02/09/2020 10:58PM  
She's gonna love it. Too many cranky campers are likely to be the only threat to her having the time of her life. :)

 
08/04/2020 10:49PM  
Follow up - as is probably no surprise. Her job was cancelled.

We are headed up to squeeze a three night trip in starting on Sunday, as a sort of consolation, I guess.
 
MikeinMpls
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08/05/2020 09:13AM  
Drab: "Follow up - as is probably no surprise. Her job was cancelled.


We are headed up to squeeze a three night trip in starting on Sunday, as a sort of consolation, I guess."


I'm very sorry for this. It would have been a great experience. She sounds adventurous, so maybe another door/opportunity will open for her soon. Best of luck to her.

Mike
 
pswith5
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08/05/2020 03:16PM  
I would designate her a the guide on this trip. Give a chance to see how she would have done. But, that means you have to follow her orders!
 
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