Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

by firemedic5586

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/15/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Duncan Lake (EP 60)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 8
Trip Introduction:
Each year I take a group of Scouts into the BWCA. This years trip was Duncan lake with a day trip to the falls on Rose.
We got into Duncan on the 15th late,,,, manly due to me messing up and adding 4 hours to the ETA... :-(

We had 2 new young Scouts on board and 3 old hands at these trips.. Along with three adults, myself included.. This also being the 1st trip into the BWCA for one of the adults. 5 -Scouts, 3 -Adults, 2 -16" Alumacraft canoes, 1 - 16' SR, 1 -18.5 SR Quetico.

15th: Thursday ended up mostly being set up camp day, we took #4 on Duncan...

16th: It rained into the afternoon, so we stayed under the CCS tarp. The Scouts spent some of their time doing what young lads do.. I also gave hands on instruction on various wizardry in the dark arts of ropes, knots, toggles, and the conservation of your rope.. Followed by how to make a Roycroft Pack Frame and the making a bow saw frame to use with a 30" saw blade. This included knife battoning, and how not to end up with stitches/cutting yourself with your own knife while doing bush-craft work. By the time the rain broke it was early afternoon so we stayed around camp. We hit the woods for some more hands on instruction on what to look for to use for tinder, kindling,improvised shelters, ect. One of the scouts found a fist size chunk of hardened pine pitch, this ended up in his tinder pouch... Along with canoes hitting the lake.. 17th: We tripped over to the falls on Rose doing lunch over there. With the wind whipping up blowing through the tree tops, I didn't want to hang there all day, not to mention take up space at the portage area with our 4 canoes - even though we put them out of the way.. On the way back to camp, with the wind out of the S, I was a tad worried if we were going to have problems with the wind/waves taking some of the canoes broadside. Some of the Scouts are on the small size.. The Alumacraft canoes did fine, my SR 18.5 Q didn't have an issue in the least, I had to ballast one Canoe (16ft SR) out with rocks in the bow as it was really bow high, 80# Scout in the bow and a 260# adult in the stern will do that. The nicety of a small lake is even when you stay close to shore, its not too long of a paddle to get to where you are not.. We were back in camp by mid afternoon.. Small white caps on the lake by Late afternoon. With the chance of bad weather coming in on Sat night into Sunday and the odd chance we may be staying a bit longer then expected, more wood was gathered for a fire if needed on Sunday.

18th: Light drizzle started around 0800.. With the possibilities of storms rolling through we broke camp early and were out at the vehicles by about noon, just in time for the down pour. Followed by hitting DQ in Grand Marais, (Troop tradition to hit a DQ after the BWCA,) The next campers into that camp site found some wood already cut and waiting for them..

AAR: A fun time was had by all... Its not a Scout camping trip unless there is rain involved. Memories were made. No major injuries were had.. I did have to bark at a few of the Scouts to slow down, no running with scissors, walk into the lake don't jump.. All the standard Scout Master stuff that dampens all the fun.. Call me lazy, I didn't want to haul any broken Scouts out, nor have to call in an Air-Evac on my radio,, too much paperwork you know.. We had a lot of wind blowing in from the S while there, it kept the bugs down during the day and then the wind layed down by evening.. Myself and another adult had hoped to get out and chase a few Lakers, but with the way the wind was, that didn't happen, then once the wind settled down come evening the motivation wasn't there..

I do apologize to others on the lake as we had one Scout with us that talks all the time and his voice carries, so if you happened to be at #2 or #6, that was my group and I tried to keep the voices down, and I'm sure you heard me a few times barking at one of them..

I'll post up more pictures once I get them from the other adults..