Exploring the Boundary Waters

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For Girl Scout Senior, Agnes “Kate” Nash, going on a Girl Scout destination trip was something she’s wanted to do ever since her older sister returned from a destination trip to Wyoming two years ago.

After looking over all the locations and options, Kate selected the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe trip. This adventure would take her up to Minnesota where she would canoe and camp for seven days into Canada.IMG_1440

Having never flown before, Kate’s Dad suggested a family road trip to Minneapolis that would include a baseball game! Wanting to have the complete travel experience like her sister and fly for the first time and by herself, Kate shot that idea down!

Kate met up with 20 other Girl Scouts from around the country in the Duluth airport for a full 12 days of adventure. The group spent a couple days in Duluth, exploring, learning and getting to know each other before being split into three groups for the expedition.

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“I was scared about the other girls liking me. Then I realized that all of them were just as worried about that as I was,” she said.

Due to the rules of the Boundary Waters, no more than 9 individuals can be in a group. It’s an effort to preserve the natural beauty of the land by limiting waste build up.

There was something special in store for Kate, whose real name is Agnes. She was pre-assigned to be in the group that would travel through her namesake, Lake Agnes!

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After receiving a full day’s training, Kate’s group was ready to take to the water. They were led by two guides, both of whom had been on this destination before and were Girl Scout alumnae! The first morning on the water the guides asked the girls to take off their watches. “It’s a better experience if you don’t have a watch,” Kate explained. “Go by the sky.”

Over the course of seven days, they traveled nearly 75 miles by canoe.

“It surprised me how big the lakes were and how quickly we could move,” she said.

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Each day they would port. Take the canoes out of the water, walk them across land and enter another lake. The distance would be anywhere from 7 rods to 80 (a rod is the length of one canoe). One day, they had eight portages!

“The port trips were hard and it [the canoe] was very heavy, Kate said. “It was tedious – take everything out and put it all back in.”

They traveled with everything they would need for seven beautiful days in the wilderness. This included food, shelter and three sets of clothes – a wet set that was worn during the day, a dry set they changed into when they set up camp and pajamas. Then cycle through the same clothes the next day.

“This is probably the best [Girl Scout experience] because I haven’t done anything like it. I got to do something different and all the girls actually wanted to be there. They were serious about it.”

Her group made it back to the base site and began to clean up their gear and themselves. In the spirit of preserving the land, the use of soap is prohibited outside the base because it kills the natural organisms.

“I learned that I am stronger than I thought and that I can make friends,” Kate said

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Kate has plans of making the trip again, only next time she wants to take her sister! The base will provide the guides, canoes, food and supplies for those who are interested in exploring without a group.

“This trip made me more aware of the environment and how we’re changing it,” Kate said.

Kate’s mom has now seen what Girl Scout destination trips do for girls, twice. “They come home and their so incredibly excited about their experience. One more step in that process of getting bigger and better and doing more exciting things,” Sarah said.

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Kate traveled with Silvias, a little cow that also accompanied her sister Eleanor on her destination!

Girl Scout destinations’ makes it possible for girls to safely travel the world and try new things. They can’t scuba dive with sea turtles, make a movie in California, get a taste of outer space or canoe in the wilderness, among many other things! Find a destination that will help build your girl of courage, confidence and character!

One thought on “Exploring the Boundary Waters

  • August 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm
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    way to go Kate! you r an inspiration to other girls to consider the experience of a destination trip in GS!! Joy

    Reply

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