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Spring Duke of Edinburgh Canoe Trip

Twelve dedicated Grade 11 and 12 students journeyed to Algonquin Park to participate in MacLachlan’s first canoe excursion since 2019.

They stopped at the outfitters for some last-minute supplies before paddling into Canoe Lake. From there they ventured across Joe Lake to Teepee Lake, where they set up camp, collected firewood, and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and enjoying the unusually warm weather.

The rain began as soon as they emerged from their tents and continued as they travelled from Teepee Lake to Little Doe, then Tom Thompson Lakes, before they ventured into the more northern swamps and rivers.

They portage for hours and kilometres to their final destination, an island campsite in the middle of Sunbeam Lake. They had difficulty gathering firewood and making a campfire in the rain once they were at camp. The rain stopped for the day as the fire was lit, and they were able to dry out some extremely wet gear and boots.

Students packed their tents and set off into the twisting river between Vanishing Pond and Blue Jay Lake on the final day of the canoe trip. The river was more than simply a test of their paddling technique due to a combination of beaver dams and newly fallen trees.

The final two hours were spent paddling nonstop, with the exception of portaging their gear into their final lake. The group made up for lost time here, propelled ahead by the return of the sun and the prospect of greasy burgers and spicy chicken on the way home, as well as a strong wind at their back.

The Spring Duke Canoe Trip was a fantastic return to the school’s Duke program’s three-day canoe trips, a terrific final trip for our soon-to-be-graduated grade 12s, and a clear indication that the MacLachlan has a strong group of grade 11s ready to lead next year’s trips with the grade 9s and 10s in tow.

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