Sioux Lookout welcomes international visitors for annual Rotary canoe trip
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sixteen participants have traveled to Sioux Lookout from across the globe to participate in the annual Rotary canoe trip.
“The rotary canoe trip is something that we’ve done for around 27 years now. We usually get around 16 participants. This year we have ten young woman and six young men along with four local people going with them as leaders,” said International Youth Camp chair Susan Barclay.
This year’s participants are representing Denmark, France, Taiwan, Mexico, Wales, Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil, Czech Republic, England, Norway and Hungary.
When asked about what brought them on the trip, the participants mentioned the adventurous and appealing element of canoeing in Canada.
“I was looking for adventure. I’ve never been to Canada, so I thought why not?” said Nico Mueller, who is from Switzerland.
“Canoeing in Canada is a bucket list type of experience for me. I couldn’t not sign up,” said Libby Jones from Wales.
“I saw canoeing in Canada as an option, and it sounded better than the other options. I’m so glad I’m here,” said Justine Altmeyer-Wagner from France.
The International Youth Camp webpage describes the trip and the participants two week schedule, “The participants arrive on Wednesday. They are billeted with Rotary families. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are spent training, learning about canoe techniques and wilderness camping and getting to know each other. Sunday through Sunday the young people and leaders paddle 200-kilometre through north-western Ontario, boreal forest in two-person, aluminum canoes. Everyone participates in all aspects of the camping/canoeing trip including cooking, setting up tents, paddling, and of course, carrying equipment and canoes over the seven portages (the longest being 2.0 km). The scenery is spectacular; the group will travel through kilometre after kilometre of uninhabited (apart from moose, beavers, eagles) lakes and forest.”
The participants echoed messages of optimism and excitement when asked if they’re looking forward to this new experience.
“I really like Sioux Lookout so far. Everyone is really nice and welcoming. This feels like a good group so far, so I’m excited for the trip,” said Alex Prescot from England.
“I’m looking forward to the adventure. Everyone here has been really nice so far, which is good,” said Lucy Szabo from Hungary.
On Tuesday, July 17, participants will be preparing a dish for the International Night potluck dinner. The potluck provides flavours from all the represented countries, and it’s a night that the group looks forward to as it marks the end of the trip.
“Tuesday the 17 we have an international dinner before the group departs on the 18. We ask the young people to be prepared to make something from their country. It’s a big potluck with international flavour. Everyone has fun with it every year,” Barclay concluded.