Camper leading the group, leadership opportunities are a key component to camp
Our great wilderness adventure begins with the arrival of campers to the shores of beautiful Loon Lake, on the western edge of Desolation Wilderness. At 6500 feet elevation, Loon Lake offers views of snow capped peaks and acres of wilderness to explore by foot or kayak. Packing up your own kayak and heading out to a wilderness site is exciting! Working together as a team, we’ll load kayaks and launch our boats into Loon Lake. We will make our way to Pleasant Lake boat in campsite. Team cooperation is essential as we select the “perfect” campsite to call home for the next several days. After setting up camp, we’ll begin preparations for dinner followed by an evening program around the campfire.
Today campers will work on fine-tuning their sea kayaking skills which often proves to be a highlight of the week. Everyone will be encouraged to complete the official rescue techniques mandated by the American Canoe Association. T-rescues, paddle float rescues, the scramble and others will be demonstrated and practiced. Certificate cards will be issued upon completion. We will also be exploring some of the natural wonders of this area. The stunning granite shoreline or one of the many rocky islands that dot the lake will provide a superb place for a shore lunch and swim.
Loon Lake provides habitat for species such as osprey, golden eagles, northern orioles, deer and even black bear. Using a mask and snorkel, we’ll examine the aquatic world looking for residents such as trout, turtles and bullfrogs. Fishing is reportedly quite good. Our day may include an adventure race, scavenger hunt, land and water based leadership activities and capture the flag. After campers prepare dinner, we will experience the wonders of an evening paddle under a sky bursting with stars.
We’ll get an early start today as we make preparations for a day hike to Buck Lake. Campers will be given the task of deciding what is needed for an outing into the wilderness. Safety gear and orienteering will be reviewed, as well as the rolls of leadership (lead, navigator, and sweep). We will return to our “camp home” in the afternoon in time for games, a swim, snorkel or paddle. A special campfire program is planned for our last evening together.
More wilderness skills will be learned as we break camp leaving “no traces.” It will be the challenge of campers to ‘break camp” in time to explore more of the lake before meeting parents back at shore by2:30pm. After arriving and unloading boats, we will say our farewells to the group and the beautiful mountain lake that is now etched into our memories.