Attie McNamara Trip Leader

I first began my summers in Temagami at the age of 11, and have returned every summer since. Now at the age of 24, I fully recognize Northwaters as a vital component to who I have become as a young woman. During that first summer, I connected with an experience that has yet to compare to anything else I have ever known. No feelings I have experienced in any other aspect of my life can compare to those raw emotions experienced out on trail. I found something in being out there with just the bare essentials one would need to survive for several weeks exhilarating. I found that the mind should be seen as one of the most dangerous roadblocks I could ever face.
I found the silence on the water calming, the call of the loons serene. From all these summers at Northwaters, I did not create my identity, but rather I found my identity and have shaped it every day since. The beauty of these trips lie in the landscapes, the white water, and the portages. It lies in the sweat and tears that are shed in every weather. It is in the support and camaraderie created between a group of people so different from one another. It lies in the bug bites, the sunburns, the laughter, and the transformations. I have learned more about myself in those weeks in the summer each year than I did at any other time, and each morning when I wake up in the summer and realize that I am a part of something so much bigger than myself, I know that that is exactly where I am supposed to be.
When not on the island, I was in school in Canada studying for a double degree in Celtic Studies and Transnational & Diaspora Studies until I graduated from the University of Toronto in May of 2015. After ending last summer in Temagami, I spent seven months traveling and working my way around Australia, New Zealand and Bali. I now reside in Buffalo, NY where I am taking classes to prepare for medical school in the pursuit of a degree in Natropathic Medicine.