Henry Bertoia Assistant Trip Leader

I first came to Northwaters Langskib when I was 13 years old. I am the youngest of three brothers, and my two older brothers were already veteran canoe trippers and had been coming to Langskib for many years. I had heard all of their stories about this mythical island and the wild rivers, but stepping out of the float plane onto the dock at Langskib I was apprehensive and unsure about what was to come. At the end of my trip though, I knew that this was something that I loved; what I did not know was it was something that would irrevocably change me. After my first summer I regrettably broke my ankle and could not come up for my first big river, the Dumoine. But despite this hindrance, I came back year after year, making my way from the Sturgeon River all the way to the James Bay. Being out on the land in a canoe gives one perspective on the tininess of their existence, if you are inclined toward the metaphysical side of things, when compared to the vast expanse of the north. It is also an opportunity to learn; how you deal with stress and the environment, and how you live with others. Not to mention going on an awesome canoe trip with a group of people that will almost certainly become some of your closest friends. It was on these trips that I learned and grew more as a person than I had anywhere else up to that point in my life. Having had these experiences soon became priceless back home in my everyday life; be it dealing with the stress of writing an essay, or diffusing a situation between two bickering friends. For me, I believe the most important thing in life is to accept the things we cannot change, and affect the things we can. I had heard this many times before, but it was up north on canoe trips that I realized the truth in this simple philosophy. I saw the opportunity to be on staff as a chance to give these same experiences, and teach the same lessons, to another generation of trippers, and maybe affect someone’s life in the same way that mine was. In the off-season I can be found busying myself with writing and playing music, and studying the Great books with the College of Humanities at Carleton University in Ottawa, and telling tall tales.