four girls hanging out

Northern Lights for Girls

2 weeks, ages 11-14

Overview A canoe camp empowering girls through adventure, community and creativity

Northern Lights is an empowering 2-week canoe trip for girls that allows a young woman to connect to their authentic selves—apart from the expectations of today’s media and culture. Weaving current educational, psychological and anthropological research with over 40 years of experience in outdoor education, we offer a wilderness canoe camp for girls that will help your daughter enter adolescence with enhanced confidence and strength of spirit.

Getting Started: Arriving at Base Camp

The first few days of the Northern Lights program are spent in basecamp. Here, we weave practical, skill-based learning (how to portage, pack a Duluth and wannigan, set up a tent, paddle a canoe etc.) with crafts, storytelling and fun activities designed to foster trust, inspire sharing and prepare for our adventures on trail. Our goal is to make each girl feel a part of the community from the moment she steps foot on the dock at Northwaters.

The first evening of Northern Lights begins with a gathering of all staff and participants. Together we talk about the things that brought us to Temagami, the community we are creating, and how we wish to be treated.   There is time for everyone to be heard. Collectively we agree on basic tenants that will shape our experience—things like honesty, acceptance, trust, patience and humor.

While these few days help to lay the foundation for a successful experience, they also give leaders the opportunity to spend quality time getting to know each participant.

In it for the long haul The 10-Day Canoe Trip

The primary goal of each canoe trip is to create a trusting community in which each girl can find her own voice. Once we get to know each of the girls, we split into smaller tripping sections of 6-8 (based on age, experience level and individual needs). Each section, guided by two of our most experienced leaders, sets out on a 10-day canoe journey tailored to meet the specific goals of its unique group.

Our Northern Lights canoe trips paddle through some of the most beautiful country in eastern Canada—from pristine lakes with crystal clear blue water and ancient pine forests to gentle rivers that wind their way through the Cambrian Shield.

Girls will learn how to paddle bow and stern on flat water, portage (carry gear across land from lake to lake), set up and take down camp, care for equipment, cook meals and share responsibilities as they travel, all the while working with other young woman as a valuable member of a community.

girl in hat paddling canoe

welcome back Returning Home

When the girls paddle in to basecamp at the end of their trip, each section is greeted with cheers and a warm welcome!  The air is filled with laughter, excitement and a sense of justifiable pride.  Then it is time for singing, dancing and enjoying the feast!  As the sun begins to set, we close the evening with our traditional ceremony in which each girl is individually honored by her trip leaders.

At the end of the session, parents, friends and participants from our brother program, Excalibur arrive at Northwaters for our final celebration and BBQ.  We gather in the late afternoon and hear from each section as they describe their adventures and learnings.

our other Programs

Northwaters Coed

ages 14-17

View Program

Northwaters for Young Women

Ages 13-17

View Program
two smiling girls

Excalibur for Boys

ages 10-12

View Program

Langskib for Young Men

ages 10-17

View Program
sunset on the water

Discover Your Connection to the Land, Water and Sky

More than ever before in our culture and society, young people need the opportunity to find and experience these things. At Northwaters and Langskib (NWL) we believe it is essential to their journey into adulthood.

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