50 Days of Brotherhood
On July 1st they board yellow school buses in Algonquin Park, destined for remote northern regions of Ontario that few in the city would recognize - Aubrey Falls, Wawa or Gogama. They are full of apprehension for the journey ahead, some of them meeting their cabin mates for the first time. Over the next fifty days, they will paddle and portage their way back to Algonquin Park, covering close to 1,000 kilometers over the Canadian Shield.
The distance covered is no small feat of physical strength, but even more impressive are the leaps and bounds these young men grow in working together. There is no room for egos in the boat and teamwork is the only way to persevere. By the end of the trip, the boys work as one and their relationship with each other changes from one of friendship to brotherhood. The bonds they form on these trips will last a lifetime, proven by the alumni of fifty-day trips that have gone before them, dating back to 1965.
“My favourite part of trip was watching the kids develop over fifty days. It’s pretty cool when you get seven 16 year-old boys together and on day one they’re not really working together as a team, arguing about little things and struggling with the longer days. By the time you are into days thirty, forty and then day fifty, you’re just working so well together, everyone is getting along, and you’re just moving so much faster than you were at the beginning.” – A 50 Day Staff Member
We’re calling these three trips the 50 Days of Brotherhood
Lake Superior Provincial Park to Algonquin Provincial Park
“I think I’ve grown a lot mentally since going on trip. Sure, carrying a pack or a boat is heavy, but it’s about the mental strength you have throughout and pushing yourself past your physical limits.”
Aubrey Falls to Algonquin Provincial Park
“My favorite part of trip is being with the boys and seeing how they morph into a team. Friends, brothers. The cabin dynamic throughout fifty days is just really amazing to watch, to be a part of that and to help nurture it.”
Groundhog Lake – North of Gogama to Algonquin Provincial Park
“The Fifty Day is definitely an experience of a lifetime it’s clearly the pinnacle of my camper experience in all ten years I’ve been at Ahmek. I definitely recommend the trip and anyone who is granted the opportunity to come out here should give it a shot. Any canoe trip for that matter is a great way to grow and learn values that are life lessons you’ll never forget.”