F’ville 1st Baptist’s Venture Crew 100 canoes across Canadian wilderness


On June 22, Venture Crew 100 of Fayetteville, chartered by Fayetteville First Baptist Church, undertook an adventure. They were to embark on a canoeing journey covering 143 miles of Canadian wilderness.

Northern Tier’s Don Rogert Canoe Base, located in Atikokan, Ontario is one of three (soon to be four) Boy Scout National High Adventure bases. In 2009, the crew completed an 80-mile hike at Philmont Scout Ranch (Cimarron, New Mexico) and last autumn a tall ship adventure at Sea Base, located in the Florida Keys. Having completed the trio of currently operating High Adventure bases, 10 members of the crew are now eligible for the prestigious Triple Crown Award.

While at Northern Tier, the crew of eight youth, three advisors and a highly trained “interpreter”, spent their days paddling bodies of water such as Eltrut Lake, Turtle River, and aptly named Clearwater Lake. They practiced low impact camping and other wilderness techniques.

While in Canada they had the pleasure of observing several animal species unique to that region such massive moose, majestically soaring eagles, playful otters, and shy black bears. However they quickly learned that the living things we would most often see, disregarding humans, were mosquitoes. They had lovely fishing opportunities and encountered a vast array of foliage along the shorelines and islands.

During the eight-day trek, the crew learned the essential art of portaging. To pass from one lake to another, they carried their gear and food packs along with their canoes by way of connector trails.

Especially along the Turtle River, portages were vital for evading numerous rapids and waterfalls. Completing approximately 25 portages, they were quite accustomed to this task by July 1, when they finished their trek.

Crew members included Chandler Hadley, Daniel and David Harbin, Timothy Lindsey, David and Hollie McWaters and Emily and Katie Wood. The trip would not have been possible without their advisors, Rusty and Andrea Wood and Tony McWaters, their “interpreter,” Julie-Ann Logan, the home support of Ennis Laney, and their founder Neal Peeples.