There is perhaps no more fitting symbol of Canadian heritage than the canoe. Having played a central role in the development of Canada, the canoe holds a special place at Camp Nominingue, where we build and maintain our very own cedar-canvas canoes.
Canoe tripping has been the foundation of Camp Nominingue’s philosophy since 1925. Our site was chosen by our founder, F.M. Van Wagner, because of its proximity to good wilderness canoe country. Most of our trips today take us into the two Quebec provincial reserves of Papineau-Labelle, which overlaps regions of Laurentides & Outaouais, and La Verendrye, which overlaps regions of Outaouais and Abitibi-Teminscamingue. All of our summer canoe tripping is done where there is little habitation and the lakes are clean and clear.
Each canoe trip is done in small groups made up of five boys and two staff who set out from camp for periods of several days, which often results in a spirit of close friendship and teamwork that is difficult to duplicate in any other field. Each summer, the boys see wild moose, deer, beaver and muskrat. But often it is the call of the loon that tells us that this is the real Canadian wilderness.
Operating a safe and successful canoe-tripping program for boys requires considerable skill and knowledge, which can be gained only through experience. In over 90 years, we have completed over 4500 canoe trips and visited many hundreds of lakes. Trip leaders are carefully chosen for their maturity and sense of responsibility, as well as for their knowledge of good camping practices and the rules of safety. The in-camp program gives campers the opportunity to receive instruction in several related activities.
Many interesting canoe trips for our boys are being prepared for the coming summer when northern lakes will again carry Nominingue canoes on their way to distant horizons and wilderness campsites.