The Blog of the West Wind

The Blog of the West Wind

What Boys Learn in Kabeyun Canoes

One parent's reflections

Sunday, December 12, 2021/Go Back

What Boys Learn in Kabeyun Canoes

Every fall, we hear from parents who are delighted and amazed at the growth they see in their sons when they return from Kabeyun. This year, we received photos and a travelogue, too!

It came from the parents of Eli and Jake R., brothers ages 9 and 11 who have distinguished themselves as dedicated, capable paddlers. In 2021, they signed up for virtually every out-of-camp canoe trip during their almost eight weeks at camp! In September, they shared what they learned with their parents and younger brother, leading the entire family on a canoe trip in northern Maine. Here is their mom's recollection.

These pictures were taken on Long Pond in Acadia National Park. We spent a week there this September around Labor Day. Jake and Eli were very excited to guide us on the canoe trip. We started off at the northern tip of the lake and canoed south to a small island about a mile away. It was very windy, and we had to work hard to make it. We pulled the canoes up onto the island, had our snack and explored for a bit. We then canoed around the island north toward a portage. The boys taught us how to carry the canoes across the road and made sure everyone got safely back in the boat. It was another mile or so back to the boat launch. 

During the canoe trip, they taught us the correct strokes and how to steer the boat. They also shared their stories of all the rivers and lakes they paddled at camp -- I couldn’t believe they remembered the correct names and exactly what happened on which trip. They explained in great deal the logistics of each trip and how the runner would need to park the van at the end of the route if it wasn’t a round trip. I loved hearing the details of where they slept, what they ate and how they bonded with friends and counselors during the overnights. We probably were on the water together for about three hours and I’m grateful for that time when they shared all these special details about their overnight experiences. 

My husband and I feel incredibly lucky that we found Kabeyun and have been fortunate to be able to send the boys for multiple summers now. They’ve learned new skills, made strong bonds with fellow campers, and come home calm and centered.

Special thanks to Jessica for sharing this story! She and her family live in Westchester County, NY.