It is believed that the Canoe Trails program began in Beaver County, PA around 1947. The older Boy Scouts of Troop 406 wanted a challenge to test their outdoor skills. And so, under the direction of Dr. Everett Partridge, an annual Canadian canoe trip was started. In 1951, the annual canoe trip became a district wide program officially named Canoe Trails. Many local Scout troops followed Dr. Partridge’s lead, creating what has evolved into today’s coordinated training and tripping program.
In 1965, Mr. George S. Wildman and his wife Margaret, began the Co-Ed Canoe Trails program. This change to the program enabled the Girl Scouts to have the same Canadian canoe trip opportunity as the Boy Scouts. For many years, Canoe Trails organized multiple trips per summer. Some trips were boy-only trips and others were coed trips. Today we only organize one trip per summer and it is always a coed trip. It is estimated that approximately 7,500 men and women of all ages have participated in the Canoe Trails tradition and earned the title of Voyageur.
Is not something that can happen on its own by accident. You need to work towards it with the right measures, tools and mindset.
Is a process and not an event. It starts long before participants join and continues indefinitely.
Is around every corner if you know how to find it. The trick is learning how to recognize it.
Is a burden that makes us safer and more capable when we are together.
we are voyageurs
The Canoe Trails Program offers a once in a lifetime experience in the Canadian wilderness. It can be a wonderful adventure for those who come prepared to experience a primitive-style canoeing & camping activity with no frills.
Sponsored by BSA Venture Crew #488, our volunteer leaders and experienced Voyageurs will train the new participants (known as Candidates) in the skills necessary to enjoy a week-long wilderness camping & canoeing trip. Candidates will become proficient in: knot-tying, outdoor cooking, hiking, portaging, axe work, knife work, fire building, map reading, orienteering, and canoeing.
Although this is a one-year program, the full Voyageur experience requires at least two years of participation. During the first year you will learn many skills as you train to become a Voyageur. During your second year, you will have the responsibility to mentor a new Candidate. Many of our members gain self-confidence, acquire leadership skills and establish life-long friendships while practicing the skills of a bygone era and passing them along to another.
Feel free to send us your questions, share comments about a past trip, or offer feedback about the program. One of our volunteer adult leaders will respond as soon as possible.
A note about fundraising
The home of the Canoe Trails program is affectionately called The Barn. Our program would not be what it is today without this fine structure and the generous people who take care of it. The Barn is:
- a classroom for our various training activities
- a crafting space for making our own gear
- a venue for our annual social events
- a warehouse for storing our canoes and equipment
- and a museum for preserving our history.
The Canoe Trails program conducts fundraisers to benefit the continued use of The Barn and to leave it better than we found it… for the next generation of Voyageurs.
Click the button below to make a financial contribution to Canoe Trails, or use the form above to contact us and discuss other ways to contribute to the future of the program.