The 2005 Maine Canoe Symposium, North America’s most comprehensive on-the-water canoe and wilderness travel expo, celebrates its twentieth anniversary June 10-12 on Moose Pond at the historic Winona Camps in Bridgton.
Newcomers and veterans alike are invited to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and unique learning opportunities of this one-of-a-kind event, staffed entirely by volunteers and covering virtually every aspect of canoesport and camping.
In over 40 workshops, attendees can learn first-hand from Maine Guides and canoeing professionals. On-water workshops feature paddling styles ranging from the classic solo, Northwoods, and “sit & switch” to double-bladed, freestyle, and whitewater. Know-how on whitewater and flatwater rescues is provided by New Brunswick guides and rescue experts Kevin Silliker and Rory Matchett. And for those wishing to try alternative techniques, ACA national champion Harry Rock will be on hand to teach the traditional art of poling.
On-land workshops focus on wilderness tripping, camp cooking, weather reading, first aid, portaging, selecting and even repairing a canoe. Author and Maine Guide Gil Gilpatrick offers time-proven tips on equipment for extended travel. Tom Clemenow teaches the art of traveling light. Buzz Butler introduces the sport of orienteering-to kids as well as adults.
For kids, in fact, there’s hardly a better way to introduce canoeing. There’s a full menu of activities designed especially for them, topped off by Saturday night’s campfire under the stars.
With the adults, they’ll also enjoy evening programs rich in canoe-lore. Friday, Kirk Wipper, canoe scholar and founder of the Canadian Canoe Museum, presents “A Passion for Canoes,” with slides illustrating the history of this world famous museum in Peterborough, Ontario. Saturday night, the ever-audacious Peake Brothers from Hide-A-Way Canoe Club reveal the triumphs and tangles that characterize their many trips along Canada’s historic canoe routes.
Accommodations at Winona are primarily rustic wall tents under the pines-although many people bring their own tents and camp overlooking the 160-acre Moose Pond. Hearty meals, served cafeteria style in the camp dining hall, add to the camaraderie as campers and pro staff mingle and share canoeing experiences.
Adult registration fee covering all weekend events is $65 if postmarked by May 15; $80 thereafter. Children age 12 and under are $35 before May 15; $40 thereafter. Each additional child is $20 before May 1, $25 thereafter. Meals and accommodations are additional.
For a look at Symposium activities, visit www.mainecanoesymposium.org. For answers to questions, call 207-892-3121 or email [email protected] To register, contact Winona Camps at 35 Winona Road, Bridgton, ME 04009, phone 207-647-3721.