Guest Post: Becky Weller
Muskoka Bro Dave‘s wife here, Becky, nice to meet you. The post for this week is about a camping opportunity Muskoka Bro Matty’s wife Catherine and I got to experience last October. Paddle Like a Girl, a camping and canoeing workshop run by a woman, designed for women. It was a wonderful weekend of learning new skills in a relaxed and uplifting atmosphere, surrounded by the glorious changing fall colours of the leaves in Central Ontario.
Run by Tori Baird in the Magnetawan area of Ontario, Paddle like a Girl is a camping workshop perfect for any skill level held in her very own backyard. Whether you are an experienced solo paddler or solo camper, or if you are new to it all and aren’t sure what the word ‘portage‘ means, there’s something to be gained.
For me, I would classify myself somewhere in the middle. I’m no expert, but it would be hard to be a Muskoka Bro wife without having at least a basic skillset when it comes to camping. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when we pulled into Tori’s driveway, but she greeted us with warmth and hospitality and in no time we had our tent and other gear set up in her scenic, sprawling backyard and were sitting cozy around the campfire getting to know the other ladies we’d be spending the weekend with.
From the moment we arrived until the moment we left Tori was a gracious host to Catherine, me, and the whole group. And a very knowledgeable and patient teacher. Her insights about how to plan a backcountry camping trip, what gear to bring camping, where to canoe in Ontario, how to lift and carry a canoe, and of course how to paddle a canoe properly were incredible. Every girl that participated in the weekend walked away with a much deeper understanding of what it takes to camp and paddle in Ontario.
Heading out onto the glass-like lake, the light breeze rustling the leaves around us as we calmly moved along and honed our new paddling skills was truly inspirational. Catherine and I both got to take turns in both the bow and stern positions, and I have to say we make a great team.
Actually, everyone did exceptionally well under Tori’s tutelage. It was incredible to witness a collection of women from all different backgrounds and areas of Ontario come together for some real bonding and girl talk. We laughed together, we ate together, and we portaged and paddled together. There is something really beautiful about getting out into nature and sharing these experiences with other women. It was also amazing to see women that had never had the opportunity to carry a canoe or light their own fire try these important camping skills out and how excited and empowered they felt at their success with each task.
Being out in nature camping, sitting around a fire, swapping stories, there’s just something very unique and incredibly special about it. If you have never had the chance to go camping you don’t know what you’re missing. It refreshes the soul. And getting the chance to do it with a group of women who just want to encourage and learn together makes it all that much better.
If you’re a woman looking to learn some basic camping and canoeing skills I highly recommend Tori’s workshop, Paddle Like A Girl. It was an unforgettable weekend all women should get the chance to experience and I’m so glad I was able to take part.
That’s it for me for this installment of the Muskoka Bros blog. If you like what you’ve read I am actually a writer and the author of a young adult series called Hleo available on Amazon, Itunes, and Kobo, or you can find out more about my writing on my website.
Cheers and remember you just got to get out there!