You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7
It is impossible to talk about a place without recognizing the people that exist within that place; the relationship between people and place is complex and dynamic. At Wilderness Canoe Base, the physical land that comprises the Cove, Fishhook Island, and Dominion Island is intertwined with the intangible essence of the community that thrives upon it. Some of the summer staff have shared about certain places in camp that transcend this boundary between the self and environment and how these places facilitate experiences with God. The interviews below will provide a glimpse of these special places to tide you over until your next visit to Wilderness!

David (pontoonist, rock tech, maintenance)
  •  Tell me about your favorite place in camp.
    • The bridge – I like it because from an architectural standpoint it’s so different than anything else. It connects the two main islands and without it things would be dysfunctional. You get more of a view here than anywhere else on camp. We go over it every morning and the water is like glass. It’s also nice to see it at night with the stars – it’s like you get opened up to an entire new world. When the sun is setting and you get pink reflected off the water it’s nice to be above eye level.
  • Tell me about your first impression of this place
    • It’s the first thing you see when you enter camp – this monumental bridge. It both stands out and fits in with the landscape. It’s a nice contrast to the chapel. Walking down it is like walking down a long tunnel. There’s just something really cool about walking on the bridge. I really like the metaphor it represents of connecting the two islands. In my architecture studies I try to make a design reflect the environment around it and in the boundary waters, which is so simple and elegant, the bridge does just that.
  • Tell me how you see God in this place.
    • It’s like the metaphor of God connecting the two islands as one. Without God and without the bridge connecting the two, camp wouldn’t be what it is. The bridge takes so much foot travel, day in and day out, rain or shine, and still supports us just like God supports us. We take care of the bridge. It stands out because it’s not made of the same materials we see surrounding it in nature, just like God stands out in our lives. The bridge is the first thing you see when you enter the islands and God is also the first thing you see when you come to this place. Here you see God’s world, not the man-made world of the cities.

Kennedy (guide)
  • Tell me about your favorite place at camp.
My favorite place in camp is on Sunset Rock, on Dominion.
  • Tell me about an impression or memory from this place
    •  To me, the time that pops into my memory is actually not even during my first summer here, but it was during last summer.This was the first time I came up and I wasn’t on staff but I was just up to help with staff training and cook. The first night I got here, I just walked out there to watch the sunset by myself just because it was the first time I’d been back here in quite a while. I just wanted to be able to sit – and from that point you can see so much of the islands because you can turn around and see Borderline, and you can see Trail Shack and Pinecliff and you can see the tops of the chapel and watch the sunset. It’s like a 360 view.
  • Tell me how you experience God in this place
    • I think I experience a God moment there every time I just sit there by myself in silence. That first time I went there last summer was just really nice because I was coming up for the week and knew that I was going to be part of staff training but I wasn’t going to be able to stay all summer. I was upset about the fact that I couldn’t work here last summer but it was so nice to sit there and I just sat there for a very long time feeling grateful for where I was. Because when you’re sitting on Sunset Rock everything echoes so you can be watching the sunset, but if there are people jamming out to music in Pinecliff you can hear that, or if there are kids playing games on the beach you can see them, or if there’s a camper group on Peanut doing wild things you can hear them laughing too. And it just felt so good to be sitting there watching a beautiful sunset and also be hearing all the laughter and all of the community that’s at camp. It’s the best of both worlds.

  • Tell me about your favorite place in camp
    • My favorite place at camp is Sunset Rock. I love to hike there and then climb on top of the rock and see the whole camp. It’s really cool.
  • Do you have a favorite memory of this place?
    • One morning last year, I got up really early at 4:30 and I walked there and I sat on it and watched the sunrise and it was really cool.
  • How do you experience God in this place?
    • I experience God in that place when I look over his Creation and see from His point of view how beautiful the world is and how small we are in comparison.

Caitlin (Trail Shack coordinator)
  • What’s your favorite place in camp?
    • My favorite place at camp is the boardwalk up to the Confessional (a new outhouse near the tent pads). I think it’s probably the best view at camp because you’re at one of the highest points on Dominion and you can see all the way 360 around Seagull and the islands. It gives the best view of the Chapel during both sunrise and sunset, which are both great. Also, the Confessional is probably the best outhouse because it’s hardly used and it’s a hilarious concept. That’s my favorite spot.
  • What’s your first memory of this place?
    • My first real experience at the Confessional was my first Project Success group last summer. We stayed on the tend pads our first night, and I got up in the morning at probably about 5:30, before I woke my campers up, and I just remember standing on the boardwalk and it was one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen at Wilderness. I just stood there for a while and soaked it in. And now that’s my favorite place to go to watch to watch the sunsets or the sunrises after vespers or before first word.
  • How do you experience God in this place?
    • It’s just the views and the fact that you can see the chapel. So watching the morning light come up with the chapel above the treeline in the background, is just really amazing. And how the sun sets and lights up the chapel as if a spotlight in the soft evening
      light is really nice.