One of our favorite times of the summer at Wilderness is when the Nominations campers arrive on base. Because of their positive attitudes and great work ethics, these campers were nominated by their previous guides to return to Wilderness to complete a longer, more challenging trip. This year, we had the opportunity to guide a “Noms” group that paddled east along the border route, ending with the 8.5-mile Grand Portage to Lake Superior.

Nominations Campers!

This trip was meaningful in the ways that most canoe trips are. Our shared struggles and triumphs quickly fused our group together, and we shared many laughs along the way. This trip was especially meaningful for us guides because we were both Noms campers ourselves in 2009 and 2011. It was surreal to be leading the same trip that we had participated in as campers – it felt like our Wilderness journeys were coming full-circle.

Jarrod and Rachel! 
Camper Rachel, on Nominations in 2009!

We see these full circles everywhere at Wilderness: campers become guides, birches and aspens grow taller each year, and burned pieces of land become blueberry patches. Wilderness is always in cycles of growth, renewal, and change. At the same time, Wilderness is also a constant, steady home to return to and an ever-growing family comprised of all the people that are connected to this place. As we’ve both discovered, Wilderness is a place that takes hold of people and never really lets them go. We are so grateful to be a part of this place and its beautiful, changing cycles, and we know that it will continue to be an impactful, sacred space as our campers become guides and the cycles continue.      

— Rachel Enwright and Jarrod Klopp, Canoe Guides 2015