SAYLI canoe trip at YMCA Camp Menogyn

SAYLI canoe trip at YMCA Camp Menogyn

While many Minnesota residents may be familiar with the BWCAW and its thousands of lakes and streams, for others it is a remote and foreign place which they may never visit because of cost or distance. To alleviate that barrier, two families have established a scholarship with the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to bring Minnesota’s economically disadvantaged young people to the BWCAW.

For most of the participants, it is their first visit to the BWCAW. The trip offers them a chance to build confidence, work in a group, learn about the area, and make friends.

Funding for the expeditions is provided by the Thomas Flint Boundary Waters Wilderness Fund and the Bob Johnson Boundary Waters Wilderness Fund, which were created in memory of outdoorsmen who loved the BWCAW.

In 2005, the program began sponsoring the trips with YMCA Camp Menogyn and the Southeast Asian Youth Leadership Initiative (SAYLI) in St. Paul. Friends staff meet with prospective participants to talk about the BWCAW and some of the issues that constantly threaten it.