The successful AWWF Youth on the Allagash (YOTA) trips were expanded in 2023 to include an Advanced Leadership Wilderness Trip. Guided by Canoe the Wild, the leadership trip was a fully outfitted multi‐day paddling and camping trip for high school students from the St. John Valley. Priority was given to YOTA Alum and those who have demonstrated paddling and a love of river tripping. The five days focus was hands-on: including proper canoe-manship, reading the river, canoe poling, properly setting up camp, cooking over an open fire, wilderness baking, fishing, safety, practical leadership, and teamwork.
Students reported that from the outset, guides Dave and Christi, gave the students options and freedom (within reason) to do what they pleased to make the trip their own. “Dave and Christi were super friendly and knowledgeable of the area with tons of information to share. They knew all the good fishing spots and where to stop. In the mornings when the sun was rising it was dead quiet except for the flow of the river. The weather at the end of May was beautiful the whole time and we were all ready to hit the hay at the end of the day because of all the hard work. The trip felt rewarding as well as an experience of a lifetime. I will go on the river again 100%.”
And a second student reported: “I had a ton of fun running Chase Rapids and all the fishing we got to do at all the good spots along the river. It was also fun to be with people I knew and to meet new people too. Learning how to safely navigate a canoe and setting up camp with experienced guides was awesome. Having a lot of freedom once our camp was set up was very nice.”
Due to the rave student reviews and expressed participant interest, in 2024 we have added a second trip. Trip details can be found HERE.