Note:  Adventure in Understanding is a HIP Approved Project.  If you would like to support this, further details can be found under Approved Projects.  We wish the group a safe journey and success!


An Adventure in Understanding for students on six-day Rotary canoe journey

By Jessica Nyznik, The Peterborough Examiner

Friday, August 29, 2014 12:13:18 EDT AM


Campers and leaders make their way up the Trent Severn Waterway north of the Peterborough Lift Lock on Thursday, August 28, 2014 during a six-day canoe trip organized by the Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha that started at Beavermead Park in Peterborough finishing up to Curve Lake First Nation. Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI Agency


A canoe trip meant to connect First Nation and non-First Nation youths began its paddle up stream on Thursday.

An Adventure in Understanding left Beavermead Park on Thursday morning after the kids, their guides and Curve Lake First Nation council members ate dinner and held their opening ceremonies in GreenUP Ecology Park the evening before.

The adventure's goal is to connect youths from different cultures, giving them a chance to spend time together and get to know each other.

Throughout their journey, the teens will meet with Elders and learn about First Nation traditions in the area by focusing on the land and what's around them.

The group is traveling in a 26-foot Voyageur canoe, up the Otonabee River, with various stops and camping destinations along the way.

After making the hour and a half trek from Beavermead to Trent University, the adventurists enjoyed bannock and stew around a fire in teepee.

They then took part in a presentation by Trent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science that included a smudging, interactive games and a lesson on the importance of water and how to take care of it.

The trip was initiated by the Rotary Club of Peterborough-Kawartha, partnered with Camp Kawartha and Curve Lake First Nation.

In its inaugural year, Glen Caradus, trip co-ordinator, said the idea is for the adventure to grow in years to come.

Diversity, cross-cultural understanding, team building, along with the benefits of being outside are what this adventure is all about, said Caradus.

Accompanied by three guides, the group consists of three girls from Peterborough and one boy from Curve Lake, who are between 16 to18-years-old.

Connor Williams, 17, said he heard about the trip while working at the Curve Lake First Nation Cultural Centre.

"I thought it'd be a fun experience to finish off my summer before going back to school," Williams said.

He said the trip is a fun way to meet people from other communities.

"It's wonderful," he said, "the group of people I'm with are amazing."

Visiting the Petroglyphs and wild rice beds, practicing traditional skills, such as archery, bow and drill fires starting, and learning about the medicines in nature are part of the adventure's agenda, along with teachings from elders.

Over the next few days, the adventure will take the group up to Lakefield, upper and lower Buckhorn, Lovesick Lake, Burleigh Falls and finally to Curve Lake on Monday where they will enjoy a feast and a closing ceremony.

Throughout their journey, the group is carrying a tree from the GreenUp Ecology Park, which they plan to plant during the ceremony at Curve Lake.