July 14-19, 2019
Come join the Michigan Tech Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) as we paddle the Keweenaw Waterway, passing through the historic towns of Houghton and Hancock and under the iconic Portage Lake Lift Bridge. Gain confidence and experience paddling a sea kayak, developing float plans, and packing your kayak for a five-night overnight paddle adventure.
What to Expect
This trip will focus on spending plenty of time on the water and paddling. We will head off campus on our first day to get our boats set and ready, as well as establish a base for the next two days of skill building. Days 1 and 2 will focus on skill building including wet exits, assisted rescues, self rescues, towing, and trip planning. We will cook, eat, and sleep outside at our base camp, with access to indoor accommodations as needed. Next, we will head out on a 3 day overnight kayak camping trip on Wednesday along the Keweenaw Water Trail, using the Portage Waterway as our route. We will camp at locations along the canal and pass under the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, between the cities of Houghton and Hancock, and past many historical mining ruins and relics. We will make our way from west to east, crossing Portage Lake and past the Sturgeon Sloughs in Chassell to our take out.
Open to boys and girls entering grades 9-12 as of Fall 2019. Participants should have previous kayaking experience for longer trips (multi-day or overnight) and be comfortable in a kayak.
What to Bring
The OAP will provide all paddling equipment including kayak, paddle, PFD, and safety equipment, tents and gear for group cooking. We will provide some dry bags for our overnight trip as well to keep equipment dry. Participants are welcome to bring their own kayak if desired. Just send us some details about your kayak, and if it meets the requirements for our trip, you can use it! Participants will need to bring their own personal gear including sleeping bag and appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Comfortable fitting clothing for paddling (preferably quick drying)
- Water shoes or sandals
- Shoes for when not paddling
- Sunscreen/bug spray(we will provide as well)
- Personal toiletries
- Hat with bill or large brim
- Mess kit (plate, cup, bowl, spoon, etc.)
- Water bottle
- Sleeping bag/pad/pillow (sleeping bags/pads can be rented from OAP)
A packet of required forms will be sent to participants via email once their application is processed. The required forms must be submitted prior to the start of camp.
Live-in only (all meals & lodging will be off-campus) $700
Payment in full is due at time of registration. Refunds, less a $50 cancellation fee are available until June 1. After June 1, refunds less the cancellation fee will be issued for medical reasons only.
Deadline to register: July 1, 2019
Important Information regarding Participant Meals
We will be preparing our own meals on this trip, and participants will be expected to assist with the preparation as well as the clean-up with meals. Special dietary needs and allergies will be asked for on the confirmation packet that participants receive after being accepted into camp. We can accommodate allergies and dietary needs. However, food preferences outside of those requirements may not be accommodated.
Live-In Camp Only
We will be spending the entirety of camp off site on the water, camping at various locations along the waterway. As such, only a live-in option is available. We will be sleeping in tents, cooking over stoves and campfires, using very rustic to non-existent restroom facilities and practicing Leave No Trace ethics all week. Camping will be on State owned lands, Keweenaw Land Trust lands, or privately owned land with owner permission. We will have a staff member on call for the duration of the trip in case of emergency and someone needs to get off the water.
Parking for Participants
Participants who drive themselves to camp are asked to park in Lot 24 for the duration of camp. Parking passes will be available for purchase at check-in. Cost of the pass if $15. All campers who drive to camp will be required to turn car keys in to OAP staff for the duration of camp.
Participants will be sharing a tent with 1-2 other participants depending on final enrollment. Tents will be provided and will be either a 2-person or 3-person tent. Tentmate requests must be made by both participants and will be asked for on the confirmation packets that participants receive after being accepted into camp. Participants not requesting a specific tentmate will be paired up with another person in their age group. All assignments are prepared ahead of time and do not happen at time of check-in. We will have one male and one female trip leader on the trip. Boys and girls will be in separate tents within a shared campsite. Trip Leaders will camp with the group as well.
All participants will check in at the SDC with their equipment. If participants are bringing their own kayak, this will be dropped off at this point as well. See individual camp schedule for specific check-in time. Upon arrival, park in Lot 22 at the front of the Student Development Complex (SDC) and come in through the main entrance. Check-in will take place at the front counter directly across from the main entrance. Please leave all personal belongings in your vehicle until after the check-in process has been finished. After all participants have checked in, we will head to the OAP and begin getting kayaks assigned and fitted for each participant. All equipment will be loaded into vans/trailers at the SDC and transported with the participants to the OAP.
Parents of campers are required to pick up and sign out their children. At the end of camp, parents will be able to pick up their camper at the OAP, 207 East St. There is limited parking at the OAP, with some available on the street. All participants will need to check out with their counselor prior to leaving with their parents/guardian. See daily schedule for check-out time.
Late Arrival Procedure
Arrangements MUST be made and pre-approved with the camp coordinator, Jared Johnson, for all late arrivals.
Meet the Coordinator
Jared Johnson has been working as a professional Outdoor Educator for 15 years, with 10+ years in the Keweenaw. Tasked with starting an Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) at Michigan Tech in 2006, Jared has been the director since its start, with a leave from 2010-2012. The OAP operates a full service outdoor recreation equipment rental center, trip leading and planning services, and clinics and workshops all focused on outdoor recreation. In addition, Jared and the OAP have developed the Great Northern Adventure Race, the Breakers to Bridge Paddle Festival and co-host the Bigfoot Snowshoe Event. As an avid mountain biker, he was drawn to the Keweenaw and the amazing trail systems that have been growing for the last 16 years. Jared has coordinated biking trips to Moab and Fruita for university students on spring break, as well local trips for students. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace Master Educator.