Earlier this summer, eight girls and six leaders from 1st Quinte Trex in Trenton, Ontario headed into Algonquin Park for our annual wilderness canoe trip. In addition to the fun, good food and adventure, the girls planned a very special pilgrimage during the trip – a visit to Baden-Powell Lake. The lake was named in 1969 and a Scout cairn (monument) was erected about that time, where visiting Girl Guides and Scouts could sign-in and exchange badges.
The plan was to paddle into the lake; however, low water levels prevented access to the lake by canoe. Not to be defeated, and with the opening to Baden-Powell Lake in sight, the group trekked 300 metres through muskeg and bushwhacked 100 metres through dense spruce forest to reach the shoreline. Everyone carried their paddles and after a few poignant words of appreciation to Lord and Lady Baden-Powell for giving us the gift of Guiding, all dipped their paddles into the lake.
I borrowed Community 24’s Guiding World flag for that all-important Kodak moment. Due to heavy brush and the lateness of the hour, time could not be spared to hunt for the cairn to sign in. Maybe next year.
Guest post by Liz Allard, a Guider in Trenton, Ontario. Liz is an air combat systems officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. She’s been involved in Guiding for four years and has been the Contact Guider and trip leader with Trex for three years.
Congratulations on your trek to Baden-Powell Lake. I love hearing the various stories, and yes, the water level is rarely high enough to permit canoe access so it can be a tough slog! The cairn is an white electrical box nailed to a tree at the water’s edge, on the west side of Baden Powell Lake about in the middle of the western shore. Wish I had a GPS on me to give you better coordinates!
All the best,
Don Ecclestone, Toronto