This interactive map chronicles 100 years of history on Lake Temagami and the evolution of many of the co-ed canoe tripping camps on the lake. Learn how to use the map then explore the rich history of the Temagami region.
How to use this map
Discussion of Lake Temagami’s Co-ed Camping History
While many camps embraced co-ed programming during the 1950s, how camps negotiated interaction between boys and girls differed from camp to camp. The history of private wilderness canoe tripping camps on Lake Temagami illustrates the many different approaches that camps took to addressing gender differences. The earliest camps to include women and girls were either exclusively girls’ camps, like Camp Cayuga, or separate “sister” camps to male institutions, like Camp Metagami was to Camp Temagami. Some camps, like White Bear, navigated gender differences by instituting distinct sessions for boys and girls. Many of the oldest camps on the lake, such as Camp Temagami, Keewaydin, Wabun, and Wigwasati, appear to have rejected the 1950s trend of co-ed programming, remaining single-gender boys’ camps well into the 1970s and later.
Interestingly, when such camps did eventually welcome women and girls into their institutions (as all but one camp on the lake would), they did so in distinct ways. Perhaps the most obvious distinction between such camps’ co-ed programming is whether they offer single-gender or mixed-gender trips. One of Ontario’s first co-ed camps, Wabikon offered mixed-gender canoe trips in the 1940s, and when Wanapitei reopened in 1956, it too offered opportunities for boys and girls to trip side by side through the Canadian backcountry. In contrast, Wabun and Keewaydin offer comparable programs for boys and girls but only permit single-sex trips. Another factor influencing the interaction between the genders was age: in 1985, Northwaters offered mixed-gender trips, but only for youths fourteen years of age and older, and today and similar policy exists at the current Camp Temagami. More recently, Keewaydin’s single-sex girls’ trips and Northwaters’ Northern Lights program for girls implement gender-conscious philosophies that aim to meet the unique needs of adolescent and teenage girls.