An activity at Pine Island Camp, a boys summer camp in Maine.

Stories about Expedition Camp Trips

Epic Journeys, Brilliant Moments

The following is an excerpt from The Pine Needle archives. Written by Kit Smith, photos by Stephen Manker (2010 Expedition Camp co-leaders).

The sun hides behind a thin fold of clouds. Waiting for it to dip below the haze and come into view, we settle in for our last panoramic view in Vermont's Green Mountains. It is fitting that we should end our 2010 Expedition Camp hiking trip as we started it, with a brilliant sunset. The mysterious mountains of Canada stretch north behind us. We think we can see the Peak of Lincoln in the distant south where we began our trek. The shimmering rays play on the waters of Lake Champlain, creating a blinding shaft of light. No one seems to mind the chill breeze that rips up from the valley. Once again, Aidan pulls the camera out. We snap some photos of our last night in the wild. I feel the beginnings of closure for Expedition Camp 2010 and I savor it. We have traveled a long way and spent many long days together. Steve and I look at the boys and beam with pride.

Preparing the 14-day canoe trip that kicked off Pine Island's 2010 Expedition camp was no easy task for Steve and me, but Ben Swan had given us plenty of time and plenty of resources with which to prepare. We had talked in detail with Matt Clarke, a former Expedition camp leader and PIC veteran, about logistics and itinerary. Lindsay Clarke had helped us fine-tune our paddling skills and general river knowledge. Combining input from Matt and Lindsay with our own tripping experience, Steve and I gathered all the maps, tools and food we needed to head out for the Allagash for the longest trip sent out from Pine Island in recent memory.