Think again! Every summer, Chewonki leads a limited number of custom wilderness trips for families and other private groups who love the outdoors and are looking for something much more than a routine vacation. These paddling and/or hiking adventures in Maine and northern Quebec are always memorable. Just ask Gordon Hall (former staff member and Chewonki Trustee). Hall, a counselor here in the 1950s and a longtime trustee; his wife, Taffy; and the two younger generations of their family just took a weeklong canoe trip on the West Branch of the Penobscot River led by Chewonki Vice President Greg Shute and former staff member Kate Ziminsky, who comes back especially for this trip. “Chewonki canoe trips have been a centerpiece of the Hall family for so long,” says Hall. “We started in the early 1970s, when my kids were in high school. We did the Allagash many times, and later, the St. Croix, the West Branch, the East Branch, and the St. John.” As the family expanded, the expedition grew and changed. “It was interesting when ‘significant others’ began coming,” he recalls. “And if ever there were a medium for getting to know someone new, a canoe trip is it.” Significant others became spouses, and soon grandchildren, some as young as four, became part of the mix, although Gordy and Taffy also pulled off some all-adult Chewonki trips now and then. “I’ll guess that we’ve gone on at least 20 family and adult trips with Chewonki over the last 35 years,” he recalls. “It’s the quintessence of the Chewonki experience to help each other stay dry, fed, rested, sheltered, and happy in all weathers, in the ever-changing, beautiful Maine woods. No other group/family experience can match it.” By now, the Halls know their guides well. “You couldn’t do better [than Greg and Kate],” says Hall. “They know the routine, which is so important in making and breaking camp, preparing meals, and teaching all of us the nuances of deep woods cuisine, bird and animal recognition, and canoe handling.” Gordy Hall, who is deftly navigating his 80s, happened to celebrate his birthday on this most recent trip and Ziminsky rose to the occasion by baking a birthday cake over the campfire. “Delicious and attractive as any delicatessen could deliver,” says the birthday boy. From the guides’ point of view, the Hall family trips are a legendary pleasure. This summer’s trip “was a ton of fun,” says Shute. “They are all really nice people, and each appreciates the opportunity that family trips provide to deepen their connection to each and the natural world.” Isn’t it time you and your friends or family went on a Chewonki Wilderness Trip? Get in touch–we’d love to talk with you about it! Contact Emma Carlson, director of Chewonki Wilderness Trips, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (207) 882-7323 x162.