Canoeing for a cause

By Sarah Wallace
June 5, 2013 - 12:31pm

A crew of six is canoeing from Alberta to Ontario as a way to raise money for outdoor education.

On May 16, the crew, made up off Marissa Sieck, Hollye Ervine, Marc Soberano, Peter Vooys, James Humpeston and Scott Graham, started paddling from their starting point at Rocky Mountain House in Alberta.

Graham, Ervine, Soberano and Vooys are all from Ontario, Sieck is originally from Texas and Humpeston is originally from Australia.

On Day 19 of their voyage, they arrived in Prince Albert.

Graham said they are paddling across Canada as a way to raise awareness and raise money for outdoor education because it means something to each of them.

“[This has] always been a dream kind of, we’re big canoeists, we’re all teachers and outdoor educators, we work at summer camps and outdoor centers. It’s been a dream of a few of ours and we found the right people who could do it, not everybody could take four months off of their real lives and camp all summer right, so it kind of worked out,” Graham said.

The trek is going to take the crew more than 5,000 kilometers to complete and Graham said it should take them around four to four-and-a-half months to complete.

The crew has sponsors, such as Roots, which are helping by supplying them with gear and food along the way so they can focus on raising money for the outdoor education programs.

“We picked three charities, so we’d like to give them at least $2,000 each, [that’s] kind of our ballpark figure. We’ve been fundraising and had some fundraisers and doing things to support that and along the way we’re meeting great people and having some wonderful connections and they’re donating so we’re just raising more and more money every day so we’re over halfway to our goal already,” Graham said.

The three charities they are raising money for are:

1. Camp Outlook – a non-profit, charitable organization that’s run by volunteers. Camp Outlook takes in youth aged 13-17 from the Kingston, Ont. area who are experiencing social, behavioral and economic challenges and gives them the opportunity to experience wilderness camping.

2. The Couchiching Community Initiative – is a non-profit charity that aims to create accessible environments and opportunities for the Orillia, Ont. community. They believe in well-designed and facilitated programs and aims to combine adventure-based programming and experiential education principles to help create memorable experiences that have a lasting impact.

3. The P.I.N.E. Project – This project’s mission is to build health communities that have a deep connection to the environment and brings the “wonders of the natural world back into the urban jungle.”

Travelling by Canoe

The crew is usually up around 6 a.m. and tries to be in the water by 8 a.m. and can paddle between eight to 10 hours a day.

Graham said when it comes to the canoe, “We rotate a lot because it’s over 5,000 kilometres we’re paddling so you don’t want to be doing the same thing over and over so if we were on one side our one arm would be huge.”

The canoe is a traditional 25’ voyageur canoe and Graham said it’s great to be at the stern of the canoe because if gives you the chance to steer.

They have some re-supply stations throughout their voyage and their next big stop is Cumberland House where they will find their next food catch and clean shirts.

You can follow their progress on their website as they have a tracker on board the canoe

You can also send them messages on their website which goes directly to their GPS tracker so they can read your comments.

You can also find them on Facebook

[email protected]

On Twitter: @sarahthesquid

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