Recently, we were contacted by a person who happened upon one of our Intercept courses for troubled teens and at-risk youth in the Minnesota Boundary Waters. He wrote us the greatest email and an even better blog post about his encounter with our group. I just had to share. Please be sure to read the blog post Daniel wrote on his personal blog. Below is a photo from Daniel and the email he sent to us.
I think you are the right folks to email about this, if not, please let me know who I should send this note to.
I ran into one of your Intercept groups out in the Boundary Waters on July 6th near Knife Lake. It was a group of six young women with two guides and they were exceptional. I have hiked over 9,000 miles, including the triple crown (Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails) and am currently on a 4,000 mile kayaking trip between the northernmost point of the contiguous United States (Northwest Angle, MN) and Key West, FL, so I have seen a lot of groups in the backcountry.
Usually, groups are loud, disorganized, and out of touch with the world around them, but not these young women. They were calm and collected on a rainy, miserable day and seemed part of the wild. I was so impressed with how organized and smooth they were as they worked to get over portage after portage. They were polite, nice, and encouraging as I struggled to portage my sea kayak through the same route. They looked at comfort and at home in the wild after 11 of their 21 days.
They reminded me of the way thru-hikers look after a month or so on a long-distance trail (once they’ve figured out their routine and worked out all the kinks). I think that is a testament to how well your instructors were teaching these young women as well as the young women themselves. Anyway, I just wanted to write and let you know how impressed I was. I’m sure that every group has issues and problems on their journeys, and maybe I just caught them on a good day or a good moment, but they were fantastic and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated meeting them.
If you want more details, I wrote about it on the blog for the kayaking trip I am currently on, http://predictablylost.com/2012/07/19/angle-to-key-west-cant/.