Keewaydin (camp)

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Keewaydin Canoe Camp is one of the oldest summer camps in North America; well over a hundred years old. Keewaydin completed its first season in 1893 in the backwoods of northern Maine, under the alias Camp Kah Kou. The camp's first basecamp was on Lac Cacaumagomoc near the headwaters of the Allagash River. In 1901, the camp's owners changed the name to "Keewaydin" and opened two separate camps in Vermont and Ontario. Founder A.S. Gregg Clarke moved Keewaydin to Devil Island on Lake Temagami in the Canadian Province of Ontario. Another camp was created on the shores of Lake Dunmore in the State of Vermont. Keewaydin Dunmore emphasized basecamp activities, while Temagami continued to outfit exploratory canoe expeditions throughout the Canadian Provinces.

In 2001, Keewaydin Temagami and Keewaydin Dunmore were united under the same non-profit organization, known as the Keewaydin Foundation.

Both Keewaydin Temagami and Keewaydin Dunmore launched their first girls' programs in 1999, both named Songadeewin. On Lake Temagami, Songadeewin is a part of Keewaydin, whereas on Lake Dunmore, Songadeewin is its own camp. Although Keewaydin Temagami is now co-ed, sections are not co-ed.

Each summer, Keewaydin Temagami sends canoe trips throughout the Temagami Region and La Verendrye Provincial Park and the Kipawa Region in north-central Quebec. Keewaydin also sends three sections into Wabakimi Provincial Park and sections of experienced campers into northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and northern Quebec. The oldest and most experienced section of these campers (known as "Section A" for boys or "Section 1" for girls)[1] end their final summer at settlements on the Hudson Bay.

Keewaydin Dunmore conducts the majority of its camping exploits within New England and New York State until campers reach the most senior stage, the Moosalamoo wigwam.

"Keewaydin" (kiiwaydin) means "northwest wind" in Ojibway.

1932 "The Wabun Split Up"[edit]

In the summer of 1932 six staff at Keewaydin decided to start their own camp, also on Lake Temagami. The camp would be located roughly six miles south on Garden Island. In 1933 they started a new camp, Wabun. Wabun is known for their red canoes. Today, the Wabun trips are similar to the Keewaydin trips.

Notable campers[edit]


  • Keewaydin is Canada's oldest youth camp (tied with Kamp Kanawana), and eighth oldest in the world
  • Keewaydin has the world's largest active fleet of wood-canvas canoes
  • Keewaydin is the world's oldest dedicated canoe trip business
  • Keewaydin's original name was Kamp Kah Kou
  • Archibald Belaney was a guide at Keewaydin for two years while learning native culture, but before using the alias Grey Owl.


  1. ^ The Keewaydin Way, A Portrait: 1893-1983 Author: Brian Back, 206 pp.Softbound
  2. ^ a b Eisner, Michael. Camp. ISBN 978-0446533690.
  3. ^ McPhee, John. Annals of the Former World. ISBN 9780374105204.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°04′52″N 80°05′37″W / 47.08111°N 80.09361°W / 47.08111; -80.09361