The Father-Son Trip Is Bonding at Its Best

By JR Verkamp

My oldest daughter, Sidney, recently took up softball. After buying her a new mitt, I found my old baseball glove—covered in dust and inscribed with my childhood telephone number—and joined her in the yard.

Back and forth went the ball between us. Occasionally, the ball would sail over her head or mine, but we would quickly return to our spots to resume the simple game of catch. And we talked. I can’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember not wanting to stop. Back and forth, back and forth—uninterrupted time with my daughter. Talking.

This experience, but on a much greater scale, is what we offer on our Father-Son Trips, now in their 10th year. For two days on Deer Island and five days in the Canadian wilderness, a father and his son will spend uninterrupted time together. Dad won’t be checking his email on his phone; son won’t be asking to play his favorite video game.

At camp, they will go through the process of preparing for a Kooch-i-ching canoe trip: packing gear, double-bagging food, learning techniques—side by side. Once on the water, they will paddle in stroke, scout and shoot rapids, catch and cook fish, share a meal by a waterfall, and tell stories by a crackling fire. Finally, they will crawl into their tent and crash—side by side.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 issue of the Kooch-i-ching Tumpline.

KoochBen Woods