Kooch-i-ching’s mission is to inspire the growth of young men through wilderness adventures that promote self-discovery, teamwork and service to others.
Torie Ludwin | Parent
KIER MALLOY | STAFF MEMBER
Elsbeth Redfield | Parent
John & Taya Sweeden | Parents
COLIN CAMPBELL | CAMPER
CHALLENGE & OPPORTUNITY
The boy who comes to Kooch-i-ching finds a Northwoods that is as stimulating as it is magnificent. It demands that he stretch his abilities to their limits. It encourages him to develop enduring values. It introduces him to the joy of serving others. The Kooch-i-ching experience strips away the artificiality of modern society and the distraction of technology. It presents problems, and it presents opportunities for their solution. For a boy, Kooch-i-ching is an investment in a man of the future.
The sole occupant of Deer Island on Minnesota's Rainy Lake, Kooch-i-ching is situated on the doorstep of the finest canoe country in the world—a labyrinth of lakes that extends for hundreds of miles. Yet Kooch-i-ching is also just 10 miles from the town of International Falls, with all the conveniences of the modern world. Of course, Kooch-i-ching men and boys prefer the isolation and serenity of Deer Island, a jewel of unspoiled wilderness that looks the same as it has for thousands of years.
LEARNING THROUGH DOING
Life on Deer Island centers around an instructional program that includes dozens of activities for young men of all ages and skill levels. The lakes and forests form a learning laboratory that looks the same today as it did when the first group of campers arrived in 1925. The basic method is still that of learning through doing, but the avenues for achievement have expanded manyfold.
The heart of the wilderness quest at Kooch-i-ching is canoe travel through Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Travel that follows the trails of the voyageurs and fur-traders. Travel that blazes new trails of its own. Through backpacking and climbing, Kooch-i-ching has expanded westward into the Rocky Mountains, but the canoe and stout paddle shall remain its primary means of mobility.
For the boy of 9, a canoe trip should not be—and is not—exposure to conditions and problems far beyond his grasp. It should be—and is—a new experience crammed with fun, spiced with the unknown and flavored with challenge. For the young man in his mid-to-late teens, a canoe trip should not be—and is not—a gentle introduction to Northwoods travel. It should be—and is—a complex undertaking that calls for research, planning, preparation and teamwork. It should strengthen friendships and convictions. It should encourage tenacity, compassion and the exercise of judgment.