A Mixed Bag
Author's note: Going on this trip was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I had SO much fun... Show full author's note »
DO NOT ask questions about the future!“This.” Said one of the camp’s guides, Matt, “Is a wanigan.” He hoisted a heavy wooden box onto his back and pulled the strap around his head. These carry all our food and supplies. For an estimate, they’re about 15lbs without anything in them.” We then took turns hoisting the backpack-like contraptions on to our back and walking around. We split off into groups and learned how to carry canoes, assemble the tents, put away the cookware so it all fit together.
Somethings you need to know about Temagami:
1. Don’t ask questions about the future.
2. DO NOT ask questions about the future!
3. There are no clocks allowed, so you’ll never know what time it is.
4. And you don’t want to be the one carrying the Cook Wanigan.
Let me explain those rules: at Temagami, part of the “wonder” is to experience life in the moment. We weren’t allowed to know what time it was, because there was no reason to. We had no other plans! We also couldn’t ask where we were going, when we would get there, what we were eating for supper, or like I said any questions about the future. That rule was especially enforced by my group’s leaders, Matt and Claire. Matt even told us a story about the first time he came to Temagami:
A friend of his kept asking about the future and their guide ,Thor, slapped him repeatedly across the face with a bag of leftover oatmeal. After that, Thor assigned Matt as the answerer. He told him everything he’d need to know about the day and then all the kids would ask Matt. He hated it so much, he won’t answer questions about the future anymore. I’m pretty sure the story was embellished, but I avoided questions about the future all the same. Matt, of course, never physically hurt us or anything, he’d just repeat his mantra “Hm, that sounds like a question about the future” and it’d be the end of the conversation.
And last but not least- the dreaded Cook Wanigan. That was the wanigan that contained all the heavy cast iron cookwares. I don’t know how much it weighed, but it was HEAVY. Lucy tells me it was only five pounds less than a canoe.