Hello! My name is Erica Leibovitch and I am a unit head for 12 and 13 year-old boys and girls at Camp Walden. I have experienced the tripping program as a camper, counsellor and as unit head over my 12 years at Walden. There is something about the tripping program here that is almost indescribable. I will be the first to admit that as a first-time camper at Walden, I was by no means excited about the idea of having to go on a canoe trip. At first thought, a canoe trip sounds uncomfortable and mildly barbaric: the idea of sleeping in a tent with 9 other people, having to carry your food and clothing in a barrel for 4 days, and paddling for hours on end. What you don’t think of is the incredible bonds you make with your fellow campers and staff, the beautiful views you see along your paddles and portages, and the amazing memories that can only be created when you are sitting by a campfire, surrounded by 15 of your closest friends, experiencing a trip that you could never even dream of. You really can’t understand how amazing a canoe trip is until you are courageous enough to get on one. I have had the opportunity to experience canoe trip at every stage: as a camper, becoming part of a family with my cabin group, as a staff watching my kids bond and build relationships that have lasted even until today, and as a unit head, encouraging wary campers to give canoe trip a chance and watching them thrive and grow in this new environment, as both campers and as people. The tripping program at any camp, but especially our tripping program here at Walden, has a tremendously positive effect on any participant, whether you’re a camper, a counsellor, or a head staff, and I would encourage even the most skeptical of people to give canoe trip a try!