Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, summer of 2015
Myself (Ethan Speigel) and Zach Ronski’s first trip together for the summer was one of the two Killarney Paddle CIT trips. We were nervous and excited. A bit nervous because although our CITs were open-minded, not all of them were the biggest canoe trip lovers. But we were mostly excited because we were determined to show the CITs the best canoe trip of their lives! As we hiked Silver Peak and canoed over crystal blue lakes, Zach and I were able to create and restore a love of canoe trip in our CITs, some of whom were not incredibly enthused at the notion of going on a canoe trip.
By the end of the canoe trip Zach and I felt as though we had achieved what we set out to do — I sincerely believe that any of the CITs we took will testify to the statement that this was the best canoe trip they experienced as campers. Not only was this the trip of a life time, but I believe the CITs view on canoe trip had been positively changed and reaffirmed as a result of their open-mindedness and me and Zach’s stalwart determination to be the best trippers we could be. Some of the CITs even told us at the end of the trip that one of the reasons they wanted to be specialists was so they did not have go on canoe trips as staff, they only told us this because they wanted to share that they no longer held this belief and were much more receptive to the prospect of being a counselor because the notion of canoe trip no longer worried or bothered them.
Zach and I try to maintain this standard of fun, safety, determination and excellence on all of our trips so we can show as many campers, CITs, and staff members as possible that trip is an enlightening, tranquil, challenging, team-building experience and an invaluable part of Walden.
— Ethan Speigel