Wah-Tut-Ca Magazine February 2014 - Page 5

The Adventures Of Northwood Lake “You will never run out of lake” It is an ancient activity. Humans have a relationship with the water that dates back to our ?shy biological origins. Recreational swimming is not logical. Why would someone who is dry, clothed and warm, standing safely on terra ?rma, suddenly decide to jump in the water and immerse himself or herself in a non-supportive media? Why would one paddle, row or sail to travel short distances when more ef?cient and dry means are readily available? The reason could simply be just, “it feels good”. Since 1937 Scouts have jumped into Northwood Lake with that expectation and seldom were they disappointed. Time in and on Northwood Lake can be taken for granted but each time it is an adventure. It’s pure, simple and natural. Northwood Lake is a distinguishing feature of Wah-Tut-Ca Scout Reservation. Only a handful of camps in the United States have such a magni?cent resource. Our lake has 2,543 million gallons of water. Many Scout camps today don’t have natural water to swim in. Increasingly they rely on swimming pools with controlled optimal water quality. Jumping into these pools still feels good, but can’t compare or provide the adventure that comes from a large natural lake. A former aquatics director was recently asked, “What makes Wah-Tut-Ca’s lake so special?” He replied, “the water is not green, you can see the bottom and you can swim till you are tired and still not run out of lake”. At three miles long Northwood Lake is one of Scouting’s biggest. If you stand anywhere on Wah-Tut-Ca’s mile and a half of shoreline and look out you’ll never see the end of the lake. This gives our lake an air of mystery and begs the question, “what is over there?” The best way to answer that question is by boat. The Wah-Tut-Ca ?eet gives you access and opportunities to boat “out of bounds”. The east/west orientation of the lake makes for good winds for ?ne sailing. Head out on Northwood Lake and pass Blodget’s Island the wind provides speed and ability to move your boat in any direction. In a kayak you can paddle into the cove and see great blue heron, loons, hawks and eagles. You can row to the sandbar and enjoy an outdoor classroom standing in and surrounded by water. For Wah-Tut-Ca Scouts, Northwood Lake is a social place. Troops can reserve the solitude of So-Kee-Tay Bay for a quiet sunset swim to share a group activity. For a more gregarious occasion, free swimming at the main waterfront affords an opportunity for camp wide interaction. In both areas the swimming rafts become centers of activity. The rafts quickly ?ll with people and their voices echo for miles. Scouts and leaders are constantly climbing on then jumping off. Splashes and laughter are only brie?y interrupted by the command of the lifeguard who blows the whistle and cries, “buddddddy up”. Every summer on Northwood Lake children and young adults connect without electronic media. You’ll never ?nd someone on the raft texting on a smart phone with his thumbs. It always feels better to surf Northwood Lake on waterskies powered by Wah-Tut-Ca’s motorboat than to web surf and hack on the keyboard of a laptop. No video game can compare to any of the aquatic adventures that happen in summer camp. No software program can cover the options and possibilities. The experiences of Northwood Lake are timeless. It feels good and you will get wet!