The Other Keewaydin

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Photo: first director of Keewaydin Camp, Dunmore

George Wilson

"Moose" "Bull Moose" "Caruso"

First Dunmore Director, 1910-1912

Temagami Bay-Trip Staffman

George Wilson's large, hooked nose earned him the name Moose at Temagami.  It is interesting that at Dunmore he became known as Bull Moose maybe gender was important. Two names turned out to be insufficient and they also called him Caruso for his singing voice. 

With his commanding but gentle manner he was a natural leader. But Wilson was most proud of his woodsmanship and loved to trip so he returned to Temagami in 1913.  "With him the firewood had to be cut just right and the tent pitched just right," Harold Scott, a former Temagami camper, remembers. Maybe it is not so ironic that those who remember him thought that his dark skin and height made him look like the embodiment of a character out of the Four Winds Ceremony.

He went on to lead four Bay Trips in the late 1920s and early 1930s despite being in his 60s. He continued on at Temagami until 1941.

Note: In this 1938 photo, below the K on his jacket, are service bars four golds, one for each five years of service, and four greens, one each for a year of service 24 years in total. The tradition began in the 1910s and continued until WW II.

 

Dunmore got its third director from Temagami, William Gunn or Major, as he was best known. Gunn began at Temagami in 1905. He had organized the Gigitowin (the service organization for older campers, staff and alumni) in 1909, and was a member of the board of directors by the time Dunmore was founded. During his Dunmore term, beginning in 1921, its enrollment climbed from 72 campers to 150 in 1925. While there he wrote the Four Winds Ceremony, a performance for the campers that was intended to evoke the sense of power of nature, using Native-American characters. Later the ceremony would be adopted by Temagami where it also continues today. 

During Gunn's directorship there was a small blonde camper, one of the youngest. Thinking of a little white rabbit, Gunn named him Waboos (Ojibway for rabbit). In 1946, Alfred "Waboos" Hare would become director and serve in that capacity and as co-director with Jim Wacker until 2000, Dunmore's longest-serving director. Today he is still known as Waboos.

The final year of Gunn's Dunmore directorship, 1925, was one of turmoil for the corporation and Temagami in particular. Clarke, the general director of the corporation and majority shareholder, had suddenly resigned during the season. Furthermore, Temagami had to cope with two camper drownings on the Ottawa River. It became apparent that summer that the Temagami director, William "Sultan" Douglas, who had paired an inexperienced staffman with a weak guide was not up to the job. An experienced hand and one with the skills to manage a specialized camp like Temagami and pull the operation back together after a disastrous summer was needed. After his success at Dunmore and his clear love of Temagami, Gunn became the new director, serving his first full season in 1926.  

Two Tripping Styles

In 1910, it appears the two tripping styles were virtually identical. By the 1960s, Dunmore's tripping style had changed. Pack frames had replaced double packs. Carrying bars were gone.

Today, Dunmore's style has become more varied. Pack frames are still used in double carries on canoes with younger campers and are sometimes used to carry wannigans. Waterproof PVC packs with shoulder straps have replaced canvas duffel bags. Canvas tents are few, used only on Lake George trips, with nylon tents being de rigueur. 

Tump construction is a mix of all-leather or leather headbands with nylon tails. Center-thwart yokes and pads on canoes are now as common as tumps. Tumps are still used on canoes with paddles. Dunmore's active wood-canvas canoe fleet is among the world's largest, but their wood canvas do not go on whitewater trips.

Wannigans are standard, though they are wider than Temagami's. Reflector ovens and fire grates are used on trips into areas with enough available firewood. Sometimes pots are hung instead of being set on grates. If firewood isn't available stoves are used.

Is Dunmore a tripping camp?

If you ask them they will say yes. But we judge ourselves by different standards. We, at Temagami, define a canoe-tripping camp as a place where you go for tripping, period. There is no in-camp program.

 At Dunmore there are two different tripping programs. The regular base-camp program and the formal five-week Wilderness Canoe Trips. The Wilderness Canoe Trips participants only go tripping. 

At the Dunmore base camp, although every camper goes canoe tripping, they don't have to spend their entire stay doing trips and there is an in-camp program.

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