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The Keewaydin Way

The story of the world's oldest

canoe-trip camp


by Brian Back


All proceeds to Roy Waters Scholarship Fund


Publisher: Roy Waters Scholarship Fund

Dimensions: 9 (tall) by 7.5 inches

Cover: paper

Pages: 440  (206)*

Photos and images: 414  (90)

Maps: 29  (10)

Lists: 20  (0)

Price: $40 including handling and shipping

                 to continental US and Canada

* Numbers in brackets are from the 1983 Keewaydin


Sample Pages (PDF files: 300K)

Tump knot

Long-trip table - two-page spread

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader


Award: Society of Camp Directors

              Writing Award


Cover photo of The Keewaydin Way: The story of the world's oldest canoe-trip camp

This is the story (and not just a history) of the Keewaydin camping culture from its inception in the world's first recognized camp in Connecticut (1879) to the founding in Maine (1894) to the move to Temagami (1902), and the growth of the family of camps. It is filled with first-person accounts of adventures in the North that form the Keewaydin way. Over 10,000 photos were searched and 219 people interviewed in the making.

Selected Contents

History in Brief

The Gunnery the founder's early years

The Fleet


Trip In

The Romance of a Life Camp Kahkou in Maine

The Wannigan

The Frontier move to Temagami

Mystery of 1903 Base Camp

The Tumpline

Kokomis and the Devil the aboriginal legend

Voices from the Kicker: 1910-12

The First Hudson Bay Trip 1911

Great Whale-Belcher Islands Bay Trip

The Moral Menage fall of the founder

The Way of the Fireplace

The Tump Knot

Setting the record straight: oldest buildings

Wind of Change rise and fall of the empire

Custom Canoe

Keewaydin Club of Naples


Chivers era

Aubrey Cosens Rams the Island

Keewaydin Cook Book

The Guides

Henry McLeod

Jack Green

Art Montreuil

Nishe Belanger

Grey Owl

Staff-Guide Way

Matt Ridgway's Last Summer

Sugar Lake Rescue

Moose Riding

Third Generation Reimers era

Barge Hijacking

Heb Evans

Keewaydin Archeology



The Outpost

In a Green Canoe


Bay Trips - 10

Lake Temagami

1977 fire

Rock carvings

Canoe Range (Temagami and Kipawa)


Outpost territory

Devil's Island

Devil's Island area

South Muskego area

Trip In maps - 3

1903 base camp

Rupert River 1935

Devil's Island 1930


Early hand-drawn maps


Long trips -- includes names of all members from 1938

World's oldest camps

Canada's oldest camps

Temagami camps

World's largest wood-canvas fleets

Gunn Canoe winners

Chivers Award winners

Wigwams - first years


Directors and owners

Oldest buildings

Building construction dates










The Keewaydin Way is to camp histories what Keewaydin is to camping: in a class by itself. Researched meticulously and written in clear and flowing prose, it chronicles the people and events of the premier canoe camp in North America. For anyone who has been a part of Keewaydin, be it at Temagami, Dunmore or Songadeewin, this is book you want in your personal library.

Peter Hare


A must-have. Treasure it along with your old tump.

Jeff Schneider


Riveting reading of adventures that many only dream about. The author weaves these accounts with the absorbing history of Keewaydin and the wonderful traditional stories passed down over generations.

Sandy Chivers


This is probably the most unique and expansive camp history ever written. Canoeing and camping books don't get any better.

Fred Reimers


Ordering (without form):

Send $40 US per copy payable to:

   Keewaydin Foundation


10 Keewaydin Rd

Salisbury, VT  05769

Include shipping address, phone and e-mail address

Cost includes shipping and handling in continental US and Canada

Contact: 802-352-4247



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Maps and information herein are not intended for navigational use, and are not represented to be correct in every respect. 
All pages intended for reference use only, and all pages are subject to change with new information and without notice. 
The author/publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for use of the information on these pages. 
Wilderness travel and canoeing possess inherent risk. 
 It is the sole responsibility of the paddler and outdoor traveler to determine whether he/she is qualified for these activities.
Copyright  2000-2013 Brian Back.  All rights reserved.
We do not endorse and are not responsible for the content of any linked document on an external site.