Canadian Canoe Routes

Camp Kapitachuan 1965
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Author:  megiscane [ September 29th, 2011, 9:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

yes,we certainly were fortunate to have had the experience of a true wilderness. after the road was completed from senneterre, ( i believe it was called penetration road 806 north ) we realised quickly that something quite special would never be the same.

Author:  Bmccall [ October 13th, 2011, 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Thanks for the refresher on the Kapitachuan portages. They were the most physically demanding thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. Drenched with sweat and or heavy rain with mosquitoes and black flies trapped up inside the canoe buzzing around my head was always fun. I recall there being three portages, two short ones, maybe half milers and definitely that 2 miler you mentioned if not longer. I think if I recall correctly one portage was added when we took a short cut to get from one lake to another (were running short on time at the time). Sure wish I had kept the maps and letters from that trip but they ended up getting thrown out after I left home for college. But I can still see the terrain in my mind's eye after all these years.


Author:  Frederic [ December 7th, 2011, 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

This thread was the main source of inspiration for a canoe trip this last September. A friend and I took the train from Montreal to the culvert on Lac Octavie 600m before Monet. We paddle to the Barrage Megiscane then the Megiscane down to Lac Canusio. We then went up the St-Cyr to Lac Barry. An awful portage took us to Lac aux loutres then down the Macho to the Megiscane again. We then paddle to Senneterre to take the train back to Montreal.

Author:  Gerald Guay [ December 8th, 2011, 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

I would be curious to see that area again. Last time I was on Lac Barry was in 1985 if my memory is good. In those days Camp Kapitachuan used the Rivière St-Cyr quite a bit. I used it a couple of times myself. That use to be a canoeing paradise back then. Thanks for your post.

Author:  B Dorsey [ December 11th, 2011, 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

I went on a Camp Kapitachuan C trip in August, 1960, when I was 13 years old, and a B trip in July, 1962. I remember Rod Beebe and Carl Williams, though I never went on a trip with either. I also remember many of the place names previously mentioned in this discussion as well as the overnight train trip from Montreal, riding in the back of the truck to camp (and walking one year when a bridge was washed out), paddling Crooked Creek to the other camp, eating bannock baked in a reflector oven and bush hash, and the dreaded Bourgmont portages.

In 1960, Chip Madden was the trip leader. Other counselors were Mike Beebe (no relation to Rod), Harvey someone and Richard Staub, medical counselor. A group from Camp Kieve in Maine joined us for the first part of the month.

Roger Kenna was the trip leader in 1962. According to his trip report which I still have, the route went as follows: Bourgmont Creek, Kekek River, Barry Lake, Lac aux Loutres, Macho River, Lac aux Canards, Macho River, Lake Maricourt, Lac Berthelot, Sigouins, Pascagama Lake, Obiduan and Lake Choiseul. We spent three days camped on an island near the Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the Obiduan Cree Indian Reservation on Gouin Resevoir, in part because Roger's girlfriend was there. We bought canned fruit, candy bars and moose hide mocasins from the HBC.

It's interesting to ponder the changes in attitude that have happened since then. We were told not to strew our empty tin cans and other trash at the camp sites because it would make a mess. Instead, we were told to give everything a good toss into the bushes where it wouldn't bother anybody. One kid tried to tell us that cans should be burned to remove any food traces, then flattened and buried, but we thought he was a nut. The idea that we might carry out our trash never ocurred to us, and anyone suggesting it would have been mercilessly ridiculed.

Looking back on those trips now, I am amazed that I ever did such a thing. While on the trips, we thought that they were a lot of hard work, and that we would enjoy them more in retrospect after the trips were over and all the work was done. And it's true. I wish I could go back in time and do it all again.

Author:  Gerald Guay [ December 11th, 2011, 7:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Thanks B Dorsey for your post. It's great to hear from all you people that feel so deeply about your experiences at Camp Kapitachuan.

Author:  mhinckley [ December 12th, 2011, 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Great post, B. Dorsey. You mentioned Chip Madden. He was a counselor on a "B" trip I was on in July of 1966. By then, he had a job in the real world, working for one of the banks in Boston. He took all his accumulated vacation days and came up to camp for July. He was one of 5 counselors we had that month, and he was great. He came up for a couple of more years after that, but then retired to the life of a banker. Sadly, he passed away a few years back. I think I last saw him at either Jeanette or Rod Beebe's funeral. The trip you mentioned was one often taken with the younger campers. There were a number of rapids during the 2 days on the Kekek River, but not many more after that on the Macho. You mentioned Lake Maricourt. A tradition developed sometime in the early to mid 1960's to tell the campers that there was a girl's camp called Camp Maricourt, which could be hiked into from one of our campsites. The counselors would always plan for a rest day there (the trail head, which actually just led to a fire tower, was on a lake that was near lake Maricourt), and a group of unsuspecting campers would determinedly hike the 5 miles in, hoping for a bit of feminine interaction. What possessed us to believe that a girls camp existed in the middle of nowhere in the Canadian bush, 350 miles north of Montreal, is beyond me, but the ruse worked time and time again. The counselors' excuse for not going with us was always the same...the female counselors at this camp were notoriously ugly.

Author:  shannoncalabro [ January 13th, 2012, 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Hi all,
My name is Shannon Williams Calabro and I am Carl Williams' granddaughter. My dad is Pete Williams, Carl's middle son, who some of you may know from leading trips at Camp K.

I have been meaning to post on this forum for a while now. Today gives me a good reason to do that. Carl, at the young age of 91, passed away today after a long illness. He was surrounded by many, many family and friends this past week, including some CK alum/staff. Carl was active right up until his illness, still repairing canoes and coaching the Salisbury School ski team. A memorial service is being planned, at a later date, and will be held at Salisbury School. I can keep everyone informed via this forum for those who may be interested in making the trek. Carl referred to his life as "the long canoe trip". What a great trip it was!

My grandmother, Ibba, is alive and well at 90. She has kept her humor and was able to spend time with my grandfather this past week. They shared some smooches and she even poked him a few times with her cane when she was trying to get his attention!

My family, my uncle Doug's family, and Rod Beebe's grandson, Peter Bradshaw, and his family made the trek up to Camp K this past summer, as we have every summer for as far back as I can remember, to spend about a week and a half on our "working vacation". Camp probably looks about the same as when you were all there! We are working on creating a Camp Kapitachouane page on Facebook so we can post pictures of camp.

Thanks for keeping this thread going. I'm glad to see so many people that thought as fondly about Camp K as I do!

Author:  Gerald Guay [ January 13th, 2012, 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Thanks for posting this Shannon. I was not a member of Camp Kapitachuan but both Carl and Rod were great sources of information which led to many great solo trips for me in that area North of the camp. I will always be thankful for their sharing with me.

Keep us posted re: Facebook.


Author:  mhinckley [ January 14th, 2012, 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965


Thanks for the thoughtful and sensitive post. Your dad sent out an email today to those of us who asked to be kept in the loop, passing on the sad news. As evidenced in this forum, there is a large fraternity of us out here who were touched forever by the legacy passed on to us by your grandfather Carl and your great uncle Rod. The shared memories of those special times in our lives will be with us for as long as we care to keep them, and for that I will be ever grateful. Carl led a full and active life, and CK was just a small part of it. His connection to the Salisbury School, to the towns of Lakeville and Salisbury, to the skiing community, and of course to Camp Kapitachouane...all those associated with him over his long, productive life mourn his passing. I look forward to celebrating that life at his memorial service. Thanks again for your post. Mark Hinckley

Author:  shannoncalabro [ January 16th, 2012, 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Thanks Gerald and Mark for your kind words.

The Camp K Facebook page is "up and running" for the most part - still has some work to do but feel free to post any stories or pictures about Camp K, Carl, Rod, etc. ... l&filter=1

If the link doesn't work, just search for 'Camp Kapitachouane' on Facebook. Enjoy!

Author:  Frederic [ February 17th, 2013, 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

I will run the Capitachouane in May 2013. This trip will include the validation of canoe camping related data for an up to date map of the river.

Known campsites are both scarce and smallish in the first section from Bourmont CNR stop to Lac Capitachouane. A licensed fishing outfitter established on Lac Choiseul had turned the only large campsite into a shore lunch spot.

I plan to visit both Camp Kapitachuan locations and see if they can be used as group sites. I have a good idea of the general areas from reading the previous posts but can someone tell me the exact locations?

Author:  Gerald Guay [ February 18th, 2013, 6:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

I will have a look to see if I have them marked on my old maps. If so I will photocopy and scan and put up on this thread.



Author:  Ottertooth [ February 18th, 2013, 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Someone mentioned that Rod Beebe and Carl Williams went to Keewaydin. They didn't. I am a camp historian and operate While working on “The Keewaydin Way,” I traced the origins of any camps related to Keewaydin. I was especially interested in those that continued the same spirit of northern tripping and common tripping methods. I interviewed Carl in 2001 after hearing there may be a connection to Kapitachouane (or Kapitachuan). It turns out that both Carl and Rod were campers at Camp Kipawa, where they picked up their paddling skills. Kipawa was operated by S. Boyer Davis from 1935 to 1941, until Boyer was drafted. Boyer, also American, was an alumnus of Keewaydin in Temagami where he learned his skills.

Author:  Gerald Guay [ March 11th, 2013, 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Camp Kapitachuan 1965

Received the following email and thought that it should be posted here hoping that we can hear from others who enjoyed their stay at Camp Kapitachuan.

"Hello Mr. Gerald Guay,

My memory was drifting back to the summer of 1967. I had just completed my freshman year in high school. My parents were looking for something to occupy me for the summer. We hit upon Camp Kapitachuan.

I spent July or August of 1967 at the camp and on a 25 day canoe trip. We canoed close to 350 miles. It was the experience of a lifetime in many ways.

At any rate I, for a lark, decided to google the camp and your postings on MyCCR from 2010 came up. Mark Hinkley was one of the folks that responded to your query about CK. I think Mark and I were both at the camp in '67. My memory draws a picture of a bright, young blond fellow - but it was a long time ago - I could be wrong.

Anyone on the trip I was on that summer could instantly connect on one of many details from the trip. I have vivid memories of a Junior Counselor, Tommy Soaper (sp?) taking off in one of those wood canvas canoes after a cow moose and her calf who when startled left the shore of the small lake we were crossing and began swimming almost directly toward Tommy and the canoe. Tommy caught up and jumped out of the canoe onto the back of the cow and rode it to the shore of that small lake and was summarily bucked off. Someone has photos to prove this. I'm sure Rod Beebe, had he been on that trip would have take young Tom Soaper to task for his antics.

In fact, I am wondering, if somewhere in an old file, I have a brochure from CK. I remember there as a letter sent out by the counselors at the end of the summer recalling the adventures of our trip.

What a small world the www has made this place where wilderness was once but a night's train ride north.

Bill Maloney"

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