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Wilderness Canoe Camp

The greatest trip of your life.  One week traveling across the state by canoe.

Wilderness Canoe Trip Cost
July 28 - Aug 3
Cost  $600 

  • Wilderness Canoe Trip is designed for young men and women who are looking to challenge themselves both spiritually and physically. 

  • A 6-day canoeing trip on the AuSable River staying at primitive campsites on the shoreline each night.

  • Staffed with dedicated men and women of God, campers will see firsthand what it looks like to strive after God.

  • The program pushes campers to grow in independence as they set up camp, prepare their own meals fireside, and paddle their own canoes.

  • Campers will participate in meaningful Bible studies, develop leadership skills, and learn survival and canoeing techniques. 

  • The daily schedule is rigorous while allowing for a focus on both personal and spiritual development training.

  • Campers will sleep 3-4 person tents with a counselor and other campers of the same gender.

  • To be prepared for the Wilderness Canoe Trip, check out our packing list.


The Wilderness Canoe Trip is open to all young men and women entering grades 7 - 12 in fall 2020. Please note, campers must be able to pass a swim test of treading in deep water for 5 minutes.


More questions? Please head over to our Parent Info page.

Not sure if the Wilderness Canoe Trip is for you? Check out our other programs on the Dates, Rates, and Programs page.


We have an amazing group of godly men and women who come up to serve during the Trip every year. Our staff are specifically trained for the roles they play in your camper’s experience. Wilderness Canoe Trip staff members have a certified lifeguard with Red Cross training in Wilderness First Aid. They strive to encourage campers to overcome challenges and teach them to truly experience being immersed in God’s creation.


Please visit the About our Staff page to learn more about the staff selection and training process.



Upon arrival, campers have a full day of preparation and training for the trip. Along with the Wilderness Canoe Trip staff, campers will pack all necessary gear, practice safety procedures, brush up on canoeing skills, and get a good night’s rest for their upcoming journey.  


The first day of the trip, the group is driven to the drop-off point with all supplies in tow. Everything from food and drinking water to tents and sleeping bags are divided evenly between canoes. Then, they are off! A canoe with a staff member will stay at the front and back of the group at all times while on the river.

Daily Schedule
Daily Schedule

8:00 am    Wake Up

8:30 am    Breakfast 

9:00 am    Morning Watch 

9:30 am    Pack Up 

10:00 am  On the River

12:00 pm  Lunch

1:00 pm     On the River

4:00 pm     Arrive at Campsite/Setup

5:30 pm     Dinner 

6:30 pm     Bible Ex 

8:00 pm     Hang Time​

10:30 pm    Lights Out

Breakfast may be a full spread of eggs and bacon, or your choice of cereal, depending on that day's schedule

A chance for campers to have some 1-on-1 time with God surrounded by His beautiful creation


Take down the tents, pack up supplies, and one last sweep for trash before heading off for the day.

Start your trek to the next campsite while enjoying the beautiful sights of the AuSable River. Bald eagles are frequent visitors.

Make a pit stop along the river for lunch. The sand dunes are a favorite spot.​

Back on the water! Keep an eye out for natural spring waterfalls and sunken trees from the logging days on the AuSable.

Get a fire started and tents setup at your home for the night. Maybe enjoy a swim or play some cards as the day winds down.​

Different campers help cook dinner each night. From spaghetti to hobo dinners, we're sure you'll like it!

A group Bible study led by one the SOAR staff members.​

A favorite for many a SOAR alumni, a time to sit by the fire, sing songs, and just relax getting to know your team.

Packing List
Packing Tips
  1. Please remember you are sending your teen to camp. Pack comfortable clothes that you are not afraid will get dirty.

  2. Nights can be COLD in northern Michigan. Please pack a warm jacket and make sure your camper’s sleeping bag is warm enough.

  3. You may want to label clothes with your camper’s name or initials so we can match lost and found owners to their items. 

  4. Make sure your younger campers pack their bags with you. Not only will this help them when they go to find things at camp, it will also give them a sense of responsibility for their things.

  5. Please put an ID tag with phone number on your child’s luggage. You would be surprised how many parents are so excited to see their campers that they leave the bag behind! We want to make sure you go home with what you came with.


What to bring
  • Dry bag or equivalent for all gear including sleeping bag/pillow (carrying straps really help during portaging)

  • Garbage bag and gallon size ziplocs for laundry/wet clothes

  • Shorts

  • Jeans or long pants

  • Shirts

  • Underwear and socks

  • Warm jacket or sweatshirt (we recommend wool or fleece)

  • Pajamas

  • Swimsuit (modest, one piece)

  • Rain gear (heavy-duty poncho or coat)

  • Athletic shoes (okay to get wet)

  • Water shoes or sport sandals (like Tevas)

  • Warm sleeping bag

  • Camp pillow (optional)

  • Camp sleeping mat (optional)

  • Hat with brim

  • Sunglasses

  • Towel (we recommend a camp or quick-drying towel)

  • Biodegradable soap/shampoo

  • Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc)

  • Comb or brush

  • Sunscreen

  • Chapstick

  • Bug spray (we recommend those with DEET)

  • Flashlight or headlamp

  • Waterproof whistle

  • Water bottle

  • Full mess kit (silverware, cup, plate)

  • Small jackknife (optional)

  • Bible, notebook, and pen

  • Camera (optional)

  • Medications and vitamins in their original containers (Must turn into health officer during registration)

What not to bring
  • Food

  • Valuables

  • Weapons or firearms     

  • Gaming devices, iPods, MP3 players

  • Cell phones


If your camper brings devices for the ride up (cell phone, iPod, etc.), it will be turned in to their counselor to be stored in a safe place during the week. All items will be returned at breakfast Saturday morning.

Packing List
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