Widji's Growing Community

Matt Poppleton, Executive Director

On Widji’s homepage we proudly declare that four generations of young lives have been transformed by a Widjiwagan experience, and that is indeed a great accomplishment.  What is also inspiring are the people who are connecting with the Widji Community for the first time today.  Through a number of intentional programs and opportunities we are looking to make a Widji experience more known and accessible to our greater community.

For the past three summers Widji has incorporated the BOLD&GOLD program into our summer progression of trips.  Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development is an outdoor education program designed to develop cultural competency and leadership skills in young men and women through challenging outdoor activities.  These trips provide a new opportunity for campers to experience Widji who may not otherwise know about the program.  Once on the trip, campers develop cultural competency alongside Widji’s mission of respect. Learn more about BOLD&GOLD

Before summer officially wrapped up this past August we hosted “Celebrating Canoes, Past & Present” a weekend event were Widji partnered with the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, Ely Folk School, and Ely Canoe Museum.  This was a great weekend of likeminded canoe enthusiasts from around the region.  Surprisingly many had never been to Widji before.  People from as far away as Michigan as well folks from Ely spent the weekend at Widji sharing their passion for wood canvas canoes.  We hosted a canvassing demo, held presentations on far north paddling and birch bark canoe building, and ended the event recognizing the canoe work of Joe and Norah Seliga.  Friendships were made and the Widji circle got a little larger.

As we welcome in 2019 Widji will be celebrating 90 years!  Work is already being done to plan our 90th Reunion, which is scheduled for July 12-14, 2019 at Widji.  In addition to the Reunion at Widji, we will be having events throughout the year to celebrate 90 years!  Mark your calendars and registration information will be coming soon.  Our goal in planning is to recognize the wide community that has been transformed by a Widjiwagan experience over the course of 90 years.  Everyone has their own unique story and the Widji Community stretches far and wide.  I look forward to connecting with the diversity of experiences and impacts that Widji has had on people lives.