One of the incredible things about Camp Widjiwagan is that though the equipment changes through the ages - the Widji Way remains so similar. In this way, we are connected to each other through decades of experience. I created this short video after attending the 80th Widjiwagan Reunion and what was incredible to me is just how similar my experience in the late '90s was with people who had traveled lakes and streams with Widji in the '50s. As a community, Widji staff and campers know how to laugh heartily, work hard, and build lasting friendships.
Annie Hoyt Taff
My favorite memories of Widji always fall in one of three categories: student experiences, staff adventures and personal growth. Watching a student learn why leaves change colors or what exactly frogs are doing in the winter. Always finding coworkers ready to head out on a long ski or paddle with staff, even after weeks of working long hours in close quarters. Realizing how important and restorative nature will always be in my life. Thank you Widji!
In 1964 Nelson Bennett from YMCA Camp Ocoee in a Tennessee led a group of campers to Widji for a week of canoeing in the brand newly named BWCA WILDERNESS. He came back in the following years and worked at Widji along with his wife. Since then Nelson has brought groups for the past 50 years to BWCAW. Along with that he began restoring wood canvas canoes at Widji and with Joe Seliga. In 1987 Nelson brought Charlie Wimmer to Widji and Charlie (my best friend) brought me in 2004. I came home and built a wood strip canoe and have since brought over 25 people to BWCAW in 9 trips. On one of those trips was my two sons who have been twice each...in summer AND winter. In 2011 I began my Masters in Outdoor Education through Southern Adventist University. Our classroom was Camp Widjiwagan! One morning as I was walking around camp I noticed many signs about a new capital fund campaign. I decided as a poor graduate student I would commit to the $1,000 pledge. In addition I have restored three Seliga's including W109, W73, and recently W30. So, for me I have been impacted by Widji through Nelson Bennett, Charlie Wimmer, Joe Seliga, canoe restorations, and the capital campaign. I have been challenged to never loose my sense of Wonder! Thanks Widji.