GNFC - CampingBirchbark Expeditions

Birchbark Expeditions

A High Adventure Canoeing Program 

Birchbark Expeditions is a Nationally Accredited week-long, fully guided high adventure canoe experience, steeped in the rich Age of Exploration history of Southern Ontario.  The program is open to Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts at least 13 years old, holding the rank of at least First Class and a "swimmer".  Crews generally consist of six youth, two adults, plus a guide - making nine total.

The standard expedition takes place in Algonquin Provincial Park, a four hour drive north of Toronto and offers world-class canoe tripping among the thousands of lakes and unspoiled wilderness.   Advanced expeditions for crews with previous whitewater experience include extended two-week trips down the Missinaibi River.

Canoeing on Ottlerslide Lake

Standard expeditions start Saturday with an early drive from the Buffalo/Niagara area to Midland, Ont. for a visit to St. Marie among the Hurons and Wye Marsh Nature Center in Midland, Ontario. Here crews will meet their highly-trained Guide for the duration of our trip and learn about the early French explorers that carved a living out of the wilderness alongside the Native Americans. 

On Sunday, crews move on further north into Algonquin Provincial Park to base camp where they will organize equipment, practice some water rescue techniques and get rested for an early launch on Monday morning.

Monday through Friday have crews following their custom pre-planned itinerary through the pristine lakes and forests of the Algonquin interior, enjoying the incredible views, wildlife and camaraderie.

Crews return to base camp on Friday afternoon, clean up their crew gear, pick up some souvenirs and visit some of the incredible museums and other program offered by Algonquin Provincial Park.  Crews depart early Saturday morning, driving back to the Buffalo/Niagara area.

Crews from outside the Buffalo/Niagara area are encouraged to add a visit to Niagara Falls while in the area, with over-night facilities made available at Camp Stonehaven >  in Niagara County.

In addition to the standard expedition outlined above, Birchbark Expeditions also offers optional enhanced program elements, including:

  • BSA Kodiak Leadership Training Treks
  • St. George Religious Medal Treks
  • Far North River Treks into Georgian Bay
  • Leave No Trace


The fees for the standard week-long program are as follows:
    $425/person for crews of 7 or 8 or
    $450/person for crews of 5 or 6
    there is also a $25/person additional fee for first-time out-of-council units

To secure a reservation, a non-refundable deposit of $425 is required per crew at the time of reservation.

Crews are provisioned with all necessary back country food and crew equipment, including: canoes, paddles, PFDs, tents and cooking equipment.  Each participant must bring some basic high-adventure personal equipment.

Your Birchbark Expedition adventure begins by downloading the:
      Information and Application Packet >>


Current availability and bookings for the 2015 season are as follows:

Week #1
Week #2
Week #3
Week #4
Week #5
  T48 T477 T483 C829
  T154A T261 T35A  
  T154B T525A T35B  
  T154C T525B T93A  
  T154D T92 T93B/C  

(Yellow indicates a reservation is in process, orange indicates the reservation is confirmed with deposit)

Start your adventure by completing the:
        Reservation Request Form >>

Other Resources

Interested in learning more? Request a Birchbark Informational Presentation by completing the:
        Information Request Form >>

Materials you need to promote and train your crew can be found on the:
         Birchbark Expeditions Resource Page >>

What to know who is taking you deep into the backcountry of Algonquin?
        Meet the Guides >>

Got a question?  Visit the: 
        Birchbark Expeditions FAQ Page >>

For pictures, videos and tales of past expeditions, visit our Facebook Group >



Greater Niagara Frontier Council #380, Boy Scouts of America, 2860 Genesee Street, Buffalo, NY 14225
Service Center Hours:  Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Phone (716) 891-4073 - Fax (716) 891-4008
Scout Shop Hours:  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Tuesday 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM;
Every Saturday 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM - Phone (716) 891-1689 - Fax (716) 891-1910