Applications Open: Churchill River Fly-In Canoe Trip – Caring for Caregivers

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September 11-15, 2019

We’ll fly into a remote spot on the Churchill River to start the canoe trip.


This trip is for caregivers (anyone who defines their professional or personal role as such) to experience a wilderness fly-in canoe trip where “caring” contributions while camping and canoeing have a real and immediate reward. 

Successful applicants will receive a bursary that reduces the retail costs of this trip to a cost-recovery rate. This means you only pay the expenses incurred on the trip and we’ll cover the navigation, pre-trip preparation and guiding.

Ric at Churchill River Canoe Canoe Outfitters, Ashlyn of The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World and Ron from The Birch Bark Guild are collaborating to offer this great opportunity.  This is our way of recognizing, celebrating and promoting wellness for those who care for so many others within our communities.


It’s a group effort as everyone helps out while preparing the campsite, cooking and hanging out around the campfire.

This trip is an opportunity to spend time in true wilderness and reconnect with nature and the other individuals on the trip. Everyone is responsible for helping out in a variety of ways including but not limited to loading canoes, portaging gear around rapids, setting up camp, cooking meals, cleaning up afterwards, filtering water, collecting firewood and preparing and maintaining the campfire.

But we also like to add a touch of comfort to the backcountry. Ashlyn always carries a couple of strings of fairy lights with her to add ambience to the campsite. On arrival each day at camp, we make appetizers – including wine and cheese! In the morning, you won’t need to skip your Americano because we’ve got everything we need to make one! (Ron loves coffee so you’re in good hands!)

Just because we’re in the wilderness doesn’t mean we have to rough it.

It will be a wonderful and fun trip with everyone collaboratively participating and enjoying the wilderness locations we’ll be camping and paddling in.


Day 1
We’ll start day 1 by travelling north to Missinipe, Saskatchewan. Travel to and from Missinipe is at your own discretion, but we encourage carpooling and can chat beforehand about travelling together.

From there, we’ll hop in a floatplane with our canoes and fly out to a location on the Churchill River.  We’ll land and set up camp. We’ll also practice canoe rescue techniques to make sure everyone is comfortable in the water and prepared in the event a rescue is necessary while on the trip. (Yup, this does mean you’ll have to swim at least once while out on the trip but we promise it’s a lot of fun and a great learning experience!)

Days 2-4
We’ll spend 3 full days on the water, paddling and portaging through some of the most scenic and remote wilderness in the country – in a particularly stunning season with autumn colours surrounding us.

There will be opportunities to swim in the water, relax on sand beaches and view bald eagles, pelicans, black bears, moose, beavers and any other wildlife we’ll be fortunate to see. We’ll have relaxing shore lunches, (lots of!) snack breaks and endless opportunities to enjoy the scenery as we continue our adventure enjoying the rivers.

Day 5
We’ll paddle back to Missinipe where we’ll load up all our gear and start our journey back home.

The food we’ll plan is nothing short of delicious – especially after a day out on the water!


Retail cost of trip: $1900

Your cost: $675, however as this is an estimated cost-recovery price, the final price may vary

  • This expected cost covers expenses such as the floatplane flight, use of canoes, life jackets and related canoe gear, food and meal prep items as well as all other group / safety gear including a satellite messenger.


Rental of equipment such as sleeping bags, sleep mats and dry bags can be arranged for those who require gear they don’t already own.


Verification of a spot on this trip is at the discretion of the trip guides pending the successful receipt of additional information, completed medical and release forms, and agreement to a deposit payment.

Contact us with any questions at or

To apply for the trip, follow this link:


1.What camping and canoe gear will I need to bring?

If you are a successful applicant, we will provide a list of gear you’ll need to bring with you (from toque to toilet paper). If you don’t have everything or not sure if you’re gear will work, we can offer you suggestions and help with the rental of equipment.

2. What kind of paddling experience should I have?

The canoe route we have selected has sections of white water. There are several portages we can carry gear around but having some experience in moving water is a strong asset. However, we don’t want to limit this trip to only experienced paddlers, so please feel free to apply and let us know about your canoeing skills. We will follow up with any questions about skill level if necessary.

3. What does “caregiver” mean?

Perhaps you work with at-risk youth. Perhaps you’ve taken care of a chronically ill or ageing family member. Or, perhaps you’re a teacher, a nurse or a social worker. These are just a few examples of ways you might define caregiver. We wanted to leave this term open to your interpretation as many people in our communities contribute in meaningful ways as caregivers – in both professional and personal settings.

4. Can I bring someone with me?

Due to the small size of the trip, we cannot guarantee pairs of people or groups will be selected together. All potential canoe-trippers will need to complete the application process separately.

5. Why are you doing this trip?

Ric, Ron and Ashlyn wanted to find a way to combine their passion and love for the outdoors, canoeing and Saskatchewan while giving back to the community. The impact of nature on our wellbeing has significant effects on our mental, physical and emotional health.

We wanted to create an opportunity to disconnect from the pressures and stresses of everyday life while reconnecting in a meaningful way not only with nature through canoeing and camping but with the other members on the trip

6. How many people will be chosen for this trip?

The floatplane we charter has space for six people and three canoes. We will be selecting four people to join guides Ron and Ashlyn on the trip.

7. What if the weather is less than ideal?

Rain or shine, we plan to paddle so we recommend bringing good-quality rain gear (we can help with that if you don’t own any or offer suggestions of what you might want to purchase). We also will be carrying a satellite messenger for safety purposes.

8. Can we fish while on the canoe trip?

Absolutely! Bring your fishing rod and make sure to have a fishing license. There’s some great fishing along the Churchill River.

9. What kind of food will we be eating? What if I have dietary concerns?

We will be preparing a meal plan and menu beforehand as well as making sure we are aware of everyone’s dietary concerns. We welcome food and meal suggestions. (Some of our camp favourites include apple crisp, enchiladas, fish tacos and pancakes!)

Everyone will be helping to cook, prepare and clean up after the meals as the trip is a group effort. You won’t need to worry about bringing your own cooking pots, pans or cutlery but please bring along a drinking mug and water bottle.

Have a question we didn’t answer? Reach out to us at or



Churchill River Canoe Outfitters (CRCO) is located in Missinipe, Saskatchewan in the heart of the magnificent Canadian shield.  For over 50 years they have been assisting paddlers and offering complete canoe outfitting services for novice and experienced canoeist. They also rent cabins steps from the waters of the Churchill River, perfectly located for staging northern Saskatchewan river adventures!

RON SCHLAMP of the Birch Bark Guild

Image Credit: Katee Pederson

Ron spent his formative years wandering the countryside in southern Saskatchewan following the spring runoff and creeks to see where the water would take him. He eventually moved from Regina to Christopher Lake to be in close proximity and to paddle the many waterways of Northern Saskatchewan. Although canoe tripping is his primary passion he also enjoys wilderness expeditions like kayaking in Baja, hiking the west coast, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. When not out in nature he works in a residential treatment facility with youth.

He maintains a Wilderness First Responder Certification with Wilderness Medical Associates, a Paddle Canada Instructor Certification, a Wilderness Education Association Instructor Status & Certified Outdoor Leader Certification and is fluent with the Leave No Trace curriculum. Ron has also presented at the Association for Experiential Education Model for Best Practice’s Conference, attained his adventure-based programming accreditation from the Council on Accreditation for Child and Family Services for his workplace, and manages the therapeutic camping program within his current professional role.  He loves to share his passion for wilderness expedition experiences with his wife and two young children as well as others.

ASHLYN GEORGE from The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World

Ashlyn George is an award-winning travel writer, photographer, content creator and speaker from Saskatoon, Canada. She is a go-to travel and adventure expert in Saskatchewan and has travelled to 60 countries on 7 continents – all before the age of 30. A storyteller and adrenaline junkie in pursuit of excitement, her adventures include flying in military jets (for fun) and scaling mountains over 6000m while encountering avalanches and erupting volcanoes. Ashlyn loves to chat all things outdoors and travel. Feel free to connect with her @thelostgirlsguide

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