Youth Group Canoe Trip Outfitting2018-09-23T19:54:45+00:00

Youth Group Canoe Trip Overview

scout_transNorth Country Canoe Outfitters arranges High Adventure youth group canoe trips for hundreds of Boy Scout troops, church youth groups, high school classes, and sport teams each summer.  We outfit into the northern tier of lakes through the Boundary Waters Canoe area of Minnesota and Quetico Park of Ontario Canada. Our files contain dozens of thank you letters from the satisfied adult leaders and youth members of these trips.

Why Use a Canoe Outfitter?

The primary advantage of using a private outfitting company is the flexibility we offer. We start and end trips every day, we work with you to plan a trip itinerary that fits the ages and expertise of your youth, you lead your own trip — the way you want it to be, a trip can be any length of time, we can help you arrange service projects, and you may bring some of your own gear if you wish.

What We Do

Although the northern tier lakes of the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park are “friendly” wilderness areas, they sometimes pose insurmountable obstacles to the uninformed and novice visitor. We are here to serve you with the highest degree of professionalism, and good old fashion honesty and integrity. We will provide invaluable canoe trip assistance in securing the required governmental permits (US or Canadian), transportation to & from outlying landings, route suggestions, and general background information on the area which you intend to travel (no one is more familiar with the canoe country than we are — we live here and have traveled the many lakes and streams). We are equipped to professionally provide your high adventure youth group with canoes and equipment designed expressly for this area. Much of today’s “high tech” backpacking equipment is not suited to canoe country travel. Conversely, canoe camping equipment tends to be single purpose gear: ideal for canoeing, but not well suited for other types of camping.

We teach all youth groups how to use our lightweight canoe trip equipment before the canoe tripMaking sure everyone knows how to use the equipment is an important part of our pre-trip service.  Here, a Scout learns how to pick up a canoe for portage.

We were one of the first, and remain one of the Boundary Waters outfitters to be granted full outfitting operations under federal permit by the US Forest Service. We are one of only two outfitters in Ely that have also been granted an outfitting/guiding license in Canada. These permits assure you of quality outfitting and full insurance coverage, under an annual review process. As the industry leader, dealing with the newest equipment we are the only Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter to offer all of the following advantages:

  1. We offer ONLY ultra-Lightweight Outfitting.  Our standard high adventure canoe trip canoes are made of Royalex .. lighter than the traditional “Boy Scout canoe” made of aluminum
  2. Our main base is located on a strategic lake (versus “in town on the main street”). We have water access to 3 entry points from our docks.  PLUS ….
  3. We offer land transportation to all BWCA Entry Points in the greater Ely area.
  4. We offer private dorm style bunk rooms for lakeside accommodations before and after your trip.

Bringing Scouts to the Boundary Waters for over 30 years.

And finally when you return from your canoe trip you can leave behind a pile of dirty gear that needs cleaning and requires storage space. All you would need to bring to Ely is your personal clothing and your fishing tackle, along with your spirit of adventure. Even the most well equipped Scout troops usually leave their own gear home and avail themselves of the quality and convenience of North Country Canoe Outfitters. THE ONE SINGLE REASON, however, that most of our customers cite as to why they chose us to outfit their high adventure canoe trip, is individual service. We make every effort to match your trip expectations to the areas and lakes that will produce the best vacation for you. We pick your entry point and design your youth group canoe trip route around you; we don’t fit you into an “off the shelf” trip that is convenient for us.

Pricing Overview

North Country Canoe Outfitters offers substantial discounts (45% to 55% off) from our regular Boundary Waters canoe trip pricing to non-profit youth groups.


  • The party must be traveling under the official auspices of a church, a public or private school, or a national not-for-profit youth organization such as the Boy Scouts of America or Youth for Christ.
  • The party must be have at least eight people. We have no maximum party size limitation. (NOTE: The US Forest Service and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources have restrictions on the number of people that may travel and camp together, but these rules have nothing to do with our non-profit youth group pricing practices.)
  • The party may have no more than 50% of its members be 18 years of age or older.


7 days on the water with overnight bunkroom included before and after canoe trip $600 per person with arrivals on Friday, Saturday Sunday, Monday. Deduct $40 per person with arrivals on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday Based on a group size of 16-23 participants. Per day pricing reduced for larger groups or longer trips. (Youth Group Minimum: 8 participants for 5 days on the water.) Request our Leader’s Guide, or phone for specific rates.


Commercial outfitters like North Country use “calendar days on the water” when figuring the length of a canoe trip. Be sure to take this into consideration when looking at rates. The National Scout Base counts the arrival day and departure day as one day (there’s nothing wrong with this, it is just different from every private company outfitter). In-other-words, what North Country calls a 6-day trip is the same number of days on the water as what the National Base calls a 7-Day trip.