Nearly 20 years ago I had my very first encounter with a bear while living and working at a canoe base in Northern Minnesota. The camp is on located on an island and one summer day a black bear swam the channel, then lumbered its way too close to the communal kitchen.
Much of the summer programming at this camp was devoted to taking inner-city kids on nine day trips across very remote terrain. These kids were so out of their element that encountering a bear might have traumatized them for life (as if the cyclonic clouds of mosquitos hadn’t already). Then again, it could have been the most amazing treasured experience. Either way, the bear needed to go. Continue reading