Comanche Trail Council

Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base


By John Yantis

In the summer of 1968, Comanche Trails Council sent a contingent of 10 Scouts and one adult to Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base in the boundary waters of northern Minnesota and southern Canada.  The contingent photo shows the following:

Front row, left to right: Laverl Stephens, Stephenville; Steve Trogdon, Stephenville; Terry Burgess, Stephenville; Ricky Hathcock, Brownwood
Middle row, left to right: Charles Lohmann, Stephenville; Mike Childers, Cisco; Larry Smith, Stephenville; Howard Norris, Brownwood
Back row, left to right: Steve Swails, Wilderness Guide, Iowa City, Iowa; John Yantis, Brownwood; Mark Richardson, Cisco;
Vernon Honea, Cisco

We paddled over 70 miles, and performed enough conservation work to earn our 50-Miler Awards.  Although we all used aluminum canoes (which the Guide called "aluma-tubs"), the Guide had his own canvas and wood canoe.  The canoe's name, painted on the side, was "G. Suskee Riced."  Say it out loud quickly several times.

One of our favorite pranks involved Loons.  They are large, ungainly birds, and they take a long time to get airborne off the water.  About the time you think one isn't going to make it, it "unloads" a glob, and finally flaps off.  If you can succeed in maneuvering your canoe such that there's one or more loons between you and another canoe, you can startle the loon into taking off directly over the other canoe.  And if you set things up just right, when the loon "unloads", it will splatter the other canoe!

Yours in the Spirit of Scouting,
John Yantis
October 1, 2005

Return to Home Page