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1970 Photos and Memories
Staff 70

Front Row: Don Ward, Carl Ahrens, John Boehm Jr, Doug Kerry, Earl Copeland, Tom Hustead, Roger Rosentreter, Brian Graefe, John French, Glen Hanson, Bob Black, Tom 'OT' Adams

Middle Row: Ralph Swoboda, Susan Swoboda, Chuck Meade, Mark Shiek, Bill Baar, Bruce Troe, Dave Henderson, Boyce Daugherty, Mark Johnson, David Drabowski, Steve Dreher, Tim Soukup, Bob Schwary, Dave Swoboda, Don Bliss, Robert Lee, Dave Heerdt

Back Row: John Bacevicus, Jeff Lovell, Paul Allen, Dann Dunst, Larry Brennan, Jim Allen, John Baar, Gary Stults, Jeff Stapleton, Chuck McKinley, Bill Reimer, Greg Cyra, Thom Brennan, Jean Boehm, John E. Boehm

Training Staff 70
Starting 9 o'clock going clockwise: Dave Heerdt, David Henderson, Tim Soukup, John Barr, Don Bliss, Boyce Daugherty, Tom Hustead, Carl Ahrens, Chuck Meade, Greg Cyra, Doug Kerry, Steve Dreher, Don Ward, Roger Rosentreter.
Middle Three: John Boehm, Jr, Glen Hanson, Bob Black
Lee Roane recalls:

"Explorer Post 444, Blacksburg VA, elected me Voyageur for our trip to the Region Seven Explorer Canoe Base in 1970. I had just graduated from high school, was working as a waiter at the Virginia Tech Donaldson Brown Continuing Education Center, and was up for a trip to the great north woods. I boarded a train in Christiansburg VA at the Cambria station, headed up to DC to stay a few days with my uncle. After hanging out in northwest Washington DC, I went to Union Station, got on the James Whitcomb Riley, and headed out for Chicago.

I had to change trains in Chicago (Canal Street Station plays into this somewhere, but after 31 years it's foggy!) and the Chicago and Northwestern (C&NWRR) brought me out of Illinois and north across Wisconsin to the Woodruff Station. My planning was a little off and I was an early arrival. I bummed a ride with a family from Star Lake I'd met on the train and showed up at the Canoe Base, a surprise unannounced early (by 3-4 days) Voyageur.

After driving in the main gate and unloading at the parking lot, I wandered around and eventually found the office. I turned in my paperwork to either Larry Brennan or Chuck McKinley, and was pointed toward the Campers Bunkhouse and a bed for the night. Admonished to show up for breakfast, my guide made it clear that my extra time at the Base would not be a lark, as I was to report to the Packing House after breakfast. I worked in the Packing House the days until my Voyageur training was to begin.

On the appointed night, all of the Voyageur candidates were in the room at the end of the Campers Bunkhouse facing the packing house. We had been told to wait there for our Voyageur Trainer who would properly orient us and begin our training. As the appointed hour, at about 10pm, the door slams open and in rushes VT Bob Black in a class A uniform, campaign hat and combat boots, yelling & screaming at us to fall in, pay attention, and was that funny, kid? Wipe that grin off your face because for the next four days you are mine. And we were off for that intensely wonderful excursion into outdoor education from our first Duluth packing experience to knot tying at 6AM to pack lines at Stake #2 because our stuff was in bin #2 at the Outpost and Campsite #2 was our home for the next 24 hours.

Checking our gear on the field for Quantity and Quality. Setting up a tarp the Canoe Base way. Cache line, tool line. Taut canvas, taut-line hitches with three loops not two, and everything "Quickly, quickly, men!" Bob was a great trainer as all good VT's were. I was the human garbage disposal, and ate everything that wouldn't burn. Fortunately for my Voyageur crew, I was a skilled Dutch oven baker, and I even think Bob Black was impressed.

Anyway, here is my Voyageur group, from the summer of 1970. From the left, VT Bob Black, John DeBold, Mark Bajner, Doie Stephens, Jay Mick, Rick DeBold, Lee Roane, Frank Wood, Allen VerBrick, Steve Brummett, and Jim Morrison. Here's to you, fellows."

Larry Brennan remembers: "1970 saw the 30th anniversary of the Base, a nd a patch was produced. I have one floating around here somewhere. In my opinion, it was a pretty ghastly apparition. If there was a color left off it, it was probably because they ran out of thread and space to stitch it in. Aside from being a mite too colorful (gaudy, actually), I thought it was too busy. Not an attractive design, I'm afraid...

Still, we were thirty. When the Canoe Base Committee came up, we had a special program prepared. John L. Boehm sang a few songs and Brian laid out a stunning buffet. Mr. Boehm asked me to design some sort of centerpiece for the program. My model railroad building skills came in handy. I cut out, stained and varnished a large wood 30, and attached it to a sloped base, on which I created a model of the Canoe Base as seen from the air in the post card that graces the opening page of this group. I used little bits of wood for the buildings, painted them the appropriate color, and glued green or gray paper on for the roofs. I gathered lichen in the woods for the trees, sprayed with green paint. Sawdust painted green simulated the grass. It was an attractive piece, and for years after, it was kept in the lounge of the Number One building.

A long sigh... if you were to go back today and stand in the spot where this picture were taken, you would have the chimney standing stark and alone on the concrete slab- and nothing else but the woods around you. Tempus fugit...

And notice the large Woodbadge ax and log on the mantle? I wonder where that went. Up to Ely, I hope."

Larry Brennan explains: "We all remember the gas pump on the hill, between the winter storage building and the Office. Here's a busy scene at the pump.

That looks like Ralph Swoboda filling the 1, the white station wagon used by the Director, generally. It looks as if Ralph and Mr. Boehm were going fishing. Bill Wadsworth might have been in camp that day. Wadsworth liked to get in a little line-wetting whenever he visited. Mention was made in an earlier post of Brian Graefe's employment as a lackey on some of these occasions. This looked like a close-in excursion, though, unlike those which required the Jeep.

The old 3 waits its turn, followed by the 2- the White Whale, the four-wheel drive carry-all. The parked truck is probably the 6, the green carry-all generally confined to Base duties (Woodbadge quartermaster, usually) by the date of this picture. I think it's the 6 because it has no roof-rack, which the 2, 3 and 4 all had. The 6 eventually lost its doors to re-equip the 2, as I recall. The 6 used a canvas flap back-door in its last years. I think that's Nick Schwary walking toward the 2, which looks like it's going out for a pick-up. The time is around noon by the position of the sun.

In the background is my 1969 white Volvo 142, which I got in early 1970 to replace my 1965 Corvair which was burning ominously significant amounts of oil. That gives an early date to this picture, as in 1970 I stayed in the Cook's quarters with Brian Graefe, assistant cook Bruce Troe, and my brother, Tom- or thos. The cars in the distance are parked in the staff lot behind the kitchen. The dead tree between the Office and the Ranger's house was removed later that year. I have pictures of Brian as lumberjack. I judge this picture as dating to 1970 because of my car and the trucks. If anyone has a better date, I'll accept it."