The Great American Canoe Festival
JUNE 10-11, 2017
Check out the festivities at Semers Beach – Free Admission! Come and celebrate the story of the canoe and paddles sports, at the heart of the Canoe Capital of the World. Take part in canoe races, as well as an expo, symposiums, demonstrations, classes and so much more! Entry to the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Ely is also home to many adventurists and world famous explorers!
The third annual Boundary Waters Expo
Seagull Lake public landing on the Gunflint Trail
June 17-18th, 2017
This is a family-friendly, hands-on event with fun for everyone. Come enjoy the place that National Geographic has named one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” Your Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness adventure starts here!
2017 Autumn in the BWCA
Guided By Rob Kesselring
Founder of Cooke Custom Sewing and expert paddler, Dan Cooke, teams up with Rob Kesselring to accompany canoeists in the BWCA wilderness on a guided journey. Focus of the trip will be special considerations for canoe camping in the “shoulder seasons”, bushcraft, and advanced paddling techniques. This is an opportunity to pause, take an intentional time out from your life, to consider what is next. You can choose between a solo canoe or a tandem boat.
October 1-5, 2017, $999
For more information or to register for one or both of these classes please call or e-mail me directly:
The classes/trips are operated under a special use permit with the United States Forest Service (Superior National Forest) and are fully insured and licensed. Uncommon Seminars LLC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Bird Ecology of the Northern Forest
Bird Ecology trip planned for 2017.
Dates: June 6-9, 2017
The northern forest is alive with birds at this season and participants will have the opportunity to view and hear some boreal birds seldom found elsewhere in Minnesota. Beyond bird identification participants learn about nesting behaviors, feeding behaviors and habitats.
Camping and canoeing skills will also be presented in a casual experiential atmosphere. Participants may also have a chance to be part of a scientific survey study as the specific area we will travel has been designated as a critical habitat zone.
Deluxe tents, wholesome meals, ultra-light canoes and all group gear are all included in the fee. Participants need only bring personal gear and clothing. A list of recommended articles will be provided upon registration. The class is suited for first-time paddlers and experienced wilderness travelers and limited to seven participants.
Not offered in 2016 (Off to Alaska for the Noatak and an exploratory trip)
The trip is 5 days and 4 nights in the BWCA traveling every day.
We will travel by canoe through one of the most scenic parts of the Minnesota Boundary Waters Wilderness, learning leadership from the land, each other, aboriginal pictographs
and selected readings.
Deluxe tents, wholesome meals, ultra-light canoes and all group gear are included in the fee. Participants need only bring personal gear and clothing. A list of recommended articles will be provided upon registration. The class is suited for first-time paddlers and experienced wilderness travelers and limited to seven participants.
The following are comments from participants who traveled with me:
Rio Grande: Thank you so much for the great time together, you’re a wonderful man. Our trip and friendship really brings me sweet memories. I am on my way home to the Netherlands and will start reading one of your books. I early look forward to staying in touch with you. Warmest wishes, Didier Maclaine Pont
Rio Grande Thanks again for a highly memorable experience. I’d always fancied myself too seasoned and experienced to do a guided trip, but I learned a lot. About running rapids, lining boats, and eating something other than freeze dried camping meals, among other things. I liked your low key approach to guiding. I felt part of a team and not just like a paying tourist. -Bill Turner
“Notice how Rob gets more and more excited the closer we all are to death?” Frank Clifford, LA Times
The Kopka River was, by far, the most complete and enjoyable wilderness experience I have had to date. Rob’s leadership and expedition experience was a big part of making this a successful trip, I would highly recommend traveling with Rob if ever you get the opportunity and I know I will look forward to
my next chance to do the same! – Michael A. Branham
From time to time, we all have experiences that change who we are and how we look at life. The paddling adventure that was led by Rob Kesselring was this kind of experience for me. I came away from that adventure with a refreshed sense of life, my heart and mind were reshaped. – Darlene Patterson
Rob’s competence and steadiness and his being one with the waters and the surrounding nature allowed a physically and emotionally challenging men’s trip to become an exhilarating adventure of self exploration – Peter S.
No other class has influenced my teaching philosophy as profoundly as the BWCA class did. This course placed me into my students’ shoes and reminded me of the excitement, apprehension, and sense of accomplishment my students experience daily. The whole structure of the class reinforces the role of teacher-leader: As educators, we cannot passively do what we are told but instead search out opportunities to strengthen and challenge ourselves just as we want our students to. – Diane Temple
On a recent canoe trip down the Rio Grande River in Texas, my friend Rob Kesselring prepared what I think is the world’s best traditional bannock. – Cliff Jacobson, bestselling outdoor author
You are a great story teller, and have created a wonderful way to incorporate your experiences into your work, and then touch the hearts of so many. I’m certain you continue to make a difference in many people’s lives. You have in mine. – Deb Harley
I appreciated the organizational aspect of the trip, your experience was obvious and evident, but not pushy. I liked your leadership approach/style. You let us participate in every aspect of decision making, but when tough decision needed to be made you stepped forward to make the choice. An interesting memory was, shortly after Paul mentioned he had never seen a Moose, you went on a mission to find one for him. Within what seemed like 20 minutes you spotted the Moose and her two calves, who we then noticed were being stalked by a black bear. -David Lasslett
Aside from his canoeing competency Rob really likes people. I look forward to my next trip with him. – Dave Burkhart
Rob has taught me the nature of balance
And the quiet joy of solitude and silence
I’ve also learned that the balance of nature
Cannot be entrusted to any human legislature
– Terry Weare
Any trip into the wilderness has potential to become arduous or even somewhat risky. Rob’s lifelong experience has taught him to foresee these potentials and skillfully, safely adapt to whatever arises. If you are looking for a wonderful, safe adventure don’t hesitate to trip with Rob! – Ken Wood
The Canyons were awesome (Rio Grande) – Darrell Foss
I’ve also concluded that what the co-instructor in the bird ecology class, Rob Kesselring, said is true: that preservation of the wilderness depends on knowledge and experience, “You’ve got to know it and to live it!” Discovering the birds of the northern forest has enriched my wilderness experience and has drawn me closer to nature, which is really my purpose of going to the BWCA. – Julie Neitzel Carr
Rio Grande again? Yes, I’m In, thanks for thinking of the old Cap’n Also thanks for the great photos. Already in frames. Way cool. Good to hear from my old trip leader. Take care. See you in February for my third trip with you.!!!! – Paul Grondin
Rob, a lot of my leadership qualities have come from you! – Mat Mahoney (Fairmont HS Head Football Coach and MN State Champion Runner-up 2011.)
Rob’s canoe trips are light
He’s witty and bright
When his energy runs out
I’ll never figure out
To paddle with him is a delight.