Growing up BWCA: Jodi’s Story

Growing up camping and exploring the Boundary Waters (BWCA) is something I am eternally grateful for. The coolest thing ever is that I now get to lead women’s retreats into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (my favorite place).

fun fact: Jodi invited herself on the boys’ BWCA trip growing up and has been adventuring ever since!

I am Jodi Middendorf. I spend my time taking photos, making videos, and leading BWCA trips. All of those things occur outside, of course. I have a photography business as well as a YouTube channel. Between my camera and the wilderness, I am generally kept busy and fulfilled. Leading women’s retreats into the BWCA with Rachael is something I am stoked about. This summer will be exciting and full and grounding as well.

I am super excited for this upcoming paddle season and retreats to meet new women, explore new places, and enjoy disconnecting from the chaos of the world for much needed time in the wilderness with empowering women.

Summer 2022 is approaching quickly and I am not upset about it one bit. Sunshine, canoes, and campfire coffee are calling our names. From the time I was about 10 years old, I would become more and more impatient as winter drew out. The BWCA has always held a dear place in my heart. I love winter, but planning BWCA trips in January and February mean nonstop anticipation of the paddle season on the horizon. The paddle season on the horizon this year has been planned, thought out, and I anticipate these retreats immensely when I think about how new people will be introduced to the BWCA (my favorite place) and others will get to return to the BWCA (probably their favorite place too).

if 12 year old Jodi can portage a canoe, you can, too!

In my opinion, the best part about the Boundary Waters is that we get to disconnect from our phones, constant connection, and instead bond with others along with us on the trip. Sometimes things get challenging (think paddling in the wind). Sometimes it feels like complete magic (think stargazing in a certified dark sky sanctuary). Mostly though, the BWCA is a place of learning about yourself, and doing so in a beautiful and healthy setting. The evergreens, loons, endless skies, clear water, and varying landscape are a gorgeous boreal forest background that many Minnesota natives haven’t experienced yet. My nature-loving self is stoked to meet you, and experience the Boundary Waters with you summer 2022. I can already see it on the horizon ;)

A BWCA haiku for you.

Beautiful and calm,

The wilderness awaits us,

I hope you will join.

by: Jodi Middendorf



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