Ancient Highways Canoe Camp (ages 13-15+)

Learn to travel on and explore local waterways by canoe with paddle and pole.

Enrollment: CLOSED

When: Ancient Highways Canoe Camp will not be offered in 2024.

Ages: 13-15 year olds (16+ year olds interested in participating in a leader-helper capacity are encouraged to contact us for more information)

Where: on waterways in the Brattleboro area

2023 Cost:

  • Base Fee: $340 – 445 (sliding scale). The true cost per camper is $385.
  • Equipment & Overnight Fee: $130

Scholarship and Reparations Funds available.

Program Overview

Before roads, rivers and streams were the means of travel that connected the towns and villages of what we now call New England. On this new offering from Vermont Wilderness School, participants will learn how to effectively paddle through basic whitewater, maneuver a canoe upstream and downstream using a pole, and be exposed to some of the traditional means and methods of living out of a canoe over long periods of time. We’ll cover cooking methods, how to effectively portage from one body of water to another, and finish up the course with an overnight on a local waterway.

About the Instructor

Christopher Russell has worked as a full time wilderness educator and canoe guide for the last decade. His passion for the outdoors is centered around the concepts of “Friluftsliv” and Deep Ecology, two concepts that minimize the importance of people having “adventures” in the outdoors and frames experiences around the interconnectedness of all members of the ecosystem. Christopher is the director of School Of The Forest, an adult outdoor program in Guilford and is the lead instructor on Jack Mountain Bushcraft School’s nine-week semester programs. If you can’t find him, he’s probably looking at birds.


Registration Instructions

1. Complete the Registration form below (or Interest form if registration is not yet open). Be sure to click SUBMIT at the end. Check your email inbox for the automated confirmation email with the subject “[Child Name]’s Ancient Highways Canoe Camp Registration has been received.” Save your confirmation email as proof-of-registration.

2. When you register, pay a $75 per child per week deposit to secure your spot(s). You may also pay in full when you register. Any remaining balance is due June 1st (or upon registration, for those registering after June 1st). If you have requested a scholarship or opted in to the BIPOC Reparations Fund, payment instructions are in the registration form below.

Note: If you withdraw from any weeks of camp, the deposit for the week you withdraw from will be retained (and potentially more of your payment for that week – view our full cancellation and refund policy here).

To pay:

      • Make a secure online payment by credit card or via PayPal in the box on the righthand side of this page, OR;
      • Send a check payable to “Vermont Wilderness School” to: VWS, PO Box 2585, Brattleboro, VT 05303.

3. Complete the VWS Medical Form using the tab at the bottom of this page.


Looking for a scholarship? Complete the registration form below, indicating your scholarship request. Read our scholarship and cancellation policies for more information. Questions? Email


To receive email notifications about Summer 2024 (save-the-dates, opening of registration, etc.), complete this interest form.