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We are Francis & Johanna, and we run an Outfitters & Lodge in Temagami, Ontario. This is a small family-run lodge nestled on quiet James Lake. We attract guests from all over the world for meaningful wilderness adventures, with our focus on canoeing & hiking. Volunteers live together and share meals with the family in the main lodge. Our food is unforgettable -- we'll fatten you up. We forage for wild edibles, make our own bread, host canoe courses, guide hikes, and more. This is a nurturing and fun environment -- a great place to make friends, connect with the earth, and improve your English skills. Volunteers are welcome to borrow canoes to explore the area, and we can recommend lots of good day hikes.
While we love hosting individuals, we're also quite keen on couples & pairs of friends, who are built-in adventure pals for each other! Especially in the height of summer we are usually too busy to participate in off-site hikes etc, so it's nice when people have a companion to do things with :)
We've got a lot of projects planned for this spring and summer, and we're excited to get to know fun, fabulous people who can help make it all happen! We can host volunteers from the beginning of May until October. In May & June, our focus is getting the lodge ready for summer. We work on building projects - new docks, decks, repairing roofs, renovations, etc - as well as get the gardens ready, and prepare dehydrated food for upcoming canoe trips. In July & August (the busiest time of year), we have canoe trips to outfit, home meals to cook, rooms to change, and yard work to do, as well as any small building/repair projects that pop up. In September and October, it slows down a bit and we're able to do some maintenance and building projects again, in addition to hosting guests. There's always something different going on, and something for every interest! (Carpentry, mechanical, or sewing skills are always an asset!)
One last thing - we get a lot of emails every day, and it takes a lot of time to respond to it all! If your email isn't specific to us, we're less likely to respond. If you really want to come and stay with us, please mention why you'd like to visit Temagami and why you'd be a good fit for our lodge!
Looking forward to meeting you!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Temagami is a majestic wilderness of ancient pine forests, lakes, rivers and streams. We have the largest stand of old growth red & white pines in the world, and a fascinating cultural history to go with them. To be in Temagami is to learn about the history of Northern Canada. With regards to skills, cooking is a big part of what we do, and we love sharing our knowledge of local foods and cooking techniques. Francis is a skilled jack-of-all trades who has lots to share regarding facility management and construction.
Typical volunteer tasks include landscaping, weeding gardens, changing guest rooms, or whatever help is required. Knowledge of carpentry is always an asset! Otherwise, a willing attitude and common sense is enough for most tasks :) We ask that people work 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.
Volunteers stay in an apartment above our workshop. There are three bedrooms (6 beds in total), a living room, and a bathroom (sink, toilet, shower). Since there is no kitchen, volunteers eat in the family kitchen/dining room in the lodge. Everything is available to eat unless otherwise mentioned, and we're happy to provide foods that you prefer as part of our regular shopping. Usually we all eat breakfast and lunch separately and come together for a group dinner at the end of the day.
We've hosted helpers for about 10 years, and it's been amazing! We enjoy meeting new people and learning different ways of doing things (we'll probably learn as much from you as you will from us). We love good conversation, good humour, and good food. We have two dogs and a cat, who are all good with new people. They make us laugh every day!
Most people choose to stay for about three weeks while they're traveling, and that seems to be a good length of time - although a few people have stayed long enough that they feel like family :) We appreciate common sense and a willingness to get involved in whatever needs doing at the moment. Wi-fi is available but somewhat limited - surfing the internet and emailing is okay, but no video streaming please! If you need a tv fix, we can plan a movie night! We've also got an extensive library where you might find your next favourite book.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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