Monday, November 21, 2011

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: Destination Boundary Waters

We are getting a lot of interest lately from Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups across the country.  It stands to reason, the Boundary Waters has long been a great destination for High Adventure trips and once in a lifetime opportunities for Scouts.  Here at Piragis we are proud to support Scout groups in their efforts to expand their wilderness horizons. 

We believe that a first experience in canoe country should be complimented with first-class, ultra-lightweight kevlar canoes and the lightest, best back country camping gear available.  Scouts deserve the best and we're here to make sure they get the best and at discounted outfitting rates.  Our goal is to make the trip memorable and fun and plant the seeds for many return trips to Ely and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

If you are a scout or you know of a troop in your area we'd be happy to send them outfitting information.  You can always contact Drew or Adam at 1 800 223 6565 to plan your trips.  We just booked a group of 27 (3 separate groups of 9) last Friday.  The season is underway already even though the lakes are freezing over. :)

What follows are a couple of letters from Steve Piragis and a couple of short testimonials from Scout Trip Clients:

 Always a Scout

I often get asked what got me interested in the outdoors.  I always answer: My Dad and Boy Scouts.  I grew up in the hills of central Massachusetts, a part of the East where progress was slow to take over the land.  My dad took me trout fishing the streams in the deep woods when no trespassing signs were rarely seen.  Good old Troop 18 met in the basement of the Catholic Church but the big fun was on camp outs and at summer camp on the lake.  Scouting was about all the good things in the Scout Oath but the fun was out in nature.  Hikes, campouts and paddling around Sandy Lake or up on the wild part of the Connecticut River. 

Scouts in the 1960’s didn’t have the best of equipment.  In fact it was really pretty primitive; canvas tents, no sleeping pads, heavy aluminum canoes and splintered wooden paddles.  I’m still amazed that any of us made it to middle age without major back issues and crooked spines.  The Scouts of today have all the gear available to make even better memories.  They should be safer in their outdoor adventures and a whole lot more comfortable.  We forgot long ago the misery of sleeping on cold ground and the weight of the portage packs but there is no need to make any trek or paddling trip a endurance test for young bodies.

I’m proud today to be able to outfit the Scout groups that come through Piragis Northwoods Company for their Boundary Waters/Quetico canoe trips with the lightest gear and canoes available.  Boy and Girl Scouts of the 21st Century of course don’t know how really good they have it but we can smile and know they will grow up to know and love the outdoors perhaps even more than we did. 

Eagle Scout: Steve Piragis

Steve Piragis
Piragis Northwoods Company
105 N. Central Ave
Ely, Mn 55731

1 800 223-6565
1 218 365-6745

"Our trip to the Boundary Waters was the highlight of the year for many of our scouts and we are already discussing a return trip. The 2009 trip was my fifth trip to Ely and the fifth time using Piragis Northwoods. This is not a coincidence, but a tribute to you and your staff for the excellent service and gear you provide time and time again. It is with much gratitude that I tip my hat to everyone at Piragis."

Dave Herbster, Sabetha, KS

"I can't tell you how much we enjoyed our High Adventure in the Boundary Waters, and how smooth and easy you guys made it for us. The packs, canoes, paddles and vests were all top-notch and the price was right on. Your facility is great, especially the showers! Rest assured I will ABSOLUTELY recommend you in the future, and when (not if) we return to the BWCA you will be our first and, most likely, only call."

Tony Anaya – Cincinnati, OH

Dear Scout Leader:

I'd like to introduce myself and my company with the hope that what follows will be of mutual benefit and enjoyment to both the Boy Scout council and the scouts as they continue to explore the outdoors.  I'm writing to you from beautiful Ely, Minnesota on the edge of over 2000 wilderness lakes that are only accessible by canoe.

My name is Steve Piragis, owner and co-founder of Piragis Northwoods Company and the Boundary Waters Catalog.  My wife, Nancy and I began our business in Ely, Minnesota in 1979.  Our commitment to preserving wilderness for canoeists and campers alike has remained steadfast.  Our backyard is home to the world's greatest canoeing area.  New adventures are launched from Ely everyday.

Our knowledge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and our northern neighbor, Ontario's Quetico Park is based on our extensive travel experience and dedication to the sport of canoeing.  Simply put, our canoe outfitting staff knows the routes because we paddle them.  We know the gear because we use it.  Before it ever makes it into our rental fleet onto the retail store floor or pages of the catalog, it experiences real use in the great outdoors.

As canoe trip outfitters we specialize in lightweight canoes and gear that are durable enough for wilderness conditions but light enough to take the strain off of backs both young and old.  Forty-four pound kevlar canoes and 15.5 oz kevlar paddles are standard equipment here and they really make a difference.  We offer full-outfitting packages including all the gear and food needed for a canoe trip and we also have partial canoe trip outfitting that allows paddlers to rent a single canoe or piece of gear by the day.

You can find us online at and reach us by phone at 1-800-223-6565.  Ely, Minnesota is the destination for canoe campers.  With our extensive experience and clients who return year after year to rent from us, we know that should your leaders and scouts desire to travel to the Boundary Waters, we can plan the trip of a lifetime for them to enjoy.

Thank you for your time,

Steve Piragis, President
Piragis Northwoods Company
105 North Central Avenue
Ely, MN  55731