The date September 29, 1972 is etched indelibly in my brain. It was the day after Paul Henderson scored his infamous goal in the 1972 Summit Series, and it marked my first ever trip to Nakina Ontario, the gateway to the north. As a young impressionable 12 year old this trip was high adventure and it left me with lasting memories and a deep rooted love of the region. Looking back, this first foray into Ontario's northern wilderness helped shape my entire way of thinking and ultimately led to changing the course of my life.
Over the years I made countless trips to Nakina to fish and hunt and my love for the region grew stronger and stronger. In the back of my mind I began to harbour the dream of one day running my own camp, but that dream was put on hold while life had its way with me.
I met my beautiful wife Shirley and not long afterwards we added 3 more members to the Guergis clan, our wonderful kids Ashley, Mitchell and Garret. Taking care of my family became the primary focus and for many years was the only one.
The dream's flame flickered a bit but it never died, and 3 years ago the birth of our grandson Ryder finally galvanized me into action. With things stable on the homefront and with Shirley's support I allowed myself to ponder exactly the type of camp I wanted: First and foremost outstanding fishing and hunting. But beyond that I wanted something not too elaborate. Something rustic, yet comfortable and with enough unexpected extras thrown in to keep my customers happy. I'd been on enough trips over the years with other outfiters to know exactly how I liked to be treated and how I'd like to treat potential customers. Several times I looked at purchasing existing camps, but nothing met my expectations. Finding virgin territory to build a camp on these days is next to impossible as the Ontario government rarely issues new commercial land use permits. For a while I was stumped.
Finally in December 2008 my luck changed when I was introduced to Frank and Irene Moonias. Frank is an elder in the Ojibway community of Lansdowne House, a remote settlement on the shores of the upper Attawapiskat river. After expressing my interests he told me of an old neglected camp located on a widening of the Attawapiskat called Beteau lake. The location exceeded my wildest expectations: It was teeming with fish and game, many of trophy proportions, and offered miles upon miles of water to explore. A deal was struck with Frank, and on June 5, 2009 my dream began to take shape. Myself and a crew of friends and family members flew in to begin reconstruction of the old camp. It took several months of hard work but we succeeded, and in 2010 we are open for business!
It gives me great pride to finally realize the lifelong dream of running my own camp. I'd now like to extend an invitation to all of you to come up here and experience this remarkable piece of untouched wilderness for yourself.
I promise you an adventure you won't soon forget!