Burning Bush Adventures: Wilderness Trips Good for the Body and Soul

Wilderness Trips Good for the Body and Soul
Combining Judaism and Wilderness Camping since 1990


Wilderness Canoeing in the Northeast

Dog Sledding in Maine

Now Accepting Registrations for:

Rosh Hashanah & Shabbat Shuvah in the Green Mountains:

Sept. 28 – Oct. 2


Sukkot on the Delaware River: Oct. 14 – 16

1 Reply to "Burning Bush Adventures: Wilderness Trips Good for the Body and Soul"

  • Rabbi Howard Cohen
    August 18, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    I just wanted to let folks know what a wonderful experience my son Gabriel and I had this past week on a Burning Bush Adventure.

    First, the relevant links:

    Pics from our trip
    Pics from the solo dawn/sunrise experience
    Burning Bush Adventures web site
    Burning Bush Adventures Monday Morning Meditation

    Gabe, my thirteen year-old son had been scheduled to participate on an adventure with other 13-year old kids that Geela Rayzel Raphael had recruited. That trip was cancelled due to weather. All the other kids were able to reschedule that trip on the same date, but Gabe had a conflict. Howard generously offered to lead us on a father/son trip instead (for the same price we had paid for Gabe to go… this two-for-one was incredibly generous as the Howard’s rates are very reasonable to begin with).

    The trip itself was amazing in many ways. First off, Howard built the canoes we used with his own hands (and the help of some machine tools). How cool is that. We had one boat made of cedar and the other white pine. We canoed in the Low Lake area near Tupper Lake (about 40 miles west of Lake Placid) in the Adirondacks. Gabe and I had a little canoeing experience. But not much.

    Howard was an excellent teacher. Gabe can confidently guide our canoe with the difficult “J” and “C” strokes, and have done that facing a stuff wind. In just three days on the water we went from feeling like we were at the mercy of wind and current to being in full control of our boat. Howard’s guiding/teaching approach is well balanced… he gives you just enough of the straight-forward teaching, and he’s always available for a question… while giving you plenty of time on your own to learn from your own failures. He’s watching over you, you always feel safe, while giving you plenty of space as well.

    The food was amazing. Howard is an amazing camp cook. The peek experience is when he cooked a small lake bass that I had caught. I had never fished before. This was my first catch. Howard’s mentoring as well as his inspired cooking (he lightly breaded it and spiced it with za’atar and … was it pepper… anyway, just amazing to have eaten the fish I caught, scaled, and cleaned and that Howard cooked. Though I am a reticent meet/fish eater, I felt like great respect was paid to the bass and its meat was not only sustaining but also inspiring.

    The explicitly Jewish parts of the “Burning Bush Adventure” come naturally, not forced. Whether it’s davening, God talk, standing in awe of the creation in the wilderness, or simply bantering about the state of the Jewish community or Israel, these Jewish aspects were weaved in seamlessly.

    The peak spiritual experience is when Howard woke us up at 5 AM, barely past dusk, sent us off to separate sitting spots where we took in the beginning of the day through sunrise (over an hour) paying attention to and taking in the changes around us. It was amazing.

    Howard was great with Gabe. He was interested in him, got to know him, and mentored him on many things. Gabe thinks he knows how to make a fire, and is somewhat full of himself about it. And I, the father, am critical of his cockiness. Howard was able to give some really practical without being critical at all. Gabe really took it in.

    I could go on much longer.

    Do check out the photos.

    And even more important… go on a Burning Bush Adventure yourself! Howard is offering a trip on the Delaware River during chol ha’moed Sukkot. Go for it!

    Here is a repeat of the links:

    Pics from my trip
    Pics from the solo dawn/sunrise experience
    Burning Bush Adventures web site
    Burning Bush Adventures Monday Morning Meditation


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