Girl Scout canoe guides are certified in Lifeguarding and Wilderness First Aid (WFA), and they work hard to create a warm and caring atmosphere, where girls are allowed to let their personalities shine. They are usually in college or recently graduated from college, with a unique blend of wilderness, Girl Scout, and BWCAW experience. In addition to the certifications they have, all Girl Scout guides go through a rigorous and hands-on training at the canoe base. One of the most common comments we hear from both youth and adult participants is that they had no idea how fun, involved, talented, and hard-working their guides would be!

Interested in guiding for Summer 2023? Contact Ann McNally now for information! Then, meet some of our recent staff below:

Ann McNally - Summer Program Director

Ann McNally went on her first Girl Scout canoe trip, a 7-day Quetico trip, in 1992, and knew the program and the wilderness would be with her forever. She grew up in Seattle, but made the trek to Ely to be a guide-in-training in 1994 and 1995, and then guided for five years (1996-2000). Then, she took a break to get a Ph.D. in chemistry and then work full-time in Seattle. She quit her full-time work when her first son was born in 2010, allowing her to spend her summers in Ely again, where she has been the summer program director (and occasional guide) since 2011. During the school year she teaches college chemistry.

Ann encourages every teenage girl she knows to sign up for a fun, confidence-building, and safe Girl Scout canoe trip in one of the most beautiful wilderness areas around. An advocate for both girls and the wilderness, her recent efforts have focused on bringing awareness of the Girl Scout canoe trip program to a wider audience. For many years now, her devotion to the program has only trailed her devotion to her family.

Mary-Lu Kavanagh Beltman - 

Mary-Lu has a unique perspective of the base, having essentially grown up there when her mother was Summer Program Director back in the day. When she was finally old enough, she went on countless trips as a participant.

Even more amazing is Mary-Lu’s innate ability to connect with both girls and guides in the woods and on-base-

As a first year guide in 2017, Mary-Lu traversed the Boundary Waters as a staff member of NLCB for the first time! She loved it so much that she returned in 2018 as the Assistant Program Director, and is back again in 2019 to be Ann’s right-hand woman when she’s not in the woods with girls!

Bailey - 

Bailey is from Wauwatosa Wisconsin. She is a 4th year guide, and this is her 7th year at the Girl Scout Canoe Base- before guiding she was a Guide in training for 2 years and a participant before that. She has been a girl scout for as long as she can remember. In the fall she will be going into my senior year of nursing school at Carroll University in Waukesha Wisconsin. She loves to travel and hse been all over the continental US, Canada, India and will be going to Poland at the end of the summer. During her freetime she loves exploring new places and being outdoors. Some of her favorite outdoor activities are hiking, canoeing, camping, and backpacking. She can’t wait for this summer and to meet everyone!

Maddie - 

Maddie is a 3rd year guide, before this, she was a Guide in Training (GIT) for 2 years, and before that she went on a Girl Scout Destination ( North Country Rockin Wilderness ) at this base! She has been a Girl Scout all her life, and will be forever! She is a college student at Colorado State University, studying French, Natural Resources Tourism, and Conservation Biology! As for hobbies, canoeing is probably her favorite thing to do, but she also backpacks, ski/snowboards, bikes, and runs a ton! Her favorite lakes are Argo lake in the Quetico, Isabella beaver Stream, and Otter Track lake in the BWCAW! She can’t wait for this fantastic season, and she can not wait to meet all of the amazing folks she’ll get to guide through her favorite place!

Rebecca - 

Rebecca will be joining for her 3rd year at NLCB. Previously, she guided in 2015 and 2016 and took a couple summers off to study abroad in Thailand and guide for the Girl Scout of Alaska. Currently, she is working on her Master’s of Public Administration at the University of North Dakota. When on a canoe trip, she loves to sing camp songs and work on her trail chef abilities.

An -

An has been a participant and GIT and is now thrilled to be a first year guide! An thinks the Wilderness is pretty rad-and is determined to keep it that way for future generations to enjoy. An is a quietly spunky, caring guide who enjoys sports like swimming, rowing, basketball, and water polo. In An’s spare time you might find them learning about other cultures, reading books, or juggling.

Margo - 

Margo, a Milwaukee, WI native, will be a first year guide but this will be her 4 th summer at the NLCB. Ever since her nature based preschool days, Margo has loved being outside. Some of her favorite pastimes include skiing, water skiing, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, and walking her dog. When not outside, Margo can be found rehearsing in the theater; and, you may even catch her singing musical numbers while portaging! She can’t wait to see you at the NLCB this summer!

Abby - 

Abby has always loved the outdoors, summers growing up were spent in the lake swimming, fishing, and catching frogs. She took annual canoe trips down the St. Croix river with her family. She’s spent the past five years working as a counselor and lifeguard at Camp Roundelay. In the winters she is a student at University of Wisconsin – Madison where she graduated in May 2019 with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering and a certificate in Chinese Professional Communication.

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