Meet the BCM Minnesota Team

The Big City Mountaineers Minnesota Team is leading BCM Youth through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness this summer. It’s the only BCM program in the country where youth will experience canoe river trips and camping. Meet our special team leading the expeditions this summer.

Fred Sproat, BCM Minnesota Program Manager

Fred Sproat has been traversing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness since his parents first introduced him to the canoe country wilderness at the tender age of five. Since then he has been exploring the area by boat, foot, skis, and even ice skates. Fred has been facilitating wilderness experiences for over ten years from leading trips to managing an outfitter to running other wilderness based youth development programs. He sees wilderness canoe trips as an amazing opportunity for young people to learn as much about themselves as their community peers.

Adam Long, BCM Expedition Instructor

Adam has spent every summer of his childhood visiting his family’s lake cabin in Minnesota. His passion for the outdoors really took off when he started a job as a wilderness trip leader at Camp Manito-wish YMCA. Each summer with Manito-wish provided Adam with exciting opportunities to help young people connect with the outdoors and grow as leaders. This will be Adam’s third summer season working with BCM, and his thirteenth summer working in outdoor education. He is also in his 10th year as a middle school science teacher and loves to run.

Vicki Sweeden, BCM Expedition Instructor, was a successful high school German teacher. Her summers however, were devoted to her other passions of wilderness camping and canoeing. She has paddled lakes throughout the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), Quetico and other Canadian wilderness parks.  She has paddled rivers from the Rio Grande in Texas to the Anisak, Kugururok and Noatek Rivers in Alaska.

When she saw a job posting to lead BWCA trips for Big City Mountaineers in 2013, she jumped at the opportunity to teach in the wilderness.  She soon realized, it’s not about how well the girls can learn to paddle or portage a canoe; one of the most important lessons is learning to persevere through mental and physical challenges.  BCM youth grow to realize they are so much stronger and can accomplish more than they ever believed possible.


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