Owner's Scouting Experience

John Schiefelbein
Your host, John Schiefelbein

Your host and outfitter, John Schiefelbein, first paddled the border lakes canoe country as a Boy Scout in 1965. The previous year, on the summer camp staff for the old West Suburban Council near Chicago (now DesPlaines Valley Council), he had guided Scout canoe trips on the Wolf River in northern Wisconsin. It was on these early trips that his love for the wilderness, canoeing, and Scouting began. As the years passed, his skills were honed through backpacking in the Rockies, SCUBA diving in the Caribbean, and mountain climbing in the Pacific Northwest. While serving as an intelligence pilot in Vietnam, he taught the skills of survival, escape, and evasion as his unit's Training Officer. Upon returning to civilian life, the call of the canoe country kept bringing him back year after year.

In the 70's he became very active with the Heart of America Council (Kansas City), mainly in the area of Council Adult Leader Training and District Programs. In addition to teaching Scouter Basic Training and Show-an-do, he served in several staff positions for the North Central Region's "Wood Badge" advance training program. His favorite course, however, was the council's High Adventure Brigade Training held each fall. There he had a chance to share his well honed knowledge of, and deep feelings for, wilderness canoeing.

In 1983 he decided that outfitting canoe trips in northern Minnesota should be his new career and formed NORTH COUNTRY CANOE OUTFITTERS. His current Scouting contacts are primarily in the area of outfitting many Scout units each summer so they, too, can fall in love with the north country.


  • 1960 National Jamboree - Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 1963 Region 7 Explorer Canoe Base - Boulder Junction, Wisconsin
  • 1964 National Jamboree - Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
  • 1964 Philmont Scout Ranch - Cimarron, New Mexico
  • 1965 Region 10 Explorer Canoe Base - Ely, Minnesota
  • 1965 National Order of the Arrow Conference - Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1966 National Camping School (Scoutcraft) - Schiff Scout Reservation
  • 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference - Austin, Texas


  • Unit Organizer
  • Troop Committee Member
  • Troop Committee Chairman
  • Assistant Scoutmaster
  • Scoutmaster
  • Unit Commissioner
  • Assistant District Commissioner
  • District Vice-Chairman: Program
  • District, Council, and Regional Training Staffs


  • Scouter Training Award ('79)
  • Scouter's Key ('80)
  • Commissioner Arrowhead ('81)
  • Commissioner's Key ('82)
  • Wood Badge (2 Beads) ('82)
  • Wood Badge (3 Beads) ('83)
  • Tribe of Mic-O-Say, Honorary Warrior ('83)
  • Order of the Arrow, Brotherhood Member ('63)
  • Pro Deo Et Patria, Lutheran Scout Award ('64)