Trip Leader Tom Weldon (Program Lead of our Crystal Coast/Swansboro, North Carolina program) recounts the superb time he spent with PHWFF disabled veteran participants at Two Brooks Camp in Robsinsonville, New Brunswick. We’re pleased to share his remembrances and photos with you below:
June 8 -12, 2018 – Two Brooks Camp It was an honor and privilege to have been the Outing Leader for this National Destination Outing. My initial observation of the PHWFF participants was the group immediately came together. I find this not unusual for disabled veterans but it always amazes me.
After our flight arrived in Presque Isle Maine we had a long yet scenic drive through northern Maine and New Brunswick. We linked up with Gerry Thomas, the Two Brooks camp manager, at his home. The tremendous service of Two Brooks Camp started there. After a thrilling ride on an unimproved road, we arrived at the site, met the staff, loaded canoes and traversed the river to the camp. We never touched our gear again. The staff at Two Brooks are truly a wonderful group of people who cater to every whim of their guests. They are to be commended for their tireless support of our disabled veterans.
The accommodations for the group were superb. This is a great lodge with plenty of history and a warm, inviting feel. Once we were settled in, Gerry presented each of us with a box of salmon flies, 60 flies each, that a member of the American Salmon Federation had donated to him for us. These were exceptional flies and we were humbled to receive them.
Fishing was done from 28 foot canoes with small engines. We also did some wading. The canoes were made locally and were a great platform from which to cast. The water was crystal clear and cold. And the scenery was stunning. Had there been many fish, it would have been easy to sight fish. We were at the very beginning of the American Salmon run and only caught one 15 pound fish. I can assure you that fact made absolutely no difference to the success and enjoyment of the outing. All 3 guides had a combined experience of over 40 years at the camp and on the river. They went above and beyond to put us on fish, they just weren’t there yet. We still came back to the camp at meal time with fantastic stories about our adventures.
The meals were awesome. There are not enough superlatives to describe the food and the service. We ate family style by a fire and recounted our day on the water and told war stories. What would you expect from a group of veterans.
The veterans who participated in this trip were great ambassadors for PHWFF. All were very appreciative for the opportunity to attend this outing. They were respectful of the staff, exhibiting manners that would have made their mothers proud. This was a good group of men that readily recognized the privileged bestowed upon them and acted accordingly. They will never forget it. I know that each of them would return tomorrow if that were offered.