Volunteer to help someone make money?

When I went to Algonquin Park, I stayed in an ‘ecolodge‘. This was back in 2002 or 2003 I think – probably before I started this blog.

At the Algonquin ecolodge I had some good breakfasts, met interesting people, got to pump water for my shower, got to pump water for my wife’s shower, got to canoe on a private lake, and all in all have an interesting travel experience.

Negatives included getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and having to drive an hour to get to the main road in Algonquin Park.

Now as far as I can tell, this is a for-profit company. Yet, yesterday I got an email from them. Weird because I don’t think they’ve sent me any emails in the past 5 years or so since I stayed with them. Also weird because they want me to volunteer to help them do some work on the ecolodge. By volunteer I mean pay $30 for food, “bring spades, rubber boots, work gloves, a dirty wheelbarrow,” and then I presume do hard work.

I just don’t understand why anyone would do this for a company that’s trying to make money. If I’m wrong and this is a charity or non-proft then I understand. But they should say so. Otherwise they should be offering some discounts or something for people who work on their projects. Honestly, I’d feel pretty stupid if I paid $30 to dig ditches for a weekend or whatever they have volunteers do and then decided to vacation there and pay $200 (Canadian) per night to stay in the place.

While I would consider going back to the ecolodge, I’d have serious concerns about the mosquito situation because it was really really terrible. Apparently now they have some wolves nearby and the possibility of a wolf-howl – a huge plus for me. However, they also have Park Rangers leading Wolf Howls in Algonguin Park and there are some places to stay much closer to the park and probably much cheaper.

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  1. Randy Mitson says:

    One place you might want to check out would be the Wolf Den Bunk House. They are located right on Highway #60, still pretty private property though due to trees near the road way and there cabins being mostly located away from the road. It’s just east of Oxtongue Lake, where our main outfitting base is located, almost across the road from Ragged Falls park, about 10km from Algonquin Park’s West gate.

    check out their website at:


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