Video courtesy of Tall Pines Camp
Following high school graduation, Ryan Taylor had a choice. He could either take the thousand dollars in cash his parents offered all five of their sons or take an all-expenses paid fishing trip to Canada. Much to his family’s surprise, Taylor chose the fishing trip. Thus began a lifelong love affair with the Great White North.
In 2005, Taylor was able to take his dad to Canada and show him the natural beauty. From there, Taylor began to take trips up north every other year. With each trip, Taylor began to formulate a plan: once he retired from the small business he started, he would move his life to Canada to start a fishing camp.
Life had other plans for Taylor, though. When he turned 40 a few years back, Taylor took friends and family to a camp in Canada that just so happened to be on the market. Taylor took this as a sign and jumped on the opportunity to purchase the property.
“I actually came to the camp (Tall Pines Camp) the first time with a fellow Lambda Chi brother, ‘Melon’, in 2017,” said Taylor. “We have remained best friends over the years, and he said I was put on Earth to do this; when the opportunity to buy presented itself, it just felt right.”
Now, Taylor and his wife, along with a small staff, run Tall Pines Camp. For six months out of the year, Taylor and his wife live in Perrault Falls, Ontario Canada maintaining the camp, which offers cabins, workshops, and different activities for guests to enjoy.
While it is challenging at points to maintain a camp from a different country half of the year, Taylor says the reward comes in the form of guests being able to take time to reconnect with the beautiful nature surrounding them.
“In the hustle and bustle of every day life, you kind of loose sight of just how to relax a little bit sometimes,” said Taylor. “I’m looking to provide that for my friends and family and the guests of the camp.”
Taylor has become a jack of all trades when it comes to the upkeep of Tall Pines, from the maintenance of the cabins to fixing docks. But for Taylor, being in the picturesque setting of the wilderness makes every day a new adventure.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun, so it’s not really work…your office is a 15,000-acre lake in the middle of the most beautiful country I think there is,” said Taylor.
While Taylor’s dream has become a reality, he likes to think back on his time in Lambda Chi and at Eastern Illinois University to see just how far he has come.
“Lambda Chi and college in general gave me the confidence to go off on my own and do my own thing and not get caught up in the usual hustle and bustle,” said Taylor. “It gave me confidence to not settle and chase the things I wanted.”
Taylor is looking forward to a large family and friends weekend in July, where several fraternity brothers will join him. Sharing his little piece of heaven with those he loves makes his dream worth living.
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