Took three night trip with my husband and a group of five youth from our church. For all but one of the youth it was their first time in the Boundary Waters. My husband and I have traveled on our own before, but never used an outfitter. The first night, we stayed onsite in basic cabins. The next two nights we spent out in he BWCAW.
We were given good route instruction and good information about our equipment that night. I would have appreciated more information about canoeing and wilderness basics during our training, for the sake of the young people in our group who had not canoed before. However, the staff was all very cheerful, supportive, and hard-working. We were fed an incredibly delicious pancake breakfast the morning we left, and sent off warmly.
Our weather was perfect (of course, VCO couldn't affect that... or could they?) and the trip went amazingly well. Our equipment held up well and was in very good condition. I do recommend picking your menu in advance so you know you'll love the food they packed for you. It was all delicious - I strongly suggest the lunch with the Homemade Hudson Bay Bread, because it was amazing! There was more than enough food for everyone, which is notable considering we had some hungry teenagers in our group.
We made a full loop back to VCO and were greeted warmly. There are showers available if you want to use them before you take off, which is a nice touch.
In all, if you want an experience of the BWCAW without having to invest in your own equipment, or if you want to bring a larger group, this is a solid option. Kind, wise staff; good quality equipment; helpful route planning; and a good way for a safe, short experience of the Boundary Waters.