NCKC Camp Leader, Alicia, reports on the 2014 summer camp program. This summer, 400 kids attended NCKC day camps on Long Lake in Nanaimo and another 1100 participated in NCKC group sessions.
This summer at the Nanaimo Canoe Kayak Club was an exciting and fast two months. The summer camps were very popular and both new and returning campers had a great time learning new skills and improving old ones. Throughout the week we’d use kayaks, clipper/voyager canoes and the dragon boat. Campers learned how to paddle their boats through games and excursions all around the lake.
On the first day, the dragon boat makes an appearance and everyone piles in to go on their first paddle of the camp. After that, the campers use canoes and kayaks for the rest of the week. The clipper canoes can be challenging on a personal level for the individual steering and also for teamwork within the boat. One week, a girl had tears in her eyes at the thought of steering her group’s canoe. We had a talk and after a while she agreed to give it a try. Not 10 minutes later she was shouting “This is awesome!” as she navigated her boat under the fishing dock ramp, around buoys, and in circles. It ended up being her favorite part of the day. Mid-week the kids would go on an adventure to the far side of the lake and tie up their boats to have their snack and play games in the forest for a change of pace. Then on the way back everyone would get a chance to steer the voyager canoe that we all had paddled there (a special challenge for them to give commands and steer a giant boat with 10 other people paddling). The kayaks were always the favorite of the campers to paddle. When we were not out on the water, we played games like “Zombie Tag”, “Giants, Dwarves, and Wizards” and “Bring Home the Bacon” as well as using the parachute.
At the end of the week we formed teams, made team names and cheers, did relays on land and on water, and finished the day off with an epic scavenger hunt which took the campers all over the lake figuring out clues to get to the next spot. It was a summer filled with learning new things, building teamwork and confidence, and having fun.
by Alicia Murray, NCKC Camp Leader
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Kenneth Grahame