The list of priorities: 1) Safety, 2) Fun, 3) Kayaking.
That is how we breakdown “Kids Week” here at the Ottawa Kayak School. Twice a summer, we welcome around a dozen or so 7 – 11 year olds to the Ottawa river for an entire week of fun! While indeed we wish and strive to develop the kayaking skills of these young rippers, we place a higher focus on nourishing the thought of kayaking as fun, and reinforce the friendships that the young explores make throughout the week. In secret, it’s the best excuse we have found yet that lets our instructors let loose and unleash there inner 4th grader.
We have come to find here at Kids Camp that when a young kayaker is ready to commit to really start learning the fundamentals of kayaking; they will express those feelings and will start to progress at a rapid pace. However, until then, we just love having fun! Playing games on and off the water to develop teamwork, social skills and the basic of basic kayaking skills. This enables the kids to feel comfortable in there kayaks an confident on the water. Ensuring kayaking is a positive and fun activity!
From there first forward strokes, to running there first rapid, to an entire run down the infamous Ottawa River near the end of the week. It is incredible to watch these wide eyed and smiling kids become mesmerized by the river and the realize the potential that lies within the outdoors. It always humbling to watch the next generation become hooked, and wonder how far they will take the sport.
While tears and frowns are inevitable throughout the week, we limit the potential for the little guys and gals to be unhappy on the river. We enforce a strict no kayaking in the rain policy, and we make sure we are never to far away from the next snack time. This allows us to be warm, full of energy, full of silliness and full of fun!
Tie Dye T-shirts is one of our favorite ways to let the kids be creative and bond with each other over there Kids Week experience. Creating their own design and colors, and signing the finished works of art for the memories of there new friends to last all year round!
There is always a sigh of relief when the high energized week comes to a successful end, but after a quick rest, we are already ready and excited for the next week!
Looking forward to seeing you, and your kids on the river soon!