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  Posted by: old_user on Oct-10-12 9:03 AM (EST)

You know Cliff, I think that the lack of outdoor education may have some effect on whether young folks engage in outdoor recreation such as paddling. However, that might be like 10 or 15 % of the reason. Parents are the ones who are the role models for their children. Spending time doing outdoor activities with your children are the best way to get kids involved in outdoor activities like paddling in the BWCA. When I planned a trip this past summer which was going to possibly be solo because of work schedules and so forth my daughter insisted on going along. She's 18. My boys didn't go this year but they spend part of almost every weekend on the water. My experience shows that idf parents involve their children in an activity and make it enjoyable, important and a priority, the kids will too.

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Messages in this Topic


  We can do something
  Posted by: MMF on Oct-10-12 9:24 AM (EST)
Nine ACKC members paddled the Econfina Creek in the Florida Panhandle this Sunday, all over 55. Article confirmed. Free public ramp difficult for kayakers to put-in so we put-in at an outfitter's for $5 a boat.(See Tania's article on floating docks and entry/exit technique.)
Trailer with 5 or more canoes and several cars drove in; a swarm of little kids 4-12 pouring out with about 4 sets of parents. "Does it cost to launch" "Yea" "How much" "5 bucks per boat" Pause. "Is there a free launch nearby?"
We sent them to the free water management launch site downriver. They didn't do the off river paddles to springs, so we saw them about 2/3's of the way downriver, swimming in the shallows and having a great time. At the crowded take-out we had a chance to talk with the kids. "You think you'd like to be able to paddle your own kayaks, someday?" "Yea..." enthusiastically. There's hope.
Paddling clubs could put aside one day a year (we have 12 months of paddling in Florida, so it's easy for us to be generous) for families with kids this age, giving lessons and making canoes available for free or for a low cost or maybe partnering with an outfitter. Those of us with canoes which we never use, could give them to a young family, making sure that we teach them how to use it and taking them out with us when the paddles would be suitable. How about a grandparents day of club paddling. Many of us are too far away from our own grand kids, but we could adopt a family for grandparent's day. Lots of possibilities for getting kids into paddling. May not take a village to raise a paddler; we all can do our part.
  Cliff's "Gray"
  Posted by: grandpa on Oct-10-12 10:25 AM (EST)
Yes, parents need to involve their kids in outdoor activity--camping, paddling, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc.--but it does seem that parents, too, no longer do those things. The number of hunting licenses issued in many states is declining; in other words, adults, not just teens and younger, are staying indoors. What the schools require--testing, testing, testing--is what the parents demand! Schools do what their communities demand--or what they think their communities demand. The entire culture has changed and is changing. It is not good.
  Grey Hairs and kids
  Posted by: esox on Oct-10-12 12:12 PM (EST)
From Oct 6'th Adirondack Daily Enterprise by Joe Hackett

...Fortunately, many children are now learning it from 'their gym teachers. At the Lake Placid Central School, students receive instruction in archery, fly fishing, mountain biking and more.

In Tupper Lake, students have opportunities to learn land navigation skills while using GPS units, and they can cross-country ski or snowshoe from the school's playground onto the nearby nature trails.

At Keene Valley Central, students must participate in an overnight camping trip and document a climb up a High Peak as a requirement for graduation. It appears many of the local educators are on the right track.'

Hail to these Adirondack Schools.

John M.
  U guys are an exception
  Posted by: cliffjacobson on Oct-10-12 12:43 PM (EST)
Congratulations for keeping the dream alive! You guys are an exception. Most schools simply cannot afford to subsidize outdoor ed programs when budgets are so tight. Outdoor ed is the first thing that dies when stuff gets tough. Ironically, it's the one program that kids remember the rest of their lives.
  You are right!
  Posted by: cliffjacobson on Oct-10-12 12:40 PM (EST)
You are absolutely right, of course. Parents are a huge factor. Still, school canoeing and camping programs are largely gone now, as are most field trips.
Best to you,
  Posted by: Dirty_Ed on Oct-10-12 2:02 PM (EST)
When I was a kid we never did any outdoor adventures through our school. My Dad was the one who spent time outdoors with me, just I did with my kids and they have done with my grandkids. I think too many parents these days think it is the state's job to provide outdoor education in our busy society. Perhaps it is up to us "greyhairs" to get involved with the younger generation. As a grandparent, nothing gives me more pleasure than spending time hiking, camping and canoing with my grandkids or other young folks that take an interest.
  grey hairs
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-10-12 10:06 PM (EST)
the boy scouts are a natural support for engaging boys in the outdoors; but, i am particularly interested in Venturing...the high adventure program from the boy scouts that is a coed program for young people 14 - 20.
  We try...
  Posted by: jhb8426 on Oct-11-12 5:06 PM (EST)
My grand daughters are 4 & 5, and my daughter and her husband have a place on a lake. They have a canoe which I encourage the girls to come with me often, but they really prefer to go exploring in "the forest", which is ok too. Hopefully they won't loose the attraction.
  kids paddling video
  Posted by: old_user on Oct-12-12 7:43 AM (EST)
The aging of the paddling world prompted us to produce "Paddlemonsters" a by kids for kids paddling instructional film. I am happy to report the film has been really well received. Thankfully the summer camps are still cranking out paddlers... just like in the old days. Check out the film at


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