The lake is quiet, the serene silence interrupted only by the occasional “switch sides” or “is it this island or that one over there?”. I watch from the back of the group as the girls show off their canoe skills built over long hours, drills, games, and adventures during P.E. this summer. Around the one mile mark, I can hear the tell-tale signs of fatigue. “Ms. Maggie, are we close?”, “Where are we even going?!” I smile and remind them that if they follow the directions, they will know when they have found our campsite. This is the longest paddle our students have ever been on, the first time they have had to carry all of their sleeping, eating and camping gear with them in their boat. All of our students overcame this challenge brilliantly– Thanks to Mr. Tyler training them well and staff giving them plenty of afternoon time to practice!
The Lake is no longer quiet. It’s filled with shouts of accomplishment, surprise, cheering, and encouragement to those who have not quite made it to shore. After some quick unpacking of boats, there is the sound of a motor and even more cheers. Captain Kyle has arrived with his surprise! A pontoon boat with a tube attached! At the end of the day, the girls take some time to dream up at the stars before tucking into their sleeping bags for a good night sleep.
Our Canoe Camping trip is a Lake House student favorite. Each year we work to push their resiliency, build confidence and inspire hope through the intense paddle, remote campsite and fun activities. The students partake in rope swinging, rock jumping, swimming, campfire storytelling, s’more making and this year the new addition of the boat and tubing! We rounded out the trip with a stop at Jack the Dipper, a local ice cream joint where they make the waffle cones in front of you!