This is the first posting from our new Blog on the refurbished GKP website. It is being sent to over 400 of you who have been joining us since 2013. It’s been a long time coming and we’re excited!
We will share with you what we are doing and what our plans are, AND we always want your input and feedback.
As we continue to live through Covid-19, Climate Change, the US election and economic destabilization, the thought of making plans to get kids paddling may seem frivolous.
We think otherwise.
If paddling and the backcountry have been important parts of our lives, is there some reason they should not be held in the same regard for today’s generation of kids?
Besides, with what’s happening right now, there is more time to think and plan and collaborate. We can meet inexpensively, and we have access to some of the finest minds around.
Over the summer our Steering Committee has been considering how to get kids paddling. And what a lot of kids there are! Currently, there are 4.2 million Canadians between the ages of 10 and 19! Enough to go around.
An update of the past 6 months
One crew will soon be canvassing across Canada to find out what organizations and individuals offer paddling instruction for kids. We intend to publish that list on the GKP website. Send us your information if this applies to you, and/or send us organizations that you know of that offer instruction.
We also want to engage in discussions with all those offering instruction so we can share ideas right across Canada. Who knows what could come from this kind of collaboration?
Another crew is focussing on school paddling programs in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, BC and the Territories. In the past, school programs have been outstanding for introducing kids to the Canadian outdoors. In recent years, restrictions have been strangling. We hope to identify, address and correct many of the issues.
We’ve heard of some school programs that did take place in 2020. If you know of any, let us know. Also let us know of schools, boards and leaders in your part of the country that have made paddling happen.
And then there’s the WHY of it all. Why is it important to you to get kids paddling? I’ve already shared my rationale on the website. We want to hear from all of you who want to share your thinking, and will publish all that is sent to us. And why? Because what you say may help others express what they are thinking.
We will share the research we are gathering. To what end? To help us build the needed arguments to bolster our cause when we have to deal with others who don’t understand, or who are afraid.
There is more in the works. Later.
Our website is becoming more functional. It has always contained great resources regarding trip preparation and background information.
Please share this website with others and encourage them to join us by signing up. You sign up too.
And think about joining us by offering your help. There’s plenty of freeboard.
Dave Goldman, Chair
Get Kids Paddling
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Here on Vancouver Island, Coastal Bliss Adventures gets kids paddling through our Cowichan Bay Kayaking location. While we were not able to run any overnight programs we had lots of fun and learning with day programs. We also taught a number of local school programs right through into October, with Paddle Canada Canoe, Kayak and SUP board programs. A number of our staff have come up through our kids and youth paddle programs and just recently took to Whitewater kayaking.