Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010...7:33 pm

The Youth Challenge Continues and despite the weather the kids are improving in Cornwall:)

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Today I am sitting at home while the rain is beating down on the house. The Thunder is rolling and that has a less than great effect on our Youth Program in Cornwall. We arrived this evening at the Cornwall waterfront only to have to turn the kids and their parents back….But they came just to make sure and that means they are really into it and we assured them we would be ready for them next week.
Let’s hope that the rain gods give us a break tomorrow evening.

On the upside I can tell you all about last week’s programming :)

Last week was all about perseverance and the beginning of the roll. The kids worked hard and we had a few crisis’s but everyone pulled through.
No matter how often we repeat the wet exit we know that some of our smiling kids will go over and upside down… then… panic :) This year was no exception. Fortunately our volunteers and instructors are quick on the draw and each young person learned a lesson and understood a bit more about safety, practice and confidence. A few tears on occasion and a lesson learned ends in a bigger smile when the same young person nails the next step of the program. Soo cool!
Our progression starts with boat balance, then hip snaps, T-rescues then into the roll.

Now we roll: We have a few young people that are just a day away from being there. Chris, Eric and Kylar are right there. This week we should see them fall in and start a consistent roll.
Several others have the required skills and we will work on their confidence tomorrow evening. And we have those who are not there or just don’t want to. That is OK. Everyone has their own learning speed and comfort level and we encourage the kids to work and play where they are comfortable. It all falls into place with time and attention.

After some serious work on rolling and hip snaps we released the kids into a fun game of stand-up paddling. That is always a great way to end an evening. Splashing, laughing and clowning around :)

We also started our “leave it cleaner then when we arrived” part of the program. Each week we assign 4 kids to tour the waterfront and fill a garbage bag with the stuff people leave behind” In a short period (about 5 minutes) the bag is full. The next evening we do it again. This will continue until the end of the program and I believe that the kids will be blown away about the amount of stuff that people drop and also about the effect they can have. If 4 people can fillĀ  bag in 5 minutes imagine what could be done if everyone who goes to parks and beaches and river fronts could achieve if they cleaned up!!!

We have also asked parents to start planning for a drive to Valleyfield for the kids’ first whihtewater fun! August 14th is coming up fast and we can hardly wait! Till then we have a few more sessions in Cornwall and we will continue to work on rolling and keeping those kids smiling!

Till next time,
Play hard and play safe,

Robert Zwanenburg

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