Saturday, July 14th, 2012...5:44 am

First days of the 2012 Youth Program

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Well, I am a week late but I have some pictures J Thanks to Kari-Anne from the Boys and Girls!

We had a big waiting list for the Wednesday evening so we have 2 classes this season as Robert is in Toronto and will be for most of the summer L and also, all the kids are pretty much the same size so boat wise, 2 groups work well. So we have one from 4:30 to 6:30 with 6 kids for which I am the only instructor ( When Zachary comes back he will be able to help me and Emily jumps in the water to help out when she gets back from her Hoop class too so I am not really alone J) and then 12 kids from 6:30 to 8:30. And along with my kids, I have Eric and Jen to help me for this one, thank you to both of them!!! I also have Zoe, a returning Youth Program enthusiast from last year that comes to give us a hand and I think Eric and Charles, both returning enthusiasts as well will be helping out for the next few weeks, I am very lucky to be surrounded by all these great people!!

First evening is just getting to know the kids and what they expect and why they signed up for this class. Some were apparently forced to, to keep them active I guess or just to try something new. Turns out he was the most enthusiast about kayaking at the end of the evening J.

I try to learn all the names and I usually get it by the third class 1 or 2 name aside that I might confuse all summer L I try very hard! Mine is written on my helmet so the kids have no excuse J

For the kids, they get to meet the instructors and volunteers, get introduced to a new sport and have to trust us with their lives as we flip them upside down and assure them that we will bring them right back up! We do J

Big night for everyone! Some were ok with the whole upside down thing but for others, it took until the second week to want to try that. As long as they can get out of the kayak without a skirt and no panic, I am happy so we work at their own pace after that. I bet that by the third week, everyone will have done the wet exit with the skirt on, judging from the interest in trying it by the end of Wednesday evening J

As I try to get them to do the wet exit in a relaxed manner, I tell them to think of a favorite place, thing, song, whatever will make them relax while upside down in the water. One kid said he did not have any favorite place, game, song, until I thought of a favorite food J So, while upside down, to stay calm, he thought about ribs J That sounded good and it worked very well for him, downside, I thought about ribs too and am having a craving for them!! Maybe ribs will be on the menu this weekend.

So, 18 new kids on the water this season! Both evenings were a blast; 2 hours just flew by with both groups. By the second evening, they were all paddling straighter, had better balance and were a lot more confident! I am looking forward to next Wednesday so we can all paddle together and I can witness their progress!!

Thank you t the Cornwall and SDG Boys and Gilrs club for their partnership and to the Ontario Power Generation for their continuing support!!!

Happy paddling!



Pictures are from the first group on the first week, I will add more as I get them.

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