And while the Paddling School instructors value every one of their students, sharing the sport with kids is extra-special, since the kids represent the future of the sport, and have a lifetime to take advantage of the beauties and thrills of whitewater paddling. These two programs made this summer great for our instructors:
NOC Kids Week Kayak Camp - Five times this summer the NOC Paddling School hosted children from 9 to 17 years old in a week-long camp, teaching the basics of kayaking, building kids' confidence and encouraging the creation of life-long paddling friendships and acquaintances.
The highlight of the kids' camp is always the last day where all parents are invited to come see the progress their children have made throughout the camp. Group parents and children paddle together, with "uninitiated" parents paddling the Nantahala River in "duckies" (inflatable kayaks).
|Group shot of parents, children and instructors at Ferebee Park before padding the Nantahala River|
Cherokee Choices Program - This summer NOC also worked with Cherokee Choices, an organization that teaches local Cherokee residents how to lead an active lifestyle and take advantage of area outdoor recreation opportunities. In one three hour session, NOC Paddling School Instructor, Bailey O'Sullivan, taught fifteen teenagers the basics of stand up paddle boarding. Most of the students had never been on a paddle board before this program, but now they have the experience to get back out on their own to paddle board on their local lakes and rivers.
|The group SUPing and swimming in Lake Fontana|