Children who love canoeing maximize their time on the Charles as a NEOC River Runner! This week-long, canoe-focused experience includes developing or advancing canoeing skills, individual and team challenges, and lots of fun on-the-water games. Campers change canoeing partners throughout the week, which encourages both friendships and mentoring. Each Thursday is a day-long adventure on the river!!
Camp days are divided into five activity periods, plus lunchtime. Three to four of the activity periods are spent on the water learning or practicing canoeing skills, tackling challenges, playing games, or learning about the river ecosystem. Examples of on-land activities are arts and crafts, field games, field sports, meditation, outdoor survival skills, trail walks, and water games.
Campers work together to carry canoes and equipment to and from the canoe launch each day, and rinsing equipment as needed, to develop their sense of responsibility.
Please know that late drop-offs and early pick-ups are strongly discouraged for campers in River Runners, especially on their trip day.
Structure of a Week
To ensure the safest experience, River Runners begin their week with two land-based periods where they get to know one another and establish rules and behavior expectations. Soon enough, they are on the river learning or polishing the basic canoeing strokes, and getting to know their initial paddling partners. The day wraps up with both on-land and on-the-river games and challenges.
Tuesday includes personal goal setting, practicing basic strokes, working on more advanced strokes, and working with new paddling partners. In the afternoon campers typically tackle an on-river obstacle course or treasure hunt.
On Wednesday, campers prepare for their day-long river adventure by pairing up to practice their strokes, learning to portage, planning the field games to play at their lunchtime picnic spot, and strategizing how to divide the food and equipment needed on the trip. Of course, there are plenty of on-land and on-the-river games and challenges sprinkled through the day!
Thursday is the big trip day! (unless thunderstorms are predicted, in which case the trip will move to other day)
On Friday, campers work on any remaining elements to achieve their personal goals and earn their certificate. Favorite on-land and on-the-river games are played and campers face a final river challenge. The week wraps-up with time on the NEOC giant slip-n-slide and s'mores.
River Runners set personal goals to achieve canoeing certifications:
- Intro to Canoeing
- Stroke Mastery
- Essentials of River Canoeing
- River Canoeing
- Advanced River Canoeing
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