Update 12-2-21: On Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving back, we donated $1298.72 to the Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club! We contributed this portion of Black Friday sales to support local youth on their kayaking journey and to help the club grow their programs. If you made a donation or a purchase during our Black Friday Sale – thank you! Together, we were able to give back to our community and help make kayaking accessible to local youth.

Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club

You may remember Naomi Elyard, who has been a part of the Wet Planet team since 2016! She joined the team when she was just 14 years old working in the Wet Planet Cafe. Meanwhile, she was busy in her spare time becoming a Class V kayaker, and in her last year of high school she headed off to World Class Academy to travel the world and go kayaking. Amidst her adventures, she dreamed up the Columbia Gorge Youth Kayaking Club as a means to share her passion for kayaking with the next generation.

Mission of the Junior Kayak Club

The mission of Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club is “connecting youth to nature through whitewater kayaking, community, and adventure.” Naomi’s idea took hold, and with the help of Anna Wagner and Lillie Goodson, the club was born in the Spring of 2020. The past two summers, they have hosted weekly paddles on the Lower White Salmon, as well as pool sessions in Hood River. The programs are open to all local youth free of charge, and are often a great next step for kids who have participated in Wet Planet’s Youth Kayaking Camps. It’s a great way for them to continue paddling in a supportive environment with kids their age, and the club does great work of making kayak accessible to local youth from all backgrounds.

“We aim to break barriers and make kayaking more accessible to the youth in our community through pool sessions, weekly paddles, and our gear rental program.”

Expanding programs to reach more local youth

As the club continues to grow, they have big plans for expanding their programs. In the summer of 2022, they hope to

  • Continue weekly paddles on the Lower White Salmon and pool sessions in Hood River
  • Expand the weekly calendar with regular youth safety practice through a safety night, gathering to practice rescues, tie knots, and throw ropes.
  • Offer 3 pool sessions in Goldendale and 3 inflatable kayaking trips on the Klickitat River in partnership with Big River

Not only are they making an impact locally, they’re bringing their mission overseas. Lillie and Naomi have tentative plans to go down to Bolivia to represent the club on a river exchange with Rios To Rivers, assisting activists and youth who are trying to create a youth club similar to Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club.

Support the Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club

The club needs financial support to make these programs possible. This Giving Tuesday, Wet Planet is donating a percentage of our Black Friday sales to support local youth in our community as they continue their paddling journey!

Want to support the Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club? Take advantage of our Black Friday Sale, or donate through out online store!

Kids Kayaking Summer Camp