We all know kids are sponges. Our job as adults then becomes exposing them to fun, healthy and rewarding activities to absorb.
At Wet Planet we believe presenting options for movement in a child’s life will exponentially increase the health of an individual later in life. Yet, kayaking goes beyond the typical form of exercise. A unique sport, kayaking gets kids in the outdoors as well as develops skill necessary for success in other areas of their lives. Thus, through the development of whitewater kayaking skills, kids experience increased overall joy.
Through a winter kayak skill building camp, kids benefit from Wet Planet’s exceptional and fun kayak instruction staff, as well as a program suited for any learning style. Held in the warm waters of the Aquatic Center, flatwater techniques and games will help build a solid – and safe – foundation for kids to take to the rivers this summer.
And better yet…your child can try this incredible activity for the first time ABSOLUTELY FREE!
The rewards of developing a foundation in whitewater kayaking extend beyond normal sports.
First, and most obviously, kids get outside.
The natural world has long served as human’s ultimate teacher. By opening the senses to the outdoors, kids develop skills that benefit their mind and bodies throughout life.
According to the recent ‘Moving Outdoors in Nature Act of 2010′ United States Congress stated that “Experiencing our Nation’s natural splendor contributes to healthier lives for all Americans and a deeper appreciation for the outdoors, and those who take advantage of the opportunities afforded them in the outdoors generally live longer, healthier, fuller lives than those who do not.” (S 2, 2010)
The bill continues to describe mental health benefits, increased creativity, improved moods and higher quality rest that children receive from simply stepping out of buildings and into the natural world.
It’s almost as if the trees take away ADHD, rivers inspire critical thinking and fresh air wipes away bad attitudes.
Second, kayaking requires unique body movements that call on balance, coordination and agility.
Responding to the current of a river requires reaction skills and coordinated body movements. Pure strength can not be used. Therefore, kids kayaking camps serve as the perfect form of exercise for their smaller body types. Whitewater kayaking requires whole body integration. Not just an upper body workout, controlling a kayak in a rapid means using different subtle movements based on feel. The best way to develop this type of skill is practice and proper techniques.
This type of movement also translates well into a variety of other outdoor sports, such as skiing, snowboarding and biking.
Lastly, kids who learn to kayak develop self-confidence early.
By mastering skills and progressing each week, a child begins to see the connection between success and consistent practice. Once adventures on the river and learning to take risks responsibly are added, the life lessons come pouring in.
The Moving Outdoors in Nature Act emphasizes that seeking out adventure and the subsequent respect for nature lead to increased self-discipline. And who doesn’t want their kid to have self-discipline? (S 2, 2010)
How can Wet Planet’s Winter Kid’s Kayak Camp provide these things?
At Wet Planet, our instructors are specialized.
Having worked with a variety people and settings, the kayak instruction staff understands the difference in learning styles between kids and adults. Instructors will introduce a new skill or technique with each month’s session. Practice and repetition will be disguised as games and fun activities for the remainder of the session. In addition, instructors make time for individual instruction throughout each session to adapt to every child’s unique learning style.
The program is developed to build a foundation of flatwater skills, as well as introduce new ones, no matter when kids enter the series.
If a child can only attend a few of the sessions, he or she will not be lost amongst others who have had more time in their boats. However, with each session, comfort and control in a kayak will dramatically increase. Again, repetition is the key here.
Specialized gear can be provided upon request.
Kids grow fast, thus purchasing kayaking equipment can be as difficult as keeping a child in the same pair of shoes for more than a year. In addition, many kids new to the sport are unaware of they type of gear they might require. Wet Planet can easily bring all the required gear at no extra charge–with sufficient notice–so that the program can be available to anyone who might be interested.
Mostly, Wet Planet wants to give kids an easy, fun way to connect to their bodies and the outdoors. As studies confirm, it might even lead to a happier and healthier future for everyone.
When and Where?
Winter kayak sessions begin on January 29 with a special FREE AFTERNOON OF KIDS KAYAK INSTRUCTION!
Yes, this means that your child can attend the first month’s kayak instruction session FREE! (Pool entry will need to be supplied, however the pool offers a 2-for-1 special at only $5 on this date! Kids can bring a friend and try out a new and exciting sport!)
Sessions continue each month on…
Students will meet instructors and equipment at the Hood River Aquatic Center at 11:00 am. Each session lasts 2 hours, ending at 1:00pm. Parents may either drop kids off, or stay and watch.
Again, try out this unique and fun program for FREE on January 29th, an opportunity hard to pass up. Each successive course will cost $40. However, a package of all 6 courses for only $200 is available when paid in full. Reservation required, space is limited.
Give your child the opportunity for a fun, warm winter activity that might even lead to a life more with a deeper connection to self and the natural world as well as more rich in joy.
Moving Outdoors in Nature Act of 2010, H.R. 6426, 111th Cong., 2nd Sess. (2010).
Susan Hollingsworth‘s favorite kayak instruction moments include seeing a kid surf a wave for the first time.