Summer Reflections feat. Madawaska CCM White Water Week - a blog by Bretton Clark

Here at The Canadian Canoe Museum, we are very fortunate to work with a top notch, first class, amazing, passionate and dedicated group of volunteers and staff! We know we say this all the time, but it is just so very true!

We also know that yesterday was the first day of fall - but we want to spend just a bit more time reflecting on the wonderful summer season we had full of fun and paddling!

Our Paddling Camps are staffed by a variety of passionate and talented outdoor educators, and we couldn't be more pleased to work with each and every one of them. Two of these folks, Briagh Hoskins-Hasbury and Bretton Clark, also run an amazing business of their own, maybe you have heard of it? The Land Canadian Adventures? I you haven't you must check them out! They are doing incredible things with outdoor experiences, education, and community building.

We have been fortunate to partner with The Land in many capacities including our National Canoe Day celebration this past year (when we celebrated by filling the Lift Lock with 138 canoes and kayaks!) (Great video can be seen here by Evan Holt of Traversing)

Bretton from The Land co-guided our Whitewater Week Paddling Camp on the Madawaska River this past August and wrote a fantastic piece reflecting on his experience! 

Briagh has been instructing in the Canadian Canoe Museum’s summer ORCKA paddling camps for two seasons now, and has really enjoyed sharing her paddling love, knowledge and experience with the young folks of our community through the weeklong and day classes.  This season, I’ve been able to jump in on some of the CCM’s amazing programs as well, paddling avant in the Voyageur Canoe with the unparalleled Jen Bernard back in June and most recently co-leading the White Water Week Camp with fellow wilderness guide Kim Chamberlain, and ten intrepid canoe campers on the Lower Madawaska River.
 
Photo: Running Rapids on the Madawaska River
 
After a rendezvous and icebreaker activities at the Canoe Museum on Monday morning, we packed and bussed to Palmer Rapids to set up camp at the Paddler Co-op and commence our flatwater progression workshop.  On the way up, we discussed the various roles of the camp skills leaders, and had the canoe-campers assign themselves various duties: camp meister organizes shelter and water purification and supervises set up and takedown; navigator navigates, and gives briefings about the day’s travels; weather meister predicts the weather and ensures that campers prepare for it; and camp leader and assistant leader manage the other roles, timing of events, and write up the daily trip report.  Campers were quite surprised when they also had to sign up for which meal they would prepare, since some of them apparently don’t do much of the cooking at home!  Roles changed daily to give folks a chance to try on a variety of hats, and everyone pitched in.  

Read the rest on The Land's Gunwhale Blog! Click here