Kayak campers get taste of life on the river

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jul 31, 2013 - 01:29 PM

Photo: Kids Kayak and Conservation Camp beginners, from left, Jon Langley Deagle, Chris James, Barrett Gay, Jessie Waldron (instructor assistant) and Colin Hansford practice handling their kayaks in Raines Creek on Monday morning. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Kids Kayak and Conservation Camp beginners, from left, Jon Langley Deagle, Chris James, Barrett Gay, Jessie Waldron (instructor assistant) and Colin Hansford practice handling their kayaks in Raines Creek on Monday morning. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Monday’s weather was perfect for the first day of the Kids Kayak and Conservation Camp, sponsored by the Mathews Maritime Foundation and Mathews County. With a light breeze blowing and low humidity, nearly 20 youth stuck their paddles in the water, some for the first time.

The week-long camp, which featured both land and water-based activities, was held in and around the East River at Bohannon.

This is the fifth year of the camp. According to its director Janet Loyd, it serves as a "multi-disciplinary multi-partner collaborative program that addresses the needs and develops skills, confidence, physical strength, coordination and environmental intellect for 20 middle school youth emphasizing conservation and maritime heritage while reducing their ‘nature deficit’ through the camp experience on the East River."

Each morning, 10 campers have kayak instruction while the others participate in conservation activities, Loyd said. At noon, both groups switch activities and locations. All land-based activities are inside the West Mathews Civic League building at Bohannon and all water-based activities have been conducted in Raines Creek and in the East River.