It’s 5:00am, the alarm is going off and it’s still raining outside. We have a paddling program today… this is not good. We tell ourselves its going to be okay- the sun is going to come out, everyone is going to show up and it is going to be a fabulous day! And you know what? We were totally right. As we were hooking up the canoes at 6:00am, the sun started peeking through the clouds. The drive down the beautiful Sonoita Highway exposed more and more blue skies. The landscape was lush and green from the rain. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day! We arrived at Patagonia State Park at 8:00am, right on schedule. We dropped some Girl Scout cookies with the Rangers and then headed to the marina. Having not hauled anything behind my truck in several years, Gerry and Dan had to coach me on how to back up the trailer. (Slightly embarrassing moment that ended with me beaming with pride because I actually did it.) Good skill to master! Already waiting for us at the water were our Southern Arizona Paddling Club volunteers Jack and Christina and their 2 kids Nicole and Ray. They helped us unload and tow the boats to the beach. It wasn’t long before a mass of girls started gathering under a nearby ramada. In fact, there was a mass of about 60 girls, their troop leaders and parents. What a turnout! Once we were able to verify that everyone was wearing sunscreen, shoes and had water with them we jumped right in! Literally. The first activity was a tip test! The girls floated out in the water and had to tip their canoes over, get back in and then paddle their swamped canoes back to shore. There were definitely some terrified faces on the way out, but only grins on the way back in. The girls also learned how to do a canoe over canoe rescue and the capistrano flip- all important skills to master before we set them loose for a paddling adventure on the lake! Once they were on the lake, everyone learned the importance of teamwork and communication- sometimes the hard way.
Big Thank You’s to our volunteers Christina, Jack, Ray, Nicole and our Girl Scout Troop/Crew 643! Also a big thanks to all the staff who came out to help me make this program such a huge success: Courtney, Gerry, Dan, Kat and Rachel! You guys rock. And last but certainly not least- thank you to the troops and individual girls who were willing to drive an hour and a half to experience something new and learn new skills. You guys are all truly amazing!
Our next scheduled paddling trip is an overnight on the mighty Colorado in April! If you or your troop are interested in earning the Small Craft or Paddle, Pole and Roll badges, feel free to contact us. You can reach us at email@example.com.