Girl Scouts Learn Canoe Basics

Geese Overhead

This has been just about the most glorious weekend ever.  Especially cool was that a whole bunch of girls, including some who had never been there before, got to experience Camp Timbercrest during the riotous colors of fall.  Girls came from around the council to work on a canoe and kayak Interest Project.

It is especially poignant to those of us who grew up coming to Camp Timbercrest every summer to see girls come here to learn canoeing.  Esther Keyser (“Skipper”) was instrumental in establishing this property as a Girl Scout Camp and served as Camp Director in the early days.  The lake is named in her honor, as is Skipper’s Rock.  Esther went on to become the first female licensed guide in Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada.  She wrote a book of her experiences there called Paddling My Own Canoe.  Her legacy is great and her spirit lives on at Girl Scout Camp Timbercrest.

Karen Cotton and Concetta Young were co-instructors for the paddling part of the day.  Girls learned basic strokes together in the Dining Hall on benches before hitting the water.

Practicing Strokes Before Hitting the Water

Out on the Lake, they stayed close to shore for a few practice strokes, then took off on an Amazing Race to the swim dock, then back to Jackman’s Bay, around the Peninsula to Skipper’s Rock, and home again to the Boat Dock.

Girls Approach Clue on the Peninusula

Paddling Past the Totem Pole

Maddie and Jessica

I had to leave shortly after the paddling part, but there were more workshops in the afternoon with Mike from Evergreen Outfitters.

There are plenty more photos at my Flickr Site.  Click here to see them.  Any member of Girl Scouts of Western New York is welcome to download any of these photos.  In Flickr, select the photo you want, then click “all sizes”.  Select the size you want, then click download.


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