Hosted on the banks of the Ottawa river in Ontario, Canada is the best whitewater kayaking school in the World. Some of the best kayakers in the industry; Clay Wright, Steven Wright, Tyler Curtis, Benny Marr, Bren Orten and even myself can be seen coaching during any of the three sessions, held every summer. After finishing up session one of this season, I came up with 10 reasons why you should send your kayaking kids to this world class program. There are so many other reasons, feel free to ask in the comments section if you have any
Three weeks allows time for growth: Your kid will come out of this program a better human, all around.
First Aid certifications: If your kid hasn’t yet been a part of a wilderness first aid program, their first weekend will be spent doing a WFA course and they will finish the camp with a river first aid kit that they are accountable for.
Swift-water Rescue certifications: During the second week your kid will be a part of a two day intensive swift water rescue course. This course will allow your child to learn whitewater safety in a controlled environment with instructors by their side the whole way.
Changing water levels of the Ottawa: The Ottawa is a wide, pool drop, river allowing for many different lines on many different channels. Through the three weeks, we allow the kids to push themselves, at their speed, while teaching them safe scouting techniques. One day we may be surfing the famous Mini-Bus wave and the next we will be running creek lines down Garvins’ rapid.
The kids take accountability for their actions: Kids get punish push-ups for swearing, being late, and disobedience. We also don’t allow the kids to get on the water until their beds are made and houses are clean.
Play-boating technique crosses over to river running/creeking: The sessions are heavily freestyle focused allowing for many kids to surf countless amounts of waves and features through the three weeks. Boat and edge control crosses into a creek boat and creates a better rounded kayaker overall.
Creating goals and sticking to them: We allow the kids to create goals for themselves that are both challenging and realistic while building on the talents they already have.
Blog writing: Just as I am writing this blog, all of the kids take accountability and write their own blogs on the Keener page about anything their heart desires. You can read some from the past programs here.
Speech night: Your kids will become better public speakers and gain confidence talking to their peers through speech night.
Lasting friendships: Kayaking creates bonds that are made nowhere else and these friendships can last a lifetime allowing for travel trips and friends all around the World.
The Ottawa Kayak School Keeners program has created hundreds of amazing kayakers. Many of them have gone on to be members of the US or Canadian freestyle teams at international events, others have been a part of expeditions around the World, even more have started teaching kayaking on their own. One thing that is known about this program, it shapes and molds kids into good kayakers and even better human beings. Find out more information here. Do your research now and get your kid signed up before all of the spots are filled up!