By Matt Vogel, Returning Counselor and Kayaking Elective Leader
During the electives blocks between lunch and dinner, the lake is lively and full of kayaking adventures. It is often one of the most popular electives that we offer here at 6 Points Sports Academy. I have been working with the kayaking elective for three years now and it truly is one of the best electives. I call it a hidden gem sometimes. I work with two of our head coaches, Lauren Rubenstein and Timmy Kehrig, and two counselors, Maura Grindle and Meghan Bohny, to make sure that there is always coverage on the dock and on the water.
On the first day, we spend time taking swim tests at our indoor pool and learning about how to safely maneuver a kayak out of the boat shed, into and out of the water, and how to paddle safely. The second day of electives is the first day we really get to get out on the water and test our skills. The lake is always beautiful and welcoming. The water is calming while you paddle out. We kayak all around looking for turtles and other marine life. While the first day of swim tests and “theoretical” lessons is fun, the kids really learn how to make those lessons practical the first day we are on the lake.
Kayaking can be challenging at first, but those campers who have never done it before always learn on the spot how to turn and control the boat, working with or against the natural current of the lake. The veterans or experienced kayakers, whether they have learned to kayak in previous sessions or done it at home before, love to race and practice sharp turns and braking.
There are always one counselor and one coach out on the water with the campers, guiding them in tours looking at the marine life or working on helping them with any maneuvers. On the tours of the lake, our campers are avidly looking out at the water for fish and turtles, as they love to follow our boats sometimes. On the last day of our electives we do what we call “pirate wars.” Each boat is given a water gun and the children square off in an epic duel usually soaking them head to toe.
We always have fun down in our little haven by the lake. The remoteness and tranquility of our location sets this elective apart from the rest of camp. It allows us to take a break from team sports and focus on nature, and it is what makes kayaking at 6 Points Sports one of a kind.