Paddling Symposium slated for July

Symposium will include four days of beginner instruction for kids ages 8-15

PAUL SMITHS — The inaugural Adirondack Youth Paddling Symposium is set for July 15-18 at the Paul Smith’s College Alumni Campground.

Presented by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Matt Burnett Guiding, St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters and NRS, the Youth Paddling Symposium will provide four days of beginner instruction for kids ages 8-15.

“This is an opportunity for kids who’ve never paddled or camped before to learn the basics,” said Matt Burnett. “We shouldn’t take for granted that people who grow up in wild places intrinsically know the skills needed for overnight adventures in the woods. Our goal with this Symposium is to help newcomers get their feet wet — figuratively and literally — in a safe and supportive environment.”

“Paddling is among the most popular outdoor, life-long activities in the Adirondacks, but it can be inaccessible for some families who don’t have the time or means to teach their kids the skills to enjoy it safely,” said Karrie Thomas, the NFCT’s executive director. “We hope this event will introduce a new cohort of kids to the sport we love.”

Instruction will be led by Burnett, an experienced Adirondack guide who has been leading overnight paddle trips with kids in partnership with the NFCT for over 10 years, with support from Matt Smith. The itinerary includes:

¯ Introduction to camping (setting up tents, building campfires, shelter building, first aid),

¯ Introduction to paddling and paddling safety

¯ Introduction to fishing

¯ Paddling excursions

¯ Campfire storytelling

The Youth Paddling Symposium costs $250 per child, which covers all costs including gear, food and instruction. Kids do not need to own outdoor gear of any kind to participate. Scholarships to cover the cost of participation are available; email karrie@northernforestcanoetrail.org to learn more.

To register and for more information, visit bit.ly/youthpaddlingsymposium.


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