Plan to arrive in Honey Harbour by 4 p.m. on Friday May 26th to catch the shuttle to the Camp, the actual course begins at 6 p.m. The lessons will happen from about 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. We will expect to wrap it up by 4 p.m. on Sunday May 28th.
YMCA Camp Kitchikewana
May 26-8, 2017
This is a residential course at Camp Kitchekawan on beautiful Beauseoleil Island in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. This location provides us with a near perfect combination of protected and exposed paddling conditions. There are friendly beaches and challenging rocky shores for us to use as we desire. This is Georgian Bay in late May, but the sheltered shallows of the Camp are surprisingly warm (don't tell your friends - let them think we are awesomely tough).
Although there are no course prerequisites, some kayaking experience would be beneficial. Comfort in the outdoors and in the water is a real plus.
Food and Lodging
We will be sleep in unheated cabins. There are comfort stations with running water available. You should bring a warm sleeping bag and pillow.
The camp will provide three meals a day "Summer Camp" style. You may wish to bring some snacks for the evening or between lessons. Let us know is you have any special dietary requirements.
You may wish to bring a bit of alcohol to enjoy in the evening after all paddling has been completed.
The course goes on – rain, shine or snow! So bring some warm clothing and rain gear. Layering always works well.
That being said, our largest problems over the years have been heat and sun. We will be out in the open for hours at a time so don’t forget the long sleeved SPF shirts, hats, sun glasses, water bottle and sun screen. If you have small dry bags they can also be handy as day bags
An important part of safe kayaking is knowing how to perform a rescue. There is a fair amount of rescue work in an instructor level course. The water will be cold at this time of year but it will be tolerable. I will do what I can to minimize your exposure time, but it would be good to have more than a swim suit to protect you.
I have a number of wet suits in various sizes that you will be able to use. If you plan to do any kayaking outside of the July to September period you would wise to invest in some neoprene. You don’t want a heavy wet suit such as would be used for diving. Either a “shorty” or “farmer john” style generally works well for kayaking.
Other useful things (if you have them) are nose plugs, swim goggles and swim caps. Any type of neoprene head or hand gear that you might use for cycling or skiing might also help.
The cost is $325.00. There is no H.S.T. This cost includes:
Food and Lodging
ORCKA Coastal Kayak Level 1 certification for successful candidates
Use of a Kayak and required paddling gear
This course may be combined with the instructor course on the following week-end. Details here.