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True Stories From The
Great Outdoors Club

Ummmm ....Now Just Where Did We Put That ROPE??
True Story Submitted By:
P. Gandron, Mechanicville, NY

One fine Sunday morning we had a new group of boy scouts in the river in canoes. A few of them had never been in one before, very few were real experienced.

We had 2 canoes of scouts in the water at a time, each with a coach or coaches nearby in their own boat.

We started by going through some basic strokes with them. Before too long they were all navigating pretty well. We made sure that they could all turn and stop the canoe as well as move it through the water.

Next we had them swap positions while in deep water, each pair did it twice (so they all got a taste of doing it from each direction).

Then the fun really began! We had the boys swamp the canoes, climb back into them while they were full of water, and paddle back to shore. This might sound like a simple task, but a canoe full of water is very easily rolled over, it requires a coordinated effort by both partners.

Most of them did really well, one team ended up 400 or 500 yards down river before being towed to shore! They weren't in any danger, there were 2 leaders right with them the whole time in their own canoe. I had to send one of the older scouts down to them with one of my kayaks, (seems there was no rope in either of the canoes downriver)!

The rest of the teams fared better, we had them rolling and back to shore in pretty short order. When we got them all squared away we couldn't resist ribbing the other coaches about their unscheduled trip downriver!

The boys all had so much fun rolling the canoes that they all did it 2 or 3 times. They haven't vaulted into the canoes without swamping them yet, nor have they worked on rescues, but we'll work on those another time!

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