Kayaking for Kids

Kid Kayaker

Whitewater kayaking is really catching on with the kids at Rockbook, and not just with our Seniors. Our Middlers, kids in the 5th or 6th grade, are also excited about kayaking.

You might think that is a little young to start such a technical sport, but the camp girls are usually quick to catch on to what’s involved. They learn about the equipment and basic techniques in the Rockbrook lake, and when ready, then move to one of the local rivers.

Even on the Rockbrook Camp property, there is a short section of the French Broad river that provides a great teaching rapid. It’s a nice cove of the river perfect for learning to ferry, peel out, and catch an eddy— three important kayaking maneuvers. Next stop? The Green, the Tuckaseegee, and the Nantahala rivers!

Adventure for Girls

Girls Climbing Camp Adventure

Girls of all ages get at least a taste of adventure while at camp. Even the youngest girls (who, having finished kindergarten, can be as young as 5 years old!) are able to gear up and climb our 50ft Alpine Tower. Even before leaving the ground it’s an adventure— fitting the helmet, tightening the harness, clipping the rope to everything, and learning the belay commands. This kind of outdoor adventure camp activity introduces girls to a few technical details of climbing while at the same time providing a nice balance of physical and personal challenges. It’s balancing up little holds and remaining calm and focused despite a fear of heights.  All good things!

Kids Kayaking Adventure

Kids Adventures Camp Kayaking

Gearing up for another adventure at camp! This time it’s kids whitewater kayaking on the lower Green River over near Saluda, NC.  Learning to paddle a kayak is another outdoor adventure activity that’s incredibly satisfying for kids.  Camps provide everything they need to get excited about the sport— the right equipment, step-by-step instruction, qualified supervision, and a perfect whitewater river.

It’s really fun to strap on all the gear and settle into one of the cool kayaks, even if it is a little scary at first.  But after kids practice getting out of the kayak when they flip over (a “wet exit”) and eventually rolling back upright (a “roll”), they become more confident in the boat and can use their paddle to maneuver around obstacles in the river.  It really gets fun when the camp kids can play on the river, surfing waves, running rapids, ferrying, and catching eddies.

Kayaking adventure for kids at camp.  Very fun stuff.

Kayaking Adventure at Camp

adventure kayaking camps

Outdoor adventure is one of the core camp activity areas at Rockbrook. Our outdoor adventure summer camps focus on backpacking (hiking and camping), rock climbing, whitewater rafting and kayaking. Most recently, rock climbing and kayaking have become increasingly popular, especially with the teens and older girls at camp.

After learning basic kayaking techniques like how to “wet exit” (That’s when you get out of the boat when it tips over upside down.), or how to “roll” (That’s when you roll back rightside up instead of wet exiting.), we head out to some of the local rivers for more outdoor action.  For the more advanced paddlers, we’ll even take trips to the Nantahala river, a Class I, II and III whitewater river nearby.  The mountains of NC, and the rivers that run between them, are just perfect for summer camps and this kind of adventure.

Teen Camp Adventure

Outdoor adventure has been an integral part of Rockbrook Camp since it’s founding in 1921. Hiking in particular has been, and continues to be, very popular. Read this quote!

Girl Teen Camp Hiker

“I remember the week of outdoor adventure that grew into the group we warmly called the Extreme Mountain Women and the slightly less well known Kraft Krew. We did everything from kayaking the upper Green River (water fall and all) bushwacking and hiking on several extensive hikes, climbing, mountian biking and other various mountain loving sports. It is without doubt I say that the friendships formed and the things I learned about myself during that week rest firm beneath my feet as one of the strongest stones in the foundation of who I am today. Thank you. I wish every child had the chance to blossom in a place like Rockbrook. To this day I find it hard to get through “Rockbrook Camp Forever” without my heart overflowing with love and gratitude for that magical place in the woods. So I thank you.”

— a Rockbrook alumna, 1989-1999.

Canoeing Summer Camps 4 Kids

Canoeing Girls at Summer Camp

Speaking of canoeing, it’s still a summer camp activity we offer at Rockbrook. Like most of the outdoor adventure activities, we have a progression where kids first learn basic skills and safety procedures, and then move up to more challenging aspects. For canoeing, we learn the names and uses of the equipment (the boats and paddles, for example), then practice different paddling strokes and techniques to steer the canoes in the water. With all of that firmly in place, we’re off to one of the local rivers— the French Broad, the Green, the Tuckaseegee, or the Nantahala. Each offers its own unique challenges and whitewater thrills.