At the Boathouse
July 21, 2011

Ten kids this week - two new ones and some who have come once or twice. We started the day with a rousing game of Peg/Patch/Hook: Split 'em into crews and have 'em decide their strategy, line 'em up and have 'em fire a broadside at each other. Peg beats Patch, Patch beats Hook, and Hook beats Peg. The crew that wins three rounds 'sinks' the other ship.

After Peg/Patch/Hook, its into the lifejackets and into the boats. Chase and Jacob took off in a canoe.

I cannot remember the name of the girl in the yellow jacket, but Arianna was on the oars in the dory.

Never ask an 8-year-old to smile for the camera.

Cade chose to go it alone in the dinghy. Notice that it's just kids in boats - they are becoming captains of their own destines. Adults were spread around in boats of their own - like Leland in the aluminum canoe - just in case someone needed help.

Nice group shot. I encourage active paddling/rowing. Sometimes we play a game called Buoy Tag where you toss a float from boat to boat.

The change in abilities has been astonishing. Heather had been a reluctant participant at the start, but she can really row now!

Some boats row easier than others, and some people like one boat more than the rest. I do my best to make sure we keep switching boats throughout the day - we are there to learn how to operate all the boats.

The Toledo Community Boathouse is on Depoe Slough - a backwater off the Yaquina River. It's about a quarter mile from the boathouse to the truck bridge, and I've been using the bridge as a goal for the kids. The slough is tidal, and the water can really come ripping through the bridge, so we have to time things carefully.

We all made it under the bridge this time - I even got them to go all the way to the railroad bridge. We are getting a LOT better.

Here's another group shot - I love seeing the slough full of boats.

Leland and Jim are helping keep an eye on the chaos.

The Boathouse isn't just a "kid's paddle around" place - there's actual boats being built there, too. This is a cool shot because it shows three generations of the Johnson family (l-r) grandpa Rick, Rick's son, Aaron, and grandson Leland, all working together to build a Phil Bolger Glouchester Light Dory in time for the Toledo Wooden Boat Show at the end of August. That's Lucy the Wonder Hound in the background.

Things are going well with the Boathouse. We are starting to get funding through donations and products like our Skin-on-Frame kayak and custom canoe paddles. Not bad at all.