The Chester Bowl Summer Camp runs June to August and it aims to help get kids outdoors during their summer breaks.
Sam Luoma, Programming/Operations Manager Chester Bowl said, “We’re outside every single day. We do field trips Tuesdays and Thursdays and then were in Chester bowl on Mondays and Wednesdays.”
Last week the kids got to go on a field trip to Island Lake to learn a new skill from the local tour guide company, Day Tripper of Duluth.
“They are going to be teaching our campers how to paddle canoes. And beyond that, we’re having fun outside.” said Luoma.
For some of these kids, it was their first time in a canoe. But the canoe they got to ride in was a little bigger than normal ones, at least compared to today’s standards.
Jake Boyce, Co-Owner of Day Tripper of Duluth, said “The big canoe is modeled after a north canoe just like what the voyagers would’ve used to cross the boundary waters area, or to Hudson Bay, or two anywhere from here to the Gulf of Mexico.”
The 25-foot canoe weighs about 300-pounds! But working as a team the kids were able to get the canoe to the lake and onto the water.
The big canoe can hold 10 adults or 12 kids, making it great for parties!
“We’ve done many birthday parties with the big canoe, and preschoolers, toddlers, that kind of thing. Our youngest paddler in any tour has been two years old.” said Boyce.
Although the guides at Day Tripper of Duluth will bring out adults and kids, they do have a good time with the younger crowd.
Boyce explains, “Kids are just always eager to learn, everything is cool with them. I’ve never had a kid who hasn’t had a smile on his or her face after or during the tour. Its fun to just watch them explore the world.”
Chester Bowl Summer Camp hopes days like this on the water, along with other outdoor education helps expand our youths engagement with the great outdoors.
Luoma said, “We also teach a lot of outdoors skills. We do campfire cooking on Mondays and Wednesdays, and we do a lot of outdoors skill stuff like today like learning to canoe.”
Camp organizers say they are mostly booked for this year, with just a couple days here and there open. You’ll want to sign up early next year to ensure you get a spot.