Education Programs & Events

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A Night Before Christmas at GT Bray, Dec 14 10a-2p

EcoEvents: Outdoor Education Programs & Events Calendar

All our events are open to individuals and immediate family members. We ask that each family register individually. These programs are not available to group reservations. If you have a school, camp, club, or other group that would like to participate in a program, please contact Aedan.Stockdale@mymanatee.org to set up a private program.

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December Calendar of Events

Download a printable version of the December Calendar of Events

Wednesday 4th, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM – EMERSON POINT MANATEE AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRDING TOUR – Search the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Our Audubon guide will lead participants on a tour through Emerson Point’s coastal hammock and mangrove habitats. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Audubon Society. For more information please contact Billie and Jerry Knight at (941) 592-7622. Emerson Point Preserve

Thursday 5th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB: HOLIDAY SPECIAL Join us for a holiday celebration the natural way! Learn how to incorporate nature in your holiday season and let it inspire creative gifts for your family and friends. Get ready for holiday themed experiments and hands on activities the whole family will enjoy. We hope to see you there to celebrate what a great year we have had learning together!  Program recommended for 6-10 year olds, but children of all ages are welcome. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday 6th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – RYE BUTTERFLY COUNT – Moths, caterpillars, and butterflies oh my! Join us for our very first Rye Preserve Butterfly Count, and volunteer to keep track of butterfly biodiversity at our most historic preserve. Bring your camera, guide books, and sense of adventure for a day out in the wild blue yonder studying these fascinating fliers. Start your very own butterfly checklist while learning how to identify native species. In partnership with the Wings Over Florida Butterfly Program. Program is suitable for volunteers 16 and older. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Rye Preserve

Friday 6th, 10:00 AM -11:00 AM – TALL TAILS TRIBE: LIVING OR NON-LIVING – Take a deep breath, all around us are objects that are alive and dead. Trees, mushrooms, and a bird are all living things, but not everything you see is alive. Rocks, clouds, and sand are all nonliving objects that are an important part or our local ecosystem. Through games, songs, and a walk we will discover what parts of our ecosystem are alive.   Program suitable for preschool aged children. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-748-4501 ext.6034. Emerson Point Preserve

Saturday 7th, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – RYE PRESERVE NATURE CENTER OPEN – We are opening the doors of the newest addition to Rye Preserve. Come view a variety of exhibits that highlight the history of Rye and its uplands habitat. Department staff will take visitors on guided tours of the Center, and lead special hands-on activities related to each exhibit.  Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours.  For more information please email ecoevents@mymanatee.org Rye Preserve

Saturday 7th, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – SATURDAY MORNINGS AT THE NEST – Join us at the new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology for a morning of exploration. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please email ecoevents@mymantee.org Robinson Preserve - Mosaic NEST

Saturday 7th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: ORNAMENT MAKING – Nature provides us with great materials for creating beautiful works of art! In this program, we will use natural materials to create special holiday ornaments. These handmade projects will be perfect for decorating your holiday tree, and make for a lovely, thoughtful gift. Don’t forget to bring your creativity! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or e-mail elena.burke@mymanatee.org. $5 materials fee per participant, payable by cash only.  Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday 7th, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM – TORTOISE TALKS – Join us for this informal program on the Valentine House lawn as we take our education tortoise out to graze! In the wild, foraging is an integral part of a gopher tortoise’s lifestyle, so we encourage it as much as possible. Stop by and say hello, get a chance to meet him up close, and ask any questions you may have. Learn all about what tortoises need to survive, how we care for our tortoise, why we have him, and what efforts we can take to protect these important members of our Florida ecosystems. Program suitable for all ages. To register or for more information, please email coral.bass@mymanatee.org Robinson Preserve

Sunday 8th, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM – MORNING FLOW YOGA BENNETT PARK – Join us for a NEW yoga program at Bennett Park. This FREE vinyasa yoga practice is open to all levels.  Start your morning with an invigorating and grounding practice outdoors in the beautiful setting of Bennett Park.  Pair your breath with physical movement to create greater awareness of the physical and mental bodies while gaining strength, flexibility and greater mindfulness. Feel free to bring your kids, your dogs, your friends and let's flow together as a community. Participants must provide own yoga mat. Program sponsored by Kelly Gleason of Studio K2G Yoga and Fitness. Please email michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Tom Bennett Park

Sunday 8th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM – RISE & SHINE POWER FLOW YOGA – Revitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body & Spirit! This power yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement & mindfulness to promote clarity of mind while developing physical strength and stamina, increasing flexibility, burning calories and detoxifying the body! Increase your overall well-being by ending & beginning your week with this empowering & uplifting flow!  Suitable for adults. Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org to register. $10 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Tuesday 10th, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM – ROBINSON PRESERVE MANATEE AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRDING TOUR – Search the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Our Audubon guide will lead participants on a tour through Robinson Preserve’s coastal marshes and mangrove habitats. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. This trip is approximately 1 mile and all guests are encouraged to bring water and comfortable walking shoes. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Audubon Society. This tour will meet at the parking loop of the NEST in the Robinson Preserve Expansion. No reservations needed. For more information, please contact Deb Comeau at (616) 540-6429. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST Parking Area

Tuesday 10th, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM SUNSET TAI CHI – Join us for this monthly class, on the lawn of the newly-opened Mosaic NEST! At sunset on the second Tuesday of the month, Dr. Brian Nell, a fifth degree blackbelt in kung fu and a certified Tai Chi instructor, will lead the group through the gentle movements of Tai Chi. This is a great way to shake off the stressful work week. Improve your balance, loosen your joints, and improve flexibility as you relax and breathe. This class is perfect for beginners and will include an exploration of several different styles of Tai Chi and Qigong. This class is held rain or shine – in case of weather, we will move into the NEST. Suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Cypress Pillar Healing Arts. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org to register. $5 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve - Mosaic NEST

Wednesday 11th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – SEASHELL SHORE WALK – Calling all beachcombers and seashell enthusiasts! Join us for a relaxing walk on the beach to search for seashells and learn to identify them. This program will explore what makes mollusks unique and bring you up to speed on the latest research in malacology. Learn about ethical seashell collecting methods while discovering a new appreciation for our beautiful shorelines. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or e-mail elena.burke@mymanatee.org Coquina Beach Concessions

Thursday 12th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – WILDLIFE SPOTLIGHT: WADING BIRDS – Herons, spoonbills, and wood storks, oh my! Explore the wonderful world of wading birds at this month’s Wildlife Spotlight. Learn to spot and identify Manatee County’s most common wading bird species, and take a nature walk to put your birding skills to the test. Discover their amazing adaptations, and the crucial role they play in the Florida ecosystem. Program suitable for adults 18 and up. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or e-mail elena.burke@mymanatee.org Perico Preserve

Thursday 12th, 10:00 AM -11:00 AM – TREETOTS: ANIMAL PARTS – Ducks have bills and fish have fins, bring your little ones for an exploration into the different parts of animals.  Through songs, exploration, and activities your tiny family members will discover the amazing natural wonders, big and small, found in your very own backyard. Program suitable for newborns to 2 year-olds. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-748-4501 ext.6034. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday 12th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – NEST NATURE AFTERNOONS – The Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology will open its doors for an afternoon of exploration. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please email ecoevents@mymanatee.org Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday 14th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – RIVERVIEW POINTE MASTER GARDENER TOUR – Stroll through Riverview Pointe Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat. The hike begins in the parking area of Desoto National Memorial Park and enters Riverview Pointe Preserve. Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at (941) 722-4524. Riverview Pointe Preserve

Saturday 14th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – EMERSON POINT MASTER GARDENER TOUR – Stroll through Emerson Point Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat. Tour meets at the Tower Parking lot – the first parking area on the right. Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at (941) 722-4524. Emerson Point Preserve

Saturday 14th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – JIGGS LANDING/BRADEN RIVER KAYAKING – Launching from Jiggs Landing, we will paddle up the Braden River. Along the way we will collect trash. While not for first time paddlers, beginners who can paddle 5 miles are welcome to attend. Program suitable ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. All participants must wear a life jacket. For individuals that do not own boats, rentals are available from the Jiggs Landing Outpost at 941-727-4181. Reservations are required. Please send an email with the number of people and the type of boats you will be using to ecoevents@mymanatee.org Jiggs Landing

Saturday 14th, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM – VOLUNTEER FOR A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS – We need YOUR HELP! We need volunteers to help tear tickets, assist with parking, make sure folks stay safe on inflatables, paint faces, and don costumes to share our festive spirit! All you need is a positive attitude and willingness to learn! This is a great way to get scholarship volunteer credit for high school or youth organizations, while creating a fun event for the whole family to enjoy. Call 941-742-5923 ex 6035 or email michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org to take part. G.T. Bray Park

Saturday 14th, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVENT – Get ready for a day of family fun with the annual A Night Before Christmas event at G.T. Bray Park! Santa will be coming to G.T. Bray to visit with all the children. The event will include face painting, bounce houses, wagon rides, and much more. This year features over 15 tons of snow with a snow slide, a snow play area, and a bunny slope for the younger kids. Families who complete Santa’s passport will be entered to win a gift certificate, too! This awesome event is great for kids of all ages. Wristbands for this event are $5 for children and includes unlimited participation in all activities, bounce houses, snow, etc. Food available at an additional cost. G.T. Bray Park

Sunday 15th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – ROBINSON PRESERVE MASTER GARDENER TOUR – Stroll through Robinson Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat. Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at (941) 722-4524. Robinson Preserve

Monday 16th, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM – MANATEE AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRDING TOUR: PERICO PRESERVE – Search the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Join birder Cathy as you explore one of Manatee County's newest preserves. The newly created freshwater ponds and salt marshes of Perico Preserve provide an oasis for numerous species of birds. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Audubon Society. No reservation needed. For more information contact Cathy Davis at (561) 253-5025. Perico Preserve

Tuesday 17th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – STROLLER STROLL: EMERSON – Round up your baby buggies, and your little ones for a strolling naturalist led walk through the county’s wild spaces. Open your child’s eyes to the sights, smells, and feel of Florida’s great outdoors while learning about our preserves. Meet other nature explorer families with similar aged kids. Program suitable for 0 to 4 years but families are welcome to join. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-4501 ext.6034. Emerson Point Preserve

Tuesday 17th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – UPPER GAMBLE CREEK PADDLE – Add another section of Manatee's Blueway Trails to your bucket list. Join our nature guide from WayneAdventures who will lead a 1-way paddle down this meandering river as it winds for several miles through oak hammocks and salt marshes before joining with the Upper Manatee river to form the Manatee River. We will launch from the Mulholland Rd bridge where it crosses Gamble Creek and take out at the Ft. Hamer boat launch. While not for first time kayakers, beginning kayakers who can paddle 4-6 miles are welcome. Program suitable ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket. Reservations are required. Please send an email with the number of people and the type of boats you will be using to ecoevents@mymanatee.org Mulholland Rd

Thursday 19th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – GREEN EXPLORERS: WILD WADERS – Discover the winged wading birds hiding in your Florida waterways. Explore the different beaks, wings, and feet that allowed these feathered friends to rebound from near extinction.  Using hands on outdoor, discovery, and the participants own creativity attendees will have a chance to play in nature. Green Explorers is a low structure, highly social and experienced based activity. Program suitable for all ages recommended for age 6-12 year olds, but all ages welcome. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-4501 ext.6034. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday 19th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL BIOLOGY LAB: THE GREAT EGG DROP - Join us for our series of homeschool biology labs for middle and high school students. This recurring program will give older students the opportunity to participate in laboratory style programs and gain hands on experience. In this lab we will test our creativity and engineering skills by designing an egg drop device! This exciting and competitive challenge will introduce students to physics, engineering, and teamwork skills as they design and build devices to protect and accurately deliver their dropped eggs. Program recommended for students 11 years and older. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org $10 per student – payable by CASH ONLY. Emerson Point Preserve

Thursday 19th, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM – SCIENCE AND SERVICE BOOK CLUB: SILENT SPRING – Looking for a volunteer opportunity in the cool of the evening at beautiful Robinson Preserve? Come out to the newest part of Robinson for our book club with a service twist. Every month we will read different book from science and history about Florida, and discuss, and follow it with a restoration project in the preserve. This month will be Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Program is suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Robinson Preserve - Mosaic NEST

Friday 20th, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – BOARD GAME NIGHT AT THE NEST – Have you ever tried to host a board game night, but didn’t have the right space or enough people?  Join us for the first ever board game night at the Robinson Preserve NEST! The building will be open from 5 to 10 pm for this special evening of table top gaming fun! Borrow a nature-themed game from our new board game library or bring your favorite game from home. Meet new people and try something new. Role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons are welcome too!  We only ask that all content and conversations remain family friendly. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday 21st, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – SATURDAY MORNINGS AT THE NEST – Join us at the new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology for a morning of exploration. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please email ecoevents@mymantee.org Robinson Preserve - Mosaic NEST

Saturday 21st, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – RYE PRESERVE MASTER GARDENER TOUR – Take a hike through upland habitats along Rye Branch and learn about Florida native plants, natural history, and early settlement of the area. Get a glimpse into the sea of palmettos and arid scrub that make up wild Florida. Drinking water, sturdy shoes, and hiking sticks are recommended Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at (941) 722-4524. Rye Preserve

Saturday 21st, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ROBINSON PRESERVE LIGHT FESTIVAL – Join us after sunset on the winter solstice for an evening of reflection and contemplation. A candlelit trail will be assembled for a single night – we invite you to walk the path in mindful meditation. Looking to send wishes into the new year or honor a loved one? Sponsor a Foxfire Lantern to build, decorate, and launch. Take some time during this busy season to slow down, observe the lights, and enjoy the beauty of Robinson Preserve at night. Program suitable for all ages. Admission to the trail is first come, first served until we reach capacity. Reservations are required for a Lantern Kit. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org $5 Participant Fee per person to walk the trail (3 and under free). $20 per Lantern Kit. Payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve Expansion

Sunday 22nd, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM – RISE & SHINE POWER FLOW YOGA – Revitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body & Spirit! This power yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement & mindfulness to promote clarity of mind while developing physical strength and stamina, increasing flexibility, burning calories and detoxifying the body! Increase your overall well-being by ending & beginning your week with this empowering & uplifting flow!  Suitable for adults. Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org to register. $10 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Monday 23rd, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM – PADDLING FROG CREEK/TERRA CEIA RIVER – Join our nature guide from WayneAdventures as we explore mangrove islands/tunnels, restored salt water marshes and more isolated mangroves. Along the way, we will take water quality measurements and stop to discover why this is such a special place. We may not even see any other people during the paddle. This is for intermediate beginner paddlers who have paddled 6-8 miles. Launch is located at the  grassy area along road, near 8200 Bishop Harbor Rd,  Palmetto, FL  34221 (GPS coordinates 27.5902222, -82.5544503) Program suitable ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket. Reservations are required. Please send an email with the number of people and the type of boats you will be using to ecoevents@mymanatee.org Bishop Harbor Rd at Frog Creek

Saturday 28th, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – SATURDAY MORNINGS AT THE NEST – Join us at the new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology for a morning of exploration. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please email ecoevents@mymantee.org Robinson Preserve - Mosaic NEST

Saturday 28th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM – ROBINSON GIVE BACK PADDLE – ‘Tis the season for giving. Here is your chance to get outside and give back to your natural lands! Join us for an afternoon on the waters of Robinson Preserve as we paddle the shoreline searching for marine debris. Program suitable ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. For individuals that do not own boats, ten kayaks and gear are available from our WCIND-funded fleet on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants must wear a life jacket. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve

Thursday, January 2nd, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – NEW YEAR’S COASTAL CLEANUP – Start the new year right by giving back to the earth!  Grab your gloves, hat, and sunscreen – we'll provide the trash bags and grabbers – and take an active role in helping the environment. Your hard work will help keep the beaches beautiful and the wildlife safe. This is a great opportunity for teens looking to earn volunteer hours. Program suitable for volunteers of all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. Coquina Beach

ONGOING/AS NEEDED: RIP SQUAD VOLUNTEER WORKDAY – Join this group that works directly with County natural areas land managers on various wildlife habitat improvement projects. This group meets when needed with locations and tasks determined based on need, opportunity, and priority, at the time of each event. Email announcements are sent out a few days in advance of each event that detail the purpose, goals, and meeting information for each upcoming event. Program suitable for volunteers age 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, send an email to Erin at erin.struzzieri@mymanatee.org Location and time TBA - chosen based on need

Kayaking with Manatee County

Participation Requirements for Manatee County Kayaks

In order to utilize one of Manatee County’s sit on top kayaks for a volunteer, Kayaking for Beginners, Kayaking for First Timers, or Beginner Level Kayak Trip, or to participate in any paddling program, participants:

  • Must be 16 years of age or older
  • Must not exceed the manufacturer’s weight limit for the vessel
  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently while in the kayak
  • Must have the ability to respond to instructions and/or call out in the event of an emergency
  • Must have the ability to wear a properly fitted personal flotation device
  • Must have the ability to enter and exit the kayak independently or with the assistance of a companion
  • Must be able to move the kayak through the water independently in a stable manner and return it to the launching area
  • Must have the ability to breathe independently
  • Must have the ability to tolerate 60-80 degree Fahrenheit water and bright sunlight for 2 hours
  • Must have the ability to remain seated, maneuver, and balance independently while on the water

In order to utilize one of Manatee County’s sit on top kayaks for a summer camp program, participants:

  • Must be 9 years of age or older (note: age limit is lower as this program is specifically designed as a direct instructional for this age group; guide to paddler ratio is much lower)
  • Must not exceed the manufacturer’s weight limit for the vessel
  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently while in the kayak
  • Must have the ability to respond to instructions and/or call out in the event of an emergency
  • Must have the ability to wear a properly fitted personal flotation device
  • Must have the ability to enter and exit the kayak independently or with the assistance of a companion
  • Must have the ability to breathe independently
  • Must be able to move the kayak through the water independently in a stable manner and return it to the launching area
  • Must have the ability to tolerate 60-80 degree Fahrenheit water and bright sunlight for 2 hours
  • Must have the ability to remain seated, maneuver, and balance independently while on the water

In the event of capsize for any program, one:

  • Must have the ability to get out from under the watercraft independently
  • Must have the ability to right oneself and remain face up in the water with the aid of a personal flotation device