Education Programs & Events

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Program Spotlight

Sunset Tai Chi at the NEST Second Mondays 6:30 PM

Photography Challenge

EcoEvents: Outdoor Education Programs & Events Calendar

All of our public events are open to individuals and their family members. For large groups, we ask that each family register individually. If you have a school, camp, club, or other group that would like to participate in a program, please contact [email protected] to set up a private program.

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January 2023 Calendar of Events 

Download a printable version of the January Calendar of Events

CANCELLED - Saturday, Jan 28th, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PMStarry Night Astronomy – EVENT CANCELLED

Recurring Programs

Saturday, Jan 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMSaturday Mornings at the NESTJoin us at the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science, and Technology for a morning of discovery. 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 panoramic views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

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. 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 ages 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email [email protected]. Location and time TBA - chosen based on need.

February 2023 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 

Download a printable version of the February Calendar of Events

Wednesday, Feb 1st, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AMManatee Audubon Society Birding Tour: Emerson PointSearch the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! An 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 suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 592-7622. Emerson Point Preserve – Ranger's Station

Wednesday, Feb 1st, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PMSoar in 4 Family NightSoar in 4 occurs the first Wednesday of each month in downtown Bradenton. Families visit demonstration tables facilitated by Manatee County teachers, non-profit organizations, and volunteers to learn how to use various materials to support the ‘spotlight book,’ as well as incorporate take-home items to continue to play, create, learn, and explore at home together. These monthly events provide families with the resources and information to become their child’s best ‘first teacher’ at home. All activities are aligned to classroom learning. Program suitable for children and their families. Program sponsored by Soar in 4 in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://soarin4.org/. The Bishop Museum

Saturday, Feb 4th, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM OR 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMYouth Archery (2 Sessions)Set your sights on the exciting outdoor activity of archery! This program will provide participants with basic archery instruction, familiarization with archery equipment, and instruction in shooting techniques that create successful archers. All equipment will be provided for use. Program is suitable for children ages 6 to 16. Program sponsored by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Two identical sessions are offered.  Please register for only one session each month. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://FebruaryArchery.eventbrite.com. For more information please contact [email protected]. Rye Preserve

Saturday, Feb 4th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Emerson PointCasually stroll through the beautiful Emerson Point Preserve with a Master Gardener Guide and learn about Florida's native plants and inhabitants of a coastal environment. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by UF IFAS Extension Master Gardener Program in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Please meet at the first parking area on the RIGHT at the Observation Tower (not at the Ranger Station) at 9 AM. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking on uneven terrain. Bring a water bottle and wear sun and insect protection. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/468427307687. For more information please contact [email protected]. Emerson Point Preserve – Tower Parking Lot

Wednesday, Feb 8th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM OR Friday, Feb 10th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMStory Walk Spruce Up - Volunteer assistance is needed to spruce up the Story Walk at Bennett Park! On the first day of this event, Feb 8th, volunteers will be disassembling, cleaning, and painting the frames of the Story Walk signposts. On the second day, Feb 10th, volunteers will be reassembling the signpost frames with new Plexiglas and a new story for park visitors to enjoy! Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All materials will be provided. Please wear comfortable clothing for working outdoors that can get dirty or painted. Please bring a water bottle. Reservations are required. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Tom Bennett Park – South Parking Lot

Thursday, Feb 9th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMHomeschool Creature Feature: Mangrove CrabZoom into the natural world and focus on one wonderous animal species. Discover the identifiable movements and features of the wildlife and their favorite habitats to haunt. Then venture into one of Manatee County’s preserves to track the featured creature in the wild. This month we will embark on an epic search for the not-so-elusive Mangrove Crab. Program suitable for ages 5 and up. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Neal Preserve

Friday, Feb 10th, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PMPhotography Challenge Gallery PresentationManatee County  Natural Resources invites you to join us for the presentation of the featured photos from the 2023 Photography Challenge! Take a walk through the Valentine House and view photos that tell an extraordinary story about each of our beautiful preserves. If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words…we will have quite a few stories to tell! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are recommended. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/519817035747/. For more information please contact [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Valentine House

Saturday, Feb 11th, 7:30 AM – 10:30 AMManatee Audubon Society Birding Tour: Tom Bennett ParkSearch the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Our Audubon guide will lead participants on a tour through Tom Bennett Park's upland and wetland habitats. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected]. Tom Bennett Park – Playground Parking Lot

Saturday, Feb 11th, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PMDuette Wagon Tour: Florida PrairieDiscover over 20,000 acres of Duette Preserve from a covered wagon. With a Master Naturalist guide and a Park Ranger, discover the story of restoration and wildlife. Witness Pine Flatwoods, River Floodplain, and Scrub ecosystems, and maybe even spot a Florida Scrub-jay! Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Manatee Fish and Game Association in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Please arrive early as the wagon will depart on time.  Bring a water bottle and a seat cushion or pad to sit on. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://manatee-fish-game.ticketleap.com/duette-wagon-tour---prarie-tour/. For more information please call (941) 447-9268. Duette Preserve – Ranger Station

Saturday, Feb 11th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Riverview PointeCasually stroll through to enjoy the beautiful Riverview Pointe Preserve with a Master Gardener Guide and learn about Florida's native plants and inhabitants of a coastal environment. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by UF IFAS Extension Master Gardener Program in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Tour begins in the parking area of DeSoto National Memorial Park and enters into Riverview Pointe Preserve. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking on uneven terrain. Bring a water bottle and wear sun and insect protection. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/441206910747. For more information please contact [email protected]. Riverview Pointe Preserve – Parking at DeSoto National Memorial

Saturday, Feb 11th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMExplore Nature! Outreach BoothNeed a dose of the great outdoors? Stroll by our Explore Nature! Outreach Booth to learn about exciting recreational opportunities that Manatee County's parks and preserves have to offer.  A naturalist guide will be on-site to answer your questions and share a variety of animal biofacts! Program suitable for all ages. Free children's activities and coloring books while supplies last. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Blackstone Park – Playground Area

Monday, Feb 13th, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PMSunset Tai Chi at the NESTJoin us for this monthly class at the NEST! At sunset on the second Monday of the month, Dr. Brian Nell, 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. Program Suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Cypress Pillar Healing Arts in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?primarycode=100004. For more information please contact [email protected]. $10 Registration Fee. Payable Online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Tuesday, Feb 14th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMEmerson Garden RefreshJoin us at Emerson Point Preserve to refresh and renew the garden near the visitor's center. Pull plants, create pathways, and clear space for our upcoming fairy garden installation. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected]. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom

Thursday, Feb 16th, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AMSeashell Shore WalkCalling 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 the amazing adaptations that help them to survive in the wild. Learn about ethical seashell-collecting methods while discovering a new appreciation for our beautiful shorelines. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/514385359457. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Coquina Beach South – Longboat Key Bridge

Thursday, Feb 16th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM OR 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM  - Emerson Enhancers: Trail Team ThursdayVolunteers are invited to join us for a trail workday at Emerson Point Preserve! In the morning session, we will be repairing trail steps, hauling shell material, and trimming back vegetation overgrowth on the Temple Mound Complex Trail. We will do the same work on the Tower Trail in the afternoon session. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please bring a water bottle and wear comfortable closed-toe shoes. Long lightweight clothing is recommended. All other materials, including gloves, will be provided. Reservations are required. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve

Thursday, Feb 16th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMTree Tots: SmelltasticFlowers smell sweet, rain smells fresh, and the ocean smells salty. Bring your little one to sense the natural world through their nose! Through songs, exploration, and activities, your tiny family members will learn how to uncover natural wonders in your own backyard. Program suitable for ages 2 and under. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/517829210107. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Friday, Feb 17th, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AMWildlife Spotlight: SpoonbillsJoin us for a stroll around the Robinson Preserve Expansion to search for one of Florida's most colorful wading birds, the roseate spoonbill!  Discover the unique behaviors and adaptations of these charismatic, pink birds, while taking in the beautiful sights of the preserve. Learn about the important role birds play in our ecosystem and ways you can help wild spoonbills and their fellow feathered friends. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/514400274067. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve – Expansion Parking Lot

Friday, Feb 17th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMTall Tails Tribe: States of MatterSolid, Liquid, and Gas - join us for a morning of discovery into the three states of matter. Using nature as our guide, we will explore the different states of matter with music, games, and several hands-on experiments. At the end of the program, we will even sample a tasty experiment. Program suitable for preschool-age children. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion #1

Saturday, Feb 18th, 7:00 AM – 12:00 PMManatee FITFestManatee FITFest is an outdoor showcase of local businesses and provides an introduction to the area’s popular fitness and healthy lifestyle opportunities. This day is all about community: bringing together bootcamps, a 5K run/walk coordinated by Weatherwood Races and benefitting Operation Warrior Resolution, and a yoga experience. Following the mainstage events, you can choose your own adventure by participating in other scheduled workshops such as acro yoga, paddleboard, and more. From Mr. Bongos DJing on the main stage to lawn activities, grabbing a healthy lunch, or shopping local vendors in the marketplace, there’s plenty to do when you’re not on your mat. All activity levels are welcome on this day of fitness, music, and food. Program suitable for adults. Event entry and all classes are free, but waiver/wristband is required. Registration is REQUIRED to participate in 5K & 1-mile walk/stroll. Beginning at the NEST, participants will walk, run or stroll around waterways, over wooden bridges, and up a scenic rise to look out over Tampa Bay. Registration fee covers chip timing, Dry Fit T-shirt, and medal, and 10% goes to Operation Warrior Resolution, a provider of innovative, holistic treatments for mental health to Veterans and their family members. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://raceroster.com/events/2023/63337/fitfest-manatee-2023. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday, Feb 18th, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AMManatee Audubon Society Birding Tour: Perico PreserveSearch the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Our Audubon guide will lead participants on a tour through Perico Preserve’s coastal hammock and mangrove habitats. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected]. Perico Preserve

Saturday, Feb 18th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Rye PreserveTake a hike through upland habitats along the beautiful Rye Branch and learn about Florida's native plants, natural history, and early settlement of the area with a Master Gardener Guide. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Manatee County UF IFAS Extension in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/446062233147. For more information please contact [email protected]. Rye Preserve

Saturday, Feb 18th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMEmerson Enhancers: Shoreline CleanupWant to help reduce our human impact on the oceans and the environment? Join us for a couple of hours picking up litter at Emerson Point. Prepare to get muddy at this very low-tide opportunity to clean the mangrove shoreline of this beautiful Preserve! Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Meet us at the Pavilion #3 parking lot, near the point. Please bring your own water bottle and wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet and muddy - no flip-flops or bare feet, please! Ice water, litter grabbers, buckets, and trash bags will be provided. Reservations are required. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve – Point Pavilion #3

Saturday, Feb 18th, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PMHike with a LibrarianHike with a Manatee County Librarian along the trails and discuss a non-fiction book while enjoying Florida's scenery. After the discussion, a Manatee County Natural Resources guide will talk about the local fauna and flora and the history of the area. If there is still time after the talk, we will walk around the park at a leisurely pace. This month's book is 'The Brilliant Abyss,' by Helen Scales. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://manateelibrary.libcal.com/event/9967758. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 748-5555 ext. 6334. Leffis Key Preserve

Thursday, Feb 23rd, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMGreen Explorers: Searching for SymmetryA butterfly, a starfish, and a palm frond can all have a symmetrical shape. Let's explore Neal Preserve to learn the difference between symmetry and asymmetry in our natural world. Using hands-on discovery and the participant's creativity, homeschoolers 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 6 to 12-year-olds. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Neal Preserve

Thursday, Feb 23rd, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PMHomeschool Science Club: Nature SensesBats have super hearing and bears have a powerful sense of smell! In this program we'll explore our five senses and use them to discover new information about nature. We'll find out how animals use their senses to survive in their habitat and practice using our hearing to find friends, our sense of smell to track a mysterious animal, and our sense of touch to explore all the textures we find on a nature hike! Program recommended for students ages 7-13 Homeschool Science Club explores scientific and natural concepts through games, crafts, and activities encouraging students to be active outdoors. Guardians are responsible for identifying the learning maturity of their child. Please note the location of this session. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/518055105767. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve – Pavilion

Thursday, Feb 23rd, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PMSunset Shutter StrollEmerson Point Preserve features some of the most glorious sunsets on the Gulf Coast. This installment of our photography tour series offers a perfect opportunity to capture images of Emerson Point during the "golden hour" and try your hand at long-exposure photography. Unwind after work as you meet new friends, share tips and tricks, and get some great shots! Program suitable for adults. Those wishing to experiment with long exposures must bring their own tripods. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/519794739057. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday, Feb 24th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMExplore Nature! Tower TalksVisit the top of the tower at Robinson Preserve to take in the beautiful views of Tampa Bay! Stop by to chat with a naturalist and learn about the plants, animals, and history of the preserve. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve – Observation Tower

Friday, Feb 24th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMNature Tales: Changing ShapeDoes your kiddo enjoy stories and nature? Join us at Conservatory Park for our newest program: Nature Tales. Each month we will meet for an interactive story time, activities, and a walk in the great outdoors. This month we will discover how different animals change their body shape as they grow. Program suitable for children 8 years old and younger. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Conservatory Park – Playground Pavilion

Friday, Feb 24th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PMHomeschool Science Club: Nature SensesBats have super hearing and bears have a powerful sense of smell! In this program we'll explore our five senses and use them to discover new information about nature. We'll find out how animals use their senses to survive in their habitat and practice using our hearing to find friends, our sense of smell to track a mysterious animal, and our sense of touch to explore all the textures we find on a nature hike! Program recommended for students ages 7-13 Homeschool Science Club explores scientific and natural concepts through games, crafts, and activities encouraging students to be active outdoors. Guardians are responsible for identifying the learning maturity of their child. Please note the location of this session. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/518055938257. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion #1

Saturday, Feb 25th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Perico PreserveExplore one of Manatee County's coastal preserves with a Master Gardener Guide and learn about Florida's native plants, how they benefit wildlife, and how they can be used in the home landscape. Learn about the wide variety of ecosystems on display and how the preserve was transformed into what you see today. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Manatee County UF IFAS Extension in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/446155371727. For more information please contact [email protected]. Perico Preserve – Pavilion

Saturday, Feb 25th9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Tom Bennett Park Volunteer Planting Day – Volunteers are needed to plant thousands of native grasses and ground covers along shoreline areas of a brackish pond. You will get wet and muddy at this rewarding workday! Free snacks and lunch will be provided by the Sarasota Bay and Tampa Bay Estuary Programs for all registered volunteers. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Program sponsored by the Sarasota and Tampa Bay Estuary Programs in partnership with Manatee County’s Natural Resources and Sports and Leisure Services Departments. Please follow signs for event parking. Tools, gloves, plants, and water coolers will be provided. Please be prepared to get wet and muddy. Wear long clothing and closed-toe shoes that are comfortable for working outdoors. Please wear sun protection (sunscreen, shade hat, sunglasses) and bring a water bottle. Participants may bring their own gloves if desired. The nearest restrooms are a short drive from the planting site at the Tom Bennett Park pavilion and playground. We recommend that you use the bathroom before arrival if possible. Students may earn three community service hours for volunteering. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/515156415707. For more information please contact [email protected]Tom Bennett Park

Saturday, Feb 25th, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PMStarry Night AstronomyJoin us for an astronomical extravaganza! Dozens of local astronomers will be set up in the Robinson Preserve Expansion with telescopes at the ready. Be sure to bring a sense of wonder and exploration as we view the skies through high-powered telescopes. Learn how to identify heavenly bodies, and how you can stargaze at home too. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Suncoast Stargazers in partnership with Manatee County Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://robinsonastronomy.eventbrite.com. Robinson Preserve – Expansion Parking Lot

Recurring Events

Saturday, Feb 4th, 11th, 25th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMSaturday Mornings at the NESTJoin us at the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science, and Technology for a morning of discovery. 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 panoramic views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

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. 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 ages 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email [email protected]. 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