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October 2, 2006

What TV station would go black for a whole day just to help get kids to get outside and exercise through play? Nickelodeon did, on Saturday! Jackson Kayak was a sponsor of their World Wide Day of Play and what we did was to take Boy Scout Troop 499 to the Hiawassee River for a 6 mile river run in kayaks. None of these boy scouts had ever been in a kayak before, and neither had their scout masters. That was not a problem since we had Emily Jackson, Nick Troutman, myself, Ben Stookesberry, Lee Hart, and Cameron Lawson to help out. Ben filmed, and Cameron took photos, but they also did safety and assisted with the kids’ lines. It was a 6 mile run and took 3 hours on the water with non-stop whitewater action. Two of the boys made the entire run without flipping, Justin, and T.J.. All of the boys got a full on workout, while running the rapids, ferrying, and using up some nervous energy. Once we got above the last rapid, which was the biggest one, we found a small creek coming in from river left and eddied out in the cool clear water to reflect in the day so far. It turned almost immediately into a full on water fight and the boys were clearly having a great time, and the last rapid was something they looked forward to. We ran the wave train and made the take out, with Kristine ready with drinks and snacks for everyone. Somebody had a Nerf Football and we played a short game before the scout masters rounded them up and headed home.

It is amazing just how much more can be accomplished physically, mentally, and friendship wise with a day of play, then a day of TV. Great Job Nickelodeon and Troop 499!

🙂 EJ