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After several trips to Columbus, Georgia in the past year, and having the good fortune to meet people who supported the idea, and could help make it happen, the inner city kids camp was inaugurated in Columbus this past week. With the support of Whitewater Express thanks to Dan and Daniell Gilbert, and the Jackson family, the Jackson – Troutman family, the Hargrove family, Andy Kuhlberg, and Julia Rogers, we successfully launched another kids kayaking camp and taught 9 inner city youth from Columbus and neighboring Phenix City to kayak.

The logistics were a dream thanks to all the help of whitewater express and the Hargrove family. The students were eager to learn and even if intimidated, determined to try to push themselves out of their comfort zones, enthusiastically doing the many things that were asked of them. Our non-swimmer in the group turned out to be very comfortable in the water and at the end of the camp was the last one out of the water every time. With hot weather and warm water, it was the perfect environment to learn as the best place to be was in the water.

The Chattahoochee also provided the perfect whitewater progression for the students .

We went from flat water in the embayment on the other side of the Good wave island to a gentle float in class 1 to a good section of class II rapids to finish the class. By the end, students could catch and leave eddies, wet exit, and paddle their boats where they wanted them to go! A whole new world was opened up for these kids, and they really enjoyed the experience as did everyone who participated.

We hope to do it again next year too! Thank you to Whitewater Express, Dan and Daniell Gilbert, the Jacksons, Jackson Troutmans, the Hargroves, Andy Kuhlberg, Julia Rogers, and everyone who made this camp possible! We are looking forward to getting more and more kids on the water!