River Stewards Orientation 2011(Part III)

PADDLE TIME! We loaded up the bus and ventured to Taylorsville Dam for our kayak adventure. We did some team building exercises and then we were on the water! I had an absolute blast kayaking! Last year we were all a little shy around each other because we really didn’t know each other all that well, but this year, nobody had any inhibition about being themselves. We stopped a couple of times along the river and one of the stops we made was for macro invertebrate sampling. We did kick-net samples to determine what the water-quality was based on the types and quantities of macro invertebrates. As a biology major, I always enjoy doing this, and in case you wondered, we do have good, quality water.

After the sampling, we all played in the river, which was AWESOME! We had life jackets on, so we just plopped down in the river and let the water carry us away. It may sound lame, but if the current is high, you can really move! We also had some major team bonding because we all held hands and floated down the river as a cohort, it was cute. While we were having the time of our lives, we still have about five miles of paddle left, so we were soon back in our boats and ready to go.

The last few miles of the paddle are always the toughest because you get really tired, but they are the most rewarding because we all work together to encourage and motivate each other to finish up strong. We successful kayaked a little over nine miles of the Great Miami River that day.

Once we had all reached our campsite, Island Metropark, it was time to set-up camp. It’s always amazing to me how quickly we set up our tents because whenever my family went camping, setting up a tent was never a simple task. Anyway, we set up camp, changed into dry clothes, and had a wonderfully catered dinner! We had the rest of the evening to basically hang out, so we played capture the flag, played in the fountains, explored the park, etc. Last but not least, we had a great time around the campfire to finish up the night; we did the classic campfire stuff like sing songs, tell stories, and make S’mores.