Evergreen Park & Recreation District kids' boating camp makes waves

Campers learn to kayak, paddle board at Evergreen Lake

Olivia Jewell Love
olove@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/15/22

Summer is in full swing at the Evergreen Lake House, with summer camps getting kids out into the outdoors.

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Evergreen Park & Recreation District kids' boating camp makes waves

Campers learn to kayak, paddle board at Evergreen Lake

Posted

Summer is in full swing at the Evergreen Lake House, with summer camps getting kids out into the outdoors.

The week of July 11, one group of campers embarked on a boating camp, where they learned how to kayak and paddle board. The camp was Monday, Wednesday, Friday for four hours a day. On July 11, they learned to kayak. They learned to paddle board July 13. On July 15, they got to choose their vessel, but everyone chose the paddle boards. 

Roland Kiessling is the recreation supervisor for outdoor programming at Evergreen Park & Recreation District. He said the summer camps with EPRD always fill up quickly. 

The goal, in Kiessling’s words, is for kids to experience the “true enjoyment of the outdoors” in these camps. 

The campers also learn environmental education and team building. At the boating camp, everyone on the water wears a life jacket. 

Leo Southard is a 15-year-old camp counselor from Kittredge.

Growing up in Colorado, Southard has many outdoor hobbies including hiking, biking and skiing. 

Being a teenage counselor has its advantages, Southard said. 

“I can relate to them [the kids],” he said. 

And having a job on the water beats working in fast food, in his opinion. 

“I would much rather work here on the lake,” he said. 

Turns out the campers like the young counselors, too.

“I think the best part of the camp is the counselors because they’re teenagers,” camper Gibson Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman, 11, lives in Denver. He’s attended the camp for two years now with his friend, River Finck, 11, who lives in Evergreen. 

“We mostly just hang out on the lake and do fun games,” Finck said. 

On their last day at camp, the group had plans to paddle, eat lunch, play capture the flag and then walk over to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. 

To put it succinctly, Finck described the camp in a few words. 

“Fun camp, boats, people, geese.”

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