The ORR offers a summer camp program that teaches the basics of whitewater kayaking skills in a fun, safe environment. The campers will get started on the calm flat water learning all the basic strokes before progressing to the moving water. Qualified kayak instructors will teach participants self rescues, ferries, eddy turns and the first steps of whitewater paddling running the rapids. This year the camps are only being offered for one age and skill level. Level 1 camps are for participants ages 11-13 who have never taken a whitewater kayaking course. For children who are slightly older, we offer the option of Level 1 Youth Kayak Courses for ages 12-16, which are one week of half day sessions (either mornings or afternoons). Click on 'Youth Kayak Courses' in the left sidebar for more information. Level 2 Youth Kayak Courses are for participants who have taken a Level 1 camp or course, or another whitewater kayaking instruction program, and are a minimum of 12 years old. All equipment for the camps and courses is provided.
The primary location for all camps and courses is The Pumphouse, our paddling site in the heart of downtown Ottawa, at Lebreton Flats. It is a site that relies on pumped water, and so we use a second alternate site when there are scheduling conflicts with the pumping station maintenance shut-offs. These are scheduled in advance, and we maintain contact with the City of Ottawa to plan our programs around this. The alternate site is the Bate Island beach & rapids, accessed from Champlain Bridge (via Island Park Dr). We may hold up to 1-2 days of our level 1 camps, and 1-4 days of our Level 1 & 2 courses at this alternate site. Advance notice will be given if this is necessary, and all parents would be required to drop off and pick up the participants from the alternate site on the designated days.
-The minimum age for participation in the camp program is 11.
-Participants must have basic swimming skills.
We do not require a specific Aquaquest Level, what is important is that the child is comfortable in the water environment, and can swim well enough to guide themselves in moving water. All participants will be wearing PFD's while on the water.
-Every child will be taught to do a 'wet exit' from a kayak, this is an essential safety skill. Participants must learn this skill before they can try paddling on the class 2 whitewater course. A wet exit is when a paddler wearing a spray skirt flips their kayak upside down in the river, pulls the release handle, and ejects from the kayak. Click here to see a demonstration video from Youtube.
-Participants should be prepared to try whitewater kayaking.
The purpose of our program is to teach whitewater kayaking skills, and to give kids the opportunity to try out paddling in rapids. Those with an adventurous spirit, who are ready to try new things are best suited to this type of program. We ask that you please consider the suitability of this camp for each child, they do not need to be fearless, but they should be prepared to come with an open mind. If you are not sure if your child would enjoy this activity, please refer to the attached 'Frequently Asked Questions' download.
Paddling Skills and Activities
-forwards, backwards, turning and bracing strokes in a kayak
-paddling games and races for improving kayaking skills
-lessons on current flow and paddling in moving water (Class I)
-wet exits, ferrying, eddy turns, edge control
-introduction to Class II moving water on the last day of camp, but varies with the skill levels of the participants
-land based games and activities
-afternoon visits to local gymnasium to play indoor games/sports
Kayak Kids Summer Camps (ages 11-13)
Hours: Full Days, 9 am - 4 pm Monday to Friday
Weeks: July 8-12, July 29-August 2, August 12-16
Full day camps are run as part kayak course, and part traditional day camp, and will include games on land, arts and crafts, swimming and other activities. It is not beneficial nor possible to have children paddling all day, due to their limited endurance, strength and the environmental conditions. Our instructors break up the day to allow rests, and time out of the sun/rain. We plan up to two afternoon trips to a nearby gymnasium at the Ottawa Technical High School as a break from the weather. Campers MUST bring shoes (in addition to water footwear) so that off-water games can be played safely.
If your child has already completed a Level 1 Camp, and is interested in the Level 2 Kayak Courses, please select 'Youth Kayak Courses' from the left sidebar.
For more information Contact Us
We offer a discount of $30 off each camp fee for multiple campers. This is available for selection in our registration form.
Camps hours can be extended by 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon (for full day camp program only). The fees are $15 for early drop-offs (from 8:30 am) and $15 for late pick-ups (until 4:30 pm) and cover all 5 days. If you know that you will need to drop-off or pick-up early or late for the week, please select this option on the registration form.
To check availability: START THE REGISTRATION PROCESS, GO TO THE 2ND PAGE, SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE AVAILABILITY, THEN EXIT OUT OF THE REGISTRATION PROCESS, BY CLOSING THE BROWSER, IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO CONTINUE. NO PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL BE RETAINED, NOR WILL YOU BE CHARGED.
For those children or youth with prior whitewater kayaking experience, or who have previously taken a Level 1 or 2 camp or course with us, there will be ongoing advanced programs for developing whitewater skills, called the Youth Development Paddling Program.
For ongoing programs for youth and adults, please explore the other sections of our "Courses & Programs" menu.
Location: National Whitewater Canoe/Kayak Slalom Tailrace/Pumphouse Training Site, 10 Fleet Street, LeBreton Flats.
The Ottawa River Runners employs qualified and certified whitewater kayak instructors to teach our summer camps and courses. Full time staff are certified by CanoeKayak Canada as whitewater leaders and instructors on moving water up to class 2, and also hold first aid qualifications. Part time assistance is often provided by club athletes, who are experienced whitewater paddlers.
We're pleased to announce that Rapid Media is the Official Media Sponsor of ORR's summer camps. Summer camp participants will receive a complimentary digital subscription to Rapid magazine as well as a back-issue hardcopy. Check-out Rapid Media's magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, and Kayak Angler.