Toledo Community Boathouse
July 7, 2011

We started the day with a game of Port/Starboard , where the "captain" calls out "Port!" and everyone runs to the port side of the parking lot. Then Starboard, Bow, Stern, Mainmast (run to me) Lookout (run to the bow and look out to into the distance) and my personal favorite, Swab the Deck, where they all mime mopping. Then we got into our life jackets and into the boats.

We're still getting new kids and they aren't very old, so we are keeping an adult in the boats for a while. Jim was acting 'live ballast' while Brina his the oars and towheaded Chase gives helpful instructions. (I can't make out the other two.)

In this boat, we have Eve, Jayden, Ethan, and Lewis.

Leeland (r) is a 15-year-old with a full beard. He volunteers at the Boathouse so he can spend more time with Rick (l) one of our master boat builders.

I cannot remember the name of the girl on the left, but I do remember she is 6 years old (our youngest yet - and the daughter of Dan, one of the volunteers from the school.) Randa is eight and is a firecracker.

Tanner is another volunteer from the school. These Tanner and Dan are invaluable for providing some form of consistency in instruction.

Jim and Dan in Jim's canoe that he brought to act as a support boat.

I have a dream of getting the kids in their own boats, being the captains of their own destinies. Towards the end of the session, I convinced Brina, Randa, Even and Chase to get into a boat on their own. Next, I convinced them to turn around and paddle it the right way forward.

I shot a short video of them paddling, you can see it here 1st Group Paddling hosted on YouTube.

We finished the day by going up into the field and playing a game I made up called Peg-Patch-Hook. It's exactly the same as Rock-Paper-Scissors: Peg (stand on one leg) beats Patch (hand over eye.) Patch beats Hook (hand shaped into a hook) and Hook beats Peg. Split the group into 'ships' and appoint a captain. They separate and decide which action they will take, then they stand across from each other and "fire a broadside." When one team wins 3 broadsides, they 'board' the other team's ship: Chase the other team and tag them. When tagged, the taggee becomes part of the victor's crew and chases his former teammates until everyone is tagged.