9am - 12pm
Skill Rating:
Gillson Beach or Skokie Lagoons
$ 373
Minimum Age 10
Included: All paddling equipment, instruction and supervision.
Not Included: Transportation, personal clothing and equipment. Cancellation policy applies.

Forget the summer camps that resemble physical education classes. Summer’s the time for new experiences and real adventure! Everyday participants take on new, fun-filled challenges as they paddle on Chicagoland’s beautiful local waterways. Want something new and exciting for your youngsters this summer? Half-Day Water Week is the adventure you’re looking for. Participants learn the basics of water safety, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and have blast playing around in beautiful Lake Michigan. The Northwest Passage staff provides a safe, fun and challenging environement. Ages 10 to 14 welcome.


We will meet our campers at the Gillson Park (directions included) kayak launch at 9:00 a.m. on most days including the first day of camp. Please be sure to arrive on time so that we can get started on our full morning of exciting activities! Once everyone has arrived we’ll start the program with group games that will energize us for the morning! We’ll spend some time on land as we learn about the essential gear and safety guidelines of kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Once everyone is comfortable with the equipment and safety guidelines, we’ll get on the water! Your youth will apply what we’ve learned on land in the water! Through games that will incorporate their paddle strokes, map reading skills, and other essentials of on water paddle sports. To make sure that each camper is getting the most out of his/her Water week camp experience, our skilled staff will provide the best learning environment.

Our campers will be prepared to be picked up at 12:00 p.m. each afternoon at Gillson Park. You will be notified if the time or place of pick-up/drop-off is changed.

Monday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch
9:00am Confirm paper work/Answer any Parent Questions/Provide Schedule for week
9:30 Introduction/Games/Daily Morning Activity
10:00 Kayak Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling
12:00 Pick-up

Tuesday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch
9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
9:30 Kayak Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling

9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
9:30 Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling/Orientation to Lagoons
12:00 PICK-UP Skokie Lagoons

Thursday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch 
9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity 
9:30 SUP Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling
12:00 PICK- UP at Gillson Park

Friday Meet at Gillson Park Kayak Launch
9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
9:30 SUP Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling
12:00 PICK-UP at Gillson Park

** Itinerary subject to change.

Clothing & Equipment:

Daypack containing:

  • 1 Liter Water Bottle (full)
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Change of Dry Clothes
  • Sunscreen Lotion
  • Sunglasses with retaining strap (optional)

When planning for your camp you will need to wear clothes which can get wet, a towel, hat and/or sunglasses, raingear and shoes that can get wet. Flip-flop sandals are not as useful as they will come off in open water. Sport sandals (Tevas, Chacos etc) or an old pair of tennis shoes works well. All participants must wear shoes for the entirety of the program.

In cool weather, a nylon jacket, pants, and synthetic long underwear can all be helpful. Cotton is to be avoided since once wet, it stays very wet and makes you feel colder. Synthetic materials (polypropylene, fleece, etc.) will keep you warm even when they are wet. Come prepared for warm, cold and/or wet weather; we will be paddling rain or shine! If you wear glasses, be sure to have something with you to tie them on, such as Croakies. Some people also like to bring a change of dry clothes for the ride home. In addition please bring any food goodies that you may want to munch on as well as water or juice.

If you have any questions please call our office ahead of time at (847) 256-4409. We look forward to paddling with you!!!

Trips ran or rain or shine! In the event of inclement weather alternative on-land activities will be substituted. 
There are no make-ups for missed days.   

How do I get there?
We begin each day out of Gillson Beach in Wilmette or the Skokie Lagoons in Winnetka. Click here for directions. 

 What's the weather like? What happens in bad weather?
Plan for Chicago summer air temperatures and water temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees. Camp runs rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather or hazardous lake conditions alternative on-land activities will be substituted. In the event of severe weather the Wilmette Park District Lakeview center acts as our shelter. Click here for the Wilmette Park District weather station. 

What do I need to bring?
We will send you a detailed gear list upon registration. Please browse our equipment list on the Planning tab. 

How can people reach me in an emergency?
The instructors will be carrying cell phones and marine radios along with each campers contact information.

What kind of equipment do you use?
We use rotomolded single and double plastic sea kayaks and fiberglass and plastic stand-up paddle boards.  Some of the keys to campers enjoyment and skill development is specifically sized equipment. Our kid specific fleet of kayaks, SUP boards, paddles and lifejackets makes for a safe and manageable learning environment. Campers wear lifejackets at all times during camp.  

How many campers are in the camp? How many instructors? 
Camp enrollment is limited to 15. Depending on enrollment there will be 2 to 4 instructors with a maximum ratio of 5 campers to 1 instructor. Our instructors are certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR and Life Guarding. Our lead staff are BCU or ACA certified kayak and SUP instructors.

Do campers need prior experience?
No prior experience or conditioning is necessary for this camp.

Do campers need to know how to swim?
Yes, all campers are expected to demonstrate their swimming ability. Campers wear lifejackets at all times during camp.  

What if we miss a class?
There are no make-ups nor do we pro-rate for missed days. Thank you for your understanding and please be familiar with our cancellation policy prior to registration. Click here for our cancellation policy.  

2014 On-line Survey responses:

"Paddle boarding on Thursday & Friday. The safety lesson on how to pull a person from the water who had a kayak flip over seemed to be really cool & education for my twins."

"This was our first experience and my son really enjoyed the camp."

"Camp staff was great. My son commented on how fun and friendly they were."

"They were really fun and really tried to get to know the kids."

"Great experience. Real skills learned. We'll be back later this summer!"