Book It!
From: Wilmette, IL
Price:$ 680
Duration: 1 weeks
June 17 - 21, 2019
July 8 - 12, 2019
August 12 - 16, 2019

Or book a Custom Trip

1 weeks
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Sea Kayaking
Skill Rating:
Van Supported:
Wilmette, IL
$ 680
Minimum Age 13
Included: Watersports equipment including kayaks and SUP boards, instruction.
Not Included: Transport each day, daily lunch, clothing for watersports.

Looking for an amazing opportunity to learn leadership skills and build confidence in paddling skills? Our one week leadership development course will teach teens group leadership dynamics and decision making within their peer group through the various watersports paddling. The week is spent getting to know one another through daily paddles on Lake Michigan and the Skokie Lagoons, combined with leadership training from our experienced outdoor education staff. Participants will also learn watercraft maintenance and repair techniques to bring their technical skills full circle.  This is a fantastic opportunity for teens to learn leadership and water skills with their peers!


Group members will spend the week with their instructors in Wilmette, getting to know one another and begin learning about group leadership. Daily paddle outings each morning will allow participants to learn and refine paddling skills and competencies, as well as get the chance to lead the group through a paddle outing (collaborating with their instructors who will be present throughout the leadership opportunity). After paddling we'll head back to land to work on educating and teaching technical outdoor 'hard skills' (knots, shelters, gear repair, map and compass, etc). Group members will be challenged to communicate and work together with one another through group initiatives and challenges. The Northwest Passage instructors will also be teaching the group how to make simple and intermediate repairs to watercraft and get the chance to collaborate with one another on service projects that will promote responsibility and a sense of 'giving back' to the local kayak community. 


Monday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch
9:00am Meet Time 
Confirm paper work/Answer any Parent Questions 
Provide Schedule for week 
9:30 Introduction/Games/Daily Morning Activity 
11:00 Kayak Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling 
12:00 LUNCH 
1:00 Paddling Games 

Tuesday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch 
9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity 
9:30 SUP Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling 
12:00 LUNCH 
1:00 Paddling Games 

Wednesday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch 
9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity 
9:30 SUP Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling 
12:00 LUNCH 
12:30 Commute to Centennial Park, Wilmette 
12:30 Water Park (Centennial Park, Wilmette) 
3:00 PICK- UP at Gillson Park

9:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity 
9:30 Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling/Orientation to Lagoons 
12:00 LUNCH 
1:00 Kayak the Lagoons 
3:00 PICK-UP Skokie Lagoons

Friday Meet at Gillson Park Kayak Launch 
10:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity 
10:30 Kayak or SUP Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling 
12:00 LUNCH 
1:00 Kayak/SUP the lake front 
3:00 PICK-UP at Gillson Park

 * Itinerary subject to change.





Clothing & Equipment:

Each day we will be paddling on the lake or the Skokie Lagoons so participants will need to have the following items

  • Swimsuit or shorts and T-shirt
  • Water 1 full liter
  • sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, raingear
  • Croakies or something else to tie glasses on with
  • Shoes- Flip-flop sandals are not useful as they will come off in open water. Water booties are ideal and sport sandals can also work. Shoes with laces are not appropriate.
  • Extra warm layers- Remember that cotton will not keep you warm if it is wet (it will actually make you colder), so bring some extra layers that are made out of a synthetic material (such as fleece, Coolmax®, polypropylene, etc.) Come prepared for warm, cold and/or wet weather; we will be paddling rain or shine!
  • Dry clothes to change into after
  • A lunch and some snacks to get them through the day

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 students 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 students enjoyment and skill development is specifically sized equipment. Our student specific fleet of kayaks, SUP boards, paddles and lifejackets makes for a safe and manageable learning environment. Students wear lifejackets at all times.  

How many students are in the program? How many instructors? 
Enrollment is limited to 15. Depending on enrollment there will be 2 to 4 instructors with a maximum ratio of 5 students 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 students need prior experience?
No prior experience or conditioning is necessary for this camp.

Do students need to know how to swim?
Yes, all students are expected to demonstrate their swimming ability. Students wear lifejackets at all times.  

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.