The Family Program is designed to help introduce and include parents with children of all ages from toddler to teen to canoe camping.
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The RACCC Family Program is for parents with children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. The Family Program has a variety of outdoor activities and training courses for the whole family based on the needs and abilities of the adults as well as the children. The emphasis of training and trips is on safety on and near the water, acquiring essential paddling and camping skills, teamwork and having fun.
An added benefit of the Family Program is getting to know other families with whom you can share your outdoor interests and experiences.
The Family Program paddles from May through October. The Family Program paddles on canoe routes in Provincial parks, urban and wilderness settings. Some of our favorite places to go include: Gatineau Park, Frontenac PP, Bon Echo PP, Algonquin PP, lakes in Renfrew, Frontenac or Lanark Counties, 31 Mile Lake, and La Vérendrye Park.
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Family Program activities and training courses vary in length and include short trips a few hours long, day trips, weekend car camping and multi-day trips. Some take place in Ottawa, others at nearby lakes, rivers and beaches, and at provincial parks. To minimize risk due to the involvement of children, most activities take place on flatwater or gently flowing rivers.
Canoeing can be a challenge with young children. Often just as you are getting ready to launch the canoe, one or more children claim they are hungry, tired or just don't want to go. The Family Program organizes an annual paddle and picnic evenings on weekday evening during the summer for families with little children at local beaches.
During the paddle and picnic evening, canoes are available for families to see how their children fare before committing to a longer trip. Families are encouraged to take turns in the canoes and spend the remainder of the time socializing, swimming and picnicking at the beach.
Families are encouraged to bring a picnic, beach towels, bathing suits, and PFDs for the whole family (The RACCC also has few to share).
For families with older children, the Family Program offers day or multi-day trips. Day trips usually leave from the boathouse early morning (depending on the trip) with destinations usually within a 90-minute drive from Ottawa, and return late afternoon. These events involve paddling across the lake, picnicking and swimming. Parents should expect their children to be comfortable canoeing for at least two hours and be good swimmers since the water at the picnic spot might be deep.
Opportunities for multi-day trips around Ottawa are endless. However, multi-day trips take considerable preparation time, especially with children, and are often limited by campsite size, so contacting the trip leader early is necessary. A trip-planning meeting is usually held up to a week prior to the trip, to facilitate group decisions on the routes, and coordinate transportation details, menu planning, and sharing of equipment.
Please consult with the trip leader about the difficulty of scheduled trip to help select a trip appropriate for your family.
The Annual RACCC Family Camp is held each summer over a weekend in Gracefield, Quebec. The program operates in a family atmosphere with parents and children participating together. The camp is suitable for families where children are 8 years or older, and focuses on introducing the inexperienced canoeist to paddling. The emphasis is on mastering the fundamentals of canoeing along with a strong grounding in water safety and safe canoeing practices.
There is also plenty of time for other camp activities including swimming, archery, hiking and campfires.
To minimize risk due to the involvement of children, most activities take place on flatwater or gently flowing rivers.
Moving water and whitewater training and trips are available to teens from ages 13 to1 7 that have parental permission, and meet the training prerequisites as specified in each training course.
Want to join a family trip? Unsure if