August 28, 2019 Column
One of the many joys of Trail Guards is the opportunity to introduce kids (and often adults) to things they might not otherwise experience. Fun things that bring adventure, novelty, camaraderie, fulfillment, laughter, and more.
Things that may open new chapters in their lives. Things that challenge them so they can learn more about who they really are. Things that might stick with them until they are old and gray. And, in our case, things that take place in the outdoors without motors or other distractions.
Paddling a canoe on Lake Koronis may not seem like a real big deal – but to many it is all those things and more.
We hosted our 22nd annual Canoe and Kayak Picnic Cruise last Saturday, and despite bucking the wind and waves on the way to Second Island (Winther’s Island), our 26 paddlers and riders (from as young as three years old to 66 years old) had a beautiful and joyful summer outing together.
Bridgit Kruger, Lindsey Winter, Trenen Pierskalla, and Deric Schlangen gave a great on-the-water canoe rescue demonstration. Scoutmaster Devan Karol and Mike Osendorf brought a handful of their friendly and helpful Boy Scouts. Bill Virant provided a rescue and cargo boat, and Beth Schlangen and Kayla Pinske (with almost everyone’s help) put out nutritious and tasty food for our newly-bonded group.
There is a special sense of accomplishment in self-powered outdoor sports. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, paddling, and other non-motorized outdoor activities provide unique rewards. Things like improved health, a heightened sense of resiliency, a quieter and more intimate outdoor connection, and strong feelings of self-efficacy are important and life-affirming, especially to young, developing minds.
Thanks to everyone for their help – especially Dan Ziegler at Koronis Ministries for always being on the Trail Guard team.