Over the course of the last two days in May, more than 60 Grade 10 and 11 outdoor education students and staff hit the raging whitewater of the Madawaska River at Palmer Rapids.
High water levels this spring have allowed us to have a banner year on the water. Our training missions below the Lakefield dam and at the Burleigh Falls washout had our students well prepared for the trip.
We spent the morning playing in the upper rapids near Piano Rock where we worked on our “C” and “S” turns, “front ferries” and occasionally our swimming (when our tilt was off!). We also scouted and ran the top chute through the big waves - this was definitely a highlight!
A delicious BBQ lunch on Pine Point was followed by an afternoon scout of the lower, extended set of rapids. We then ran the set multiple times working on catching eddies and avoiding big holes. Portaging skills were also emphasized and there were many examples of amazing teamwork all day long. The weather cooperated on both days (for the most part) and the students had a great time. Their paddling skills have certainly come a long way since September!