In order to give campers and parents an inside look at Frost Valley’s Female Leadership – Adirondack Paddler Adventure Trip, Adventure Director Zach Eigenbrodt answered some questions parents and campers might have about the trip.
1. Can you describe the campers this trip would be well suited for?
“This trip is perfect for the beginning adventurer. The trip is for girls entering seventh and eighth grade. It will introduce campers to different modes of water travel including canoeing, white water rafting, and kayaking.”
2. What prior experience or approval is necessary to register for this trip?
“There is no approval necessary. It’s beneficial for campers to have experience camping overnight in a tent though it’s not necessary. They should, however, have an interest in camping outside. Campers need to know how to swim and will be required to pass a swim test on camp prior to the start of the trip. They should also have the stamina to paddle for four to six hours a day.”
3. Why was it important to make this an all-female trip?
“We got some really positive feedback on our All-Female Long Trail Adventure Trip last year, both from the trip leaders and the campers. One of the trip leaders expressed the value in this type of trip, saying ‘an all female trip was so important because it gave campers the chance to step out of their comfort zones in a very safe and non-judgmental environment. All the girls were able to take on leadership roles, learn skills, and open up in a way that, at this age, they might not be able to do in a coed group. While I see a lot of value in coed trips, all female trips give young women the unique opportunity to grow and challenge themselves. All our participants ended last year’s trip feeling competent, strong, and confident in their ability to face adversity together.’”
4. Who will lead the trip? Can you speak about their qualifications/experience?
“Since this is an all-female trip, there will be two female Frost Valley trip leaders. Our Frost Valley staff members have Wilderness First Responder certification, which is the premiere emergency medical training for leaders in remote areas. They also undergo a rigorous two-week training process at Frost Valley. The trip leaders are required to take a small watercraft safety course and/or have lifeguarding experience.”
5. Which waterways will the campers will be on?
“The campers will start the trip by canoeing on Long Lake and paddle to Tupper Lake. Then they will head to the northern part of the Hudson River for some white water rafting followed by kayaking in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area.”
6. What paddling skills will they learn during the program?
“Campers will learn the different paddling strokes for canoeing such as the J-stroke, which is used to steer by slowly course correcting the direction of boat. They will learn how to paddle in the bow versus the stern of a canoe and the different parts of the vessel. They will also learn how to portage (carry the boat). During white water rafting, the campers will learn paddling skills and how to navigate the rapids safely. The campers will learn the different parts of a kayak and how to pack the boat for safe weight distribution.”
7. What Leave No Trace Seven Principles© will they learn?
“In order to create as little environmental impact as possible while on the trip or camping out, campers will learn the Leave No Trace Seven Principles© including: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, and Be Considerate of Other Visitors.”
8. What kind of meals will the campers have during the trip?
“The campers will have breakfasts that include things like oatmeal, granola, and cereals. The campers will do a lot of snacking during the day to keep their energy up. They’ll have things like tortillas with soy nut butter and granola bars. Dinner will include hot meals that include pasta and other grains, vegetables, bean burritos, and soups.”
9. What other activities will the kids participate in outside of paddling?
“Campers will experience backcountry camping while not out on the water. They’ll learn how to use a camping stove, and how to take care to create as little impact to the environment as possible. They will also learn interpersonal skills. They will participate in activities that will encourage teamwork, confidence, and conflict resolution. Activities may include journaling, taking turns being leader of the day, and engaging in meaningful conversations about what it means to be young women in today’s world.”
10. Is there anything you’d like campers to know about the Women’s Leadership Adirondack Paddler Trip?
“This trip will give campers a wonderful opportunity to try something completely new, to break out of their comfort zone, and to step boldly into a leadership role in a supportive environment of their peers. Campers will gain a newfound confidence in themselves and their abilities. They will leave stronger, feeling more capable and more connected to the natural world and their fellow campers.”