The Evergreen Canoe Club
Canoe season runs from the Meet -N-Greet in April to the end of September. Canoe outings are generally every Thursday and Friday. See club description below.
Linda, Membership Coordinator at Group Contacts Page
The Evergreen Canoe Club (ECC) was created in 2009 by a group of like-minded knowledgeable canoe enthusiasts. The club mandate from its inception is to provide active seniors an opportunity to increase physical activity through exploring the natural beauty of our local rivers.
Whether you are an experienced canoeist or someone new to the sport, the club training program can help you either hone existing skills or teach you the many techniques of river canoe navigation.
By 2016 the canoe club was given through a grant four new canoes plus a six canoe trailer. Also, the club grew its inventory to include an assortment of life vests, paddles, bailers, tow ropes and other needed equipment.
With paddles and life vests to loan and a fleet of 12 canoes, new members are now able to join the club and enjoy canoeing without having the initial financial burden of purchasing these items.
The new member
All new members must attend the Meet-N-Greet usually the first Thursday in April. Watch for ads in the February and March Sentinel. After which, they are required to attend two training classes held on the subsequent Thursday evenings. The training is followed by an evaluation of skills learned on a local pond.
River vs Lake paddling
For the lake canoeist, the transition to river paddling can be quite surprising. With the exception of wind and waves, lake paddles are pretty serene trips across open water. The river, on the other hand, is a moving force. The canoeist is asked to maneuver around rocks and pillows, through curves, avoid strainers, and successfully paddle a series of rapids.
Members perform these tasks during their weekly outings using the strokes learned in the training classes and on the water while under the watchful supervision of the trip leader and other more experienced canoeists.
Note: River canoeing requires a certain level of physical stamina and dexterity that can be beyond the level of some seniors. For your own safety and the safety of others, the instructors will not confer your full membership if you cannot demonstrate that you are able to perform what is required of you during a typical canoe outing.
Limited membership and the Waitlist
The club is always looking for new members. Unfortunately, due to a great demand, the club has to limit the membership to ensure that all existing members have a reasonable opportunity to canoe as often as possible. Membership is therefore based on the number of renewals. Every year, for a multitude of reasons, existing members do not renew allowing us to open up the membership.
With a certified canoe trainer to lead the training and other very experienced canoeists, the club has been able to provide an excellent level of canoe training. The training starts on the first Thursday evening following the Meet-N-Greet in April. These classes cover suitable clothing, what to carry in a dry sac, canoe safety, bow/stern team work, the different paddle strokes and how to handle various river hazards. Each evening, a different subject is taught. It is mandatory that new members to the club attend all training sessions. Additional training of up to ten members can practice their strokes on Tuesday morning during May and June.
A typical canoe outing consists of a two to three hour
paddle down a section of a river, such as the Grand,
chosen by the trip coordinator. Periodic rest stops are
taken to have a snack and to enjoy the surrounding
country side. Occasionally, you can spot on the banks
of the river, a deer, eagle, osprey, heron, a lazy turtle
sunning itself on a rock and other wildlife.
After the trip, the paddlers enjoy their lunch at the river
takeout point, usually a park or a town like Paris…
Ontario that is.
The trip coordinator
The trip coordinator spends the week prior to the trip reading water level information provided by the Grand River Conservation Authority and wind and rain reports to determine that week’s canoe route.
They also assign a trip leader, arrange the towing of the trailers and OKs the final pairing. The paddlers are paired based on skill level and personal preference. Novice canoeists start out in the bow and are paired with a more experienced canoeist in the stern.
The trip leader
For each trip, there is a trip leader—a more experienced member—who organizes the car sharing to the put-in point, the removal of the canoes from the trailers, ensures everyone is properly outfitted with a PFD, a proper paddle, a dry sac, that the canoes are properly equipped and finally leads the trip on the water.