If adventuring down B.C. rivers or paddling peacefully around local lakes appeals to you, you might want to join Burnaby’s Beaver Canoe Club.
Members of the club don’t just stick to neighbouring waterways, either – many of them have canoed in Costa Rica, Chile and other parts of the world, according to training director Carey Robson.
“If you dream about those sorts of things, we live the dream,” Robson told the Now.
The club is offering the chance to share in its adventures and journeys, and is providing training this month – but only to those willing to become members.
The Basic Paddlers Course is a tandem (two-person) canoeing course taught by provincially certified instructors once a year. The classroom portion takes place on the evening of Wednesday, April 25, with on-the-water training taking place the following two Saturdays.
There’s one instructor for every seven paddlers, according to Robson, meaning everyone receives the necessary attention to become safe, skilled canoers.
Those interested in attending should join the club as members – and quickly, as the course is filling up – but becoming a member does not guarantee a spot in the course, cautioned Robson. The membership fee for adults is $25, but the course itself is free.
Adult members of the club are welcome to apply to register, while junior members (12-19 years) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they wish to do so. The course is not available to those under 12, according to Robson.
“Our experience has been that children under 12 do not have the attention span to stay in a canoe all day, in all weather,” he said.
Participants must attend the classroom session and pass their paddling exam to get their certificate, Robson said. And they have to be prepared to get dumped in the water as part of their training.
Those who become members have the chance to join in on trips arranged by trip leaders, locally and throughout the province.
People from all walks of life are welcome to join – Robson earned his living as a carpenter, he said, and the club has members who are lawyers, judges and engineers.
The most important thing is to be compatible with others in the club and be willing to do your part on wilderness trips, he adds.
“It’s a lot of work,” Robson said. “The safety of the group depends on you.”
For more information, go to the club’s website at beavercanoeclub.org.