Family Canoeing Trips with Other Families

FamilyCanoeingDC Teams with Canoe Cruisers Association

CCA patchDo you want to canoe with other families on trips that someone else coordinates?  I am joining with the Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington, DC (CCA from here on).  And I’m expanding into Facebook to let readers know about family paddling opportunities with CCA.

By the end of 2015, I expect to have 10,000 readers of this blog!  I bet there are some readers who live in the Washington, DC area, have children and own a canoe or some kayaks. CCA is expanding their family canoe/kayak trip offerings for 2016.  I will be coordinating some flat water paddling trips in addition to the moving water family paddling trips which other CCA members will coordinate.  All family canoe/kayak trips will be announced on Facebook, as well as the CCA website.  I will also look into offering a canoe/ kayak trip to a place which rents canoes and kayaks.

History of CCA

When I started this blog, it was just to help other families find places to paddle with children.  I never expected to have so many readers.  But a little over two years later my statistics tell me a lot of people read this blog, or at least a page or two and that makes me think there are other families out there who are looking to do some family paddling — with other families.

This is from the front page of the CCA website.

The Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington, DC, founded in 1956, has members from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and other nearby regions. We are a kayak and canoe club whose main purpose is to unite persons interested in paddling the Potomac River Basin and adjacent watersheds.

My association with the CCA goes back to my twenties, which is a long time ago.  My background with the CCA goes back to the very first time I paddled on the Potomac River. The first paddler I met was a CCA member and I have been loyal to CCA over the years. You can read about my first summer of paddling in my first blog post.  Of course over the years I’ve belonged to more than one canoe club.  I have belonged to the Monocacy Canoe Club (Frederick), Coastal Canoeists (Richmond), and the Greater Baltimore Canoe (and Kayak) Club (Baltimore).  It doesn’t matter whether you are in a canoe or a kayak, we call ourselves paddlers.  I started in a canoe, switched to kayak, and now I’m back in a tandem canoe.

The reason to do club trips is to meet other paddlers, enjoy the community of paddlers, and exchange knowledge about rivers and trips.  I have found paddlers are the nicest people.

The Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington, DC offers more than just trips.  It offers flat water and whitewater canoe lessons, river kayak lessons, and swiftwater rescue classes.  The club works on conservation and river access issues and there is a racing part of the club.

I’ve taken just about every class they have given, at least once, if not twice.  Back when there were enough people for a solo whitewater canoe class to run a class and an instructor to teach that, I took that class too.

For years, maybe 30 or more years, the CCA, National Park Service and two canoe liveries (Swains in Potomac, and Fletcher’s Boat House in DC) worked together in the summer and offered free or $2 canoeing on the C&O Canal on Tuesday (Fletcher’s) or Thursday (Swains) evenings.  The liveries provided the canoes, the CCA would run it and offer some quick instruction at the beginning and the National Park Service would oversee it.  It was evening canoeing on the canal from 6:30 – 8:00.  Thousands of folks came by and paddled at one or the other places and got an introduction to canoeing.  I found this old Gazette article about the program.

Today, Swain’s Lock Canoe Livery is closed (The Swains retired).  Fletcher’s Boat House remains open, but the program is no more.  I think it has something to do with the NPS lack of support.  Whatever it is, we don’t have that available as an introduction to canoeing.  Many CCA members went for many years.  It was a way to get a little flat water practice, meet friends, and give some tips for new paddlers on the C&O canal.  I was a regular at Swains for several years.

I decided in August 2015, I wanted more families to paddle with and I could use this blog to leverage paddles over to the Canoe Cruisers Association.  They are looking for the next generation of paddlers too!  I’ve always appreciated CCA in that the club has always been very welcoming of beginners and has always offered lessons for a reasonable cost.

I thought Facebook might be the way to go to let families know about family friendly canoeing opportunities with CCA, so I have created a Facebook page for FamilyCanoeingDC.  I’m hoping people will “like” the page and that will be an easy way to get the information about trips out.

I have created the page in the fall of 2015; I figure that gives me all fall, winter and spring to get “likes” and find people interested in family paddling.  If you are not on Facebook, you can still look at the CCA website to find family friendly paddling opportunities.

So like FamilyCanoeingDC on Facebook and keep informed of family canoeing opportunities with the Canoe Cruisers Association.  You can join CCA here.


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