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Canoe-O on The Charles

By Emie Gerard

On Tuesday, August 7th, 2018, the MSYEP teens did an activity called: Canoe-O. During the Canoe-O, a number of things happened. A group almost capsized due to a spider problem, another group had one of its members stand up in their canoe, and  almost everyone got stuck in the swamps and plants. The purpose of the Canoe-O was to reach the controls by canoe, which was a type of water Score-O. We were also supposed to figure out a phrase. One control equaled one letter. Once you reached a control, you were then one letter closer to finding out the phrase.

I would say, one of the biggest struggles of the Canoe-O was constantly paddling and trying not to splash water everywhere. In the beginning, we were just drifting until my group decided we should start paddling. Paddling got harder after minute 20, like, really hard. Your shoulder muscles ache, your wrists ache, even your fingers ached. Yet, we still had an hour to go. One thing I personally disliked were the lily pads. Everytime we passed a group of them, my paddle was snagged and pulled away from me. A co-worker said one of her struggles was actually paddling correctly.

Although, not everything was bad. Another co-worker said that they actually liked just the canoeing, as it is an activity in itself. Someone else said that they enjoyed everything. He said since it was orienteering it was great. Personally, I really liked the swans and fish that we saw. During our adventure up stream, we came close to two swans. At one point, when we had to go on land, we saw a father fishing with his son and they had caught two colorful fish. Also, even if getting in the first time was daunting, I got used to getting in and out of the canoe, even to the point where I was helping other people out, when they reached the dock.

Controls were set up prior to our arrival, 17 in all. We were given at least an hour and a half to get to as many controls as we could. To get bonus points, there were certain times where controls were allowed to be picked up and brought back. The team that won had a total of 9 points, bonuses included. Second place ended up with 8 points, and three teams were tied for third.

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