Caddo Lake State Park
We just got back from one of our favorite camps of the summer, Canoe Camp. Youth Odyssey’s new location this summer was at Caddo Lake State Park! We first scouted the area during our spring break trip with our youth leaders back in March 2018. It was an amazing find, so we had to try this new place for our Canoe Camp! The amazing feature about this new location is we were able to cross the Texas and Louisiana border in a canoe!
Canoe Training Day
Our first day of Canoe Camp was training day! The kids learned parts of the canoe, strokes, t-rescues, and other fun safety things. We also played a fun game called the Paddle Game! The game was the camper favorite activity of the day. We had an amazing time learning all the canoeing skills whether in or out of the water. T-rescues were full of laughter as we were purposefully capsizing our boats.
Skills Into Action
On our second day of Canoe Camp, we put our skills to the test. We went on a 6 mile trip initially up a river, through some paddling trails, and then back down the river to our campground. The river was very calm and beautiful, and we loved being surrounded by tall cypress tress on either side of us. After about 3 miles we paddled off the river, and into the paddling trails. This is where the kids were truly put to the test, and had to show their stroking skills. We were using all the strokes: forward strokes, backward strokes, j-strokes, c-strokes, pry, and pull. They did amazing, however, we did have to perform one t-rescue! Don’t worry, they knew exactly what to do, and we got them safely back in the boat! The day was long, fun, and rewarding. Most importantly, we made it back to the campground safely!
Louisiana Here We Come!
The day we all have been waiting for, the day we cross the borderline into Louisiana! Today was an amazing day, and we had so much fun. We paddled out of Shady Glade Resort into Caddo Lake. On this trip, we went about 12 miles from start to finish. The trails started out windy, but later in the day we paddled out into the open lake. The lake was beautiful, and the kids loved seeing all the lily flowers everywhere. When we made it to the borderline, we stopped for lunch and went for a swim. Many of the kids at that point entered into Louisiana for the first time!
We made a slight change in plans for our free day. Originally we were going to hang out at Caddo Lake State Park to swim and relax. However, we went over to Daingerfield State Park instead for our free day. The park had better swimming, a cool jukebox, volleyball courts, and a nice park store. Needless to say, we had a great time on our free day. We also cooked up hotdogs for lunch, and made s’mores! It was a long, hot, but fun day out at Daingerfield!
Home Sweet Home
The first ever Canoe Camp at Caddo Lake was a great success, and we had a ball! Many friendships were formed, so it was a tough to say goodbye. We will never forget the first time we all paddled across the border into Louisiana in a canoe. However, we did take home some sore arms from the adventure we dominated. We look forward to returning to Caddo Lake next time!