Come celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month on the Deerfield River!
In collaboration with Zoar Outdoor and The Venture Out Project, both new and experienced paddlers will spend the day paddling on the river and building community.
New to boating? Great! Zoar will provide instruction so you’ll have fun and learn how to paddle safely. Been down Fife before? Also great! We’ll meet for a river run a half-hour before the dam releases. We will finish up the day with an after-party at Zoar to connect with new and old friends. Yes, there will be Pride-themed souvenirs.
Why are we doing this? With a history of prejudice, discrimination, and abuse in the outdoors, LGBTQ+ people can be hesitant to engage in new outdoor recreation activities, which contributes to the lack of diversity in the outdoors. The Venture Out Project specifically creates inclusive and affirming spaces for the queer community to explore outdoor recreation opportunities. Facilitating access to river-based activities can build a more inclusive and diverse outdoor movement. The purpose of the day is for LGBTQ+ people and allies to participate in whitewater boating, make friends, and create community and connections to encourage further enjoyment and stewardship of our outdoor world.
A whitewater kayak is just like an extension of your body. It fits snugly to give you maximum control and maneuverability. After introducing you to the sport of kayaking and to your equipment, we get our first taste of paddling in the security of a pond. We start by teaching you to safely exit the kayak when upside down. Then we move on to learning basic strokes, including sweep strokes, forward strokes, draws, and braces. Once everyone is comfortable in their boats, we head to moving water where we introduce river maneuvers such as the eddy turn, peel out and ferry. In the afternoon we will also join up with event participants. Clinic folks will continue the run with guidance from Zoar instructors, but also have the opportunity to interact with the main group.
- 8am: Carpool to Zoar from Northampton (will provide more details upon request)
- 9am: Novice clinic meets at Zoar
- 12:30: Meet at Zoar lunch spot – (Zoar provides lunch)
- 5:30-ish: After-party at Zoar. Meet fellow paddlers, sign up for a meal through Zoar, bring your own
snacks and beverages, and hang out while celebrating a great day!