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PADDLE-A-THON

Coldwater Canada Paddle-A-Thon | Saturday, June 22, 2024

Would you consider sponsoring a paddler to help make Coldwater experiences possible to young people this summer?

 

As a ministry that cares deeply about seeing youth and adult lives changed through wilderness experiences, we seek to keep our registration fees as low as possible. However, every year there are still students who approach us in need of financial assistance in order to participate in a wilderness program. So, on June 22nd, we are hosting our annual Paddle-A-Thon Fundraising Event, and every dollar raised will help make a transformative wilderness experience possible for students requiring financial assistance this summer. 

This event is designed for all ages and abilities. To be involved, you can either register to paddle the half-day or full-day course, or you can give a financial gift HERE to sponsor a student this summer. 

Event details
  • Paddlers will meet at the end location (Brant Conservation Area) where they will leave their vehicles and get checked in for the event. After checking in, Coldwater volunteers will provide transportation from the Brant Conservation Area to the starting location. Participants will then paddle down the river until they reach the Brant Conservation Area where they will conclude the day with a celebratory BBQ. 

  • At the start locations, participants will be outfitted with a paddle, a PFD, a canoe and basic paddle instruction. Canoes will be assigned to a group led by a trained Coldwater Wilderness Instructor and will travel together. Yes, you can use your own canoe or kayak! More details in the FAQ below.

  • This event is rain or shine, so please dress accordingly!

 

Full event schedule, registration details, fundraising specifics, and FAQs can be found below. 

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE is June 17th, 2024. Register by June 5th to receive a limited edition 2024 Coldwater Canada Paddle-a-Thon t-shirt on the day of the event!

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FULL-DAy | CAMBRIDGE to Brantford
(approx. 42km, 7-8 hours, 2 short portages)

The full-day option is designed for pairs and families who are eager to spend the whole day on the water and are open to being challenged. This route will give participants the opportunity to paddle through diverse settings from downtown Galt to rural Brant County.

You will meet and park at the Brant Conservation Area Parkview Pavilion between 7:45–8:00 AM. Upon arrival, you will check-in, receive your food for the day and meet your fellow paddlers. At 8:15 AM, you will be shuttled to Cambridge to be outfitted and hit the water. Your group will have lunch mid-day on the water while paddling to Brant Conservation Area where everyone will finish, have dinner and celebrate at the Parkview Pavilion.

Brant Conservation Area map: https://www.grandriver.ca/en/outdoor-recreation/resources/Documents/Park-maps-2022/BrantTearOff-2022.pdf

HALF-DAY | Glen Morris to Brantford
(approx. 25km, 4-5 hours, 1 short portage)

The half-day paddle is designed for pairs and families who are interested in a shorter paddling experience through some beautiful sections of the Grand River. This is also a great option for families with younger kids eager to get their feet wet and stretch their paddling muscles!

You will meet and park at the Brant Conservation Area Parkview Pavilion between 10:45 AM—11:00 AM. Upon arrival, you will check-in, receive your food for the day and meet your fellow paddlers. At 11:15 AM, you will be shuttled to Glen Morris to be outfitted and hit the water. Your group will paddle until Brant Conservation Area where everyone will finish, have dinner and celebrate at the Parkview Pavilion.

Brant Conservation Area map: https://www.grandriver.ca/en/outdoor-recreation/resources/Documents/Park-maps-2022/BrantTearOff-2022.pdf

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Registration Details

Half-Day Costs: $95 per pair, $30 per additional child (maximum of two children per canoe)

Full-Day Costs: $135 per pair, $45 per additional child (maximum of two children per canoe)

 

**A ‘pair’ is any two people who register together and share a canoe; both over the age of 12. 

**A ‘child’ is anyone ages 5 - 12 who registers with a pair and sits in the bottom of the hull; children 4 & under are free.

 

**Registration closes June 17th, 2024**

 

Please Note:

  • ​If you register by June 5th, 2024 you will receive a limited edition 2024 Coldwater Canada Paddle-a-Thon t-shirt on the day of the event!

  • If you would like to register more than two children ages 12 & under, please email jessm@coldwatercanada.org

  • If you are having trouble finding a friend to register with and would like us to pair you with another individual, please email jessm@coldwatercanada.org, and we would be happy to find you a partner.

  • The registration fee covers event costs including transportation, lunch, snacks, dinner, canoes, paddles, PFD’s and trained leaders.

  • Please make sure to identify any dietary restrictions and health-related information on the registration form.

  • Registration fees are not tax receiptable.

fundraising details

Leading up to the event, participants are encouraged to spend time inviting family and friends to financially support their paddle. While the registration fee covers the cost of the Paddle-a-Thon, 100% of any financial donations will go towards the Coldwater Student Sponsorship Fund. Please note that while registration fees are not tax receiptable, donations are tax receiptable.

Once registered, paddlers can follow the steps below in order to fundraise:

Step One

Set a personal fundraising goal! We encourage aiming for at least $405, which would cover one registration fee for our shortest trip. If you want to aim big, a goal of $2300 would cover one spot in our month-long IGNITE leadership program for high school students.

Step Two 

Share about the Paddle-a-thon and your fundraising goal with your friends and family network. Invite them to financially contribute as you paddle in support of making a transformative wilderness experience possible for students requiring financial assistance this summer. Be sure to include THIS LINK and remind people to include your name when they fill out the donation form.

Step Three

Check in on your fundraising progress by viewing the personalized spreadsheet that we will share with you via the email address provided on the registration form. Continue to reach out to your network until you reach your fundraising goal!

 

Step Four

Enjoy your paddle down the Grand River on Saturday, June 22nd!

Step Five

Be sure to thank everyone who donated on your behalf. It is always a nice touch to include a picture of yourself from the day of the event! Also, be sure to direct people to the Coldwater Canada Facebook and Instagram pages where they will find updates on the event.

  • WHAT KIND OF FOOD DO YOU EAT ON TRIPS?
    Our trip food is delicious and nutritious! We take food seriously since we are so active during the day. In addition to providing the necessary nutrients to refuel our bodies, our meals are a core part of our wilderness experiences - students play a significant role in the planning and cooking of meals and are given opportunities to be creative and experiment when doing so. Most of the food we bring on our trips is dehydrated, with the exception of a few fresh meals at the beginning of the trip. The dried food is the real deal, it's just been dried up to save both space and weight (something you'll be thankful for on the portage trail). Cooking over a fire, sipping hot drinks, and enjoying meals together are often highlights for our participants, so come prepared to enjoy! Bon appetit!
  • WHAT LEVEL OF WILDERNESS AND PADDLING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED TO GO ON A TRIP?
    None, unless otherwise specified! Our trips are designed to accommodate people of all experience levels. Our highly trained and equipped instructors will teach you everything you need to know in order to thrive in the wilderness. We just ask that you be willing to challenge yourself and try new things. Our experiences operate on a 'challenge by choice' principle. This means that regardless of your experience level, you should expect to be challenged. This will look different for everyone; some challenges may be physical, some mental, some relational, some spirtitual.
  • CAN PARTICIPANTS TAKE THEIR PHONES AND OTHER TECHNOLOGY ON THE TRIPS?
    One of the greatest reasons we head out into the wilderness is to free ourselves from the immense volume of distractions that plague us in the world we know. As such, we ask participants to leave their technology in a safe storage area at the base camp while they are out on their trip. Taking a break from technology allows participants to be fully present with one another, and gives the group the best chance to become a tight-knit community. Not to mention, cell phones won't have reception in the backcountry and there is a risk of damage to electronics if they are brought out on trip. That being said, participants are more than welcome to bring along a camera if they would like. Coldwater will provide the opportunity for participants to collaborate and share all their photos after the trip is over.
  • WHAT SORT OF TRAINING DO THE TRIP LEADERS UNDERGO?
    Our instructors take part in a fully immersive two-month training program. The first month involves the development of a wide range of 'hard' wilderness skills through a three-week backcountry canoe trip. These skills include paddling techniques, camp craft, navigation, fire building, and cooking over a fire. Following their trip, leaders spend over a month learning about the process of small group development, the journey of spiritual formation, and the stages of adolescence and psychological development. This training is full of practical, hands-on experience so that all instructors can feel equipped and empowered to lead on trips. Coldwater also requires that all instructors hold a valid Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification prior to the beginning of the summer.
  • HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS AND LEADERS ARE TYPICALLY ON A TRIP?
    Our trip experiences are rooted in small group development because this is where we tend to see the most significant growth. In light of that, each trip has two highly trained, mature instructors and around 5-10 students.
  • WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A POTENTIAL PARTICIPANT WHO'S NERVOUS THAT THEY'LL SLOW THE GROUP DOWN?
    You have a unique role in the group and the group needs you! Each person on the trip, including you, has unique strengths and brings something of value to your trip community. Similarly, each person has areas where they can improve. If you look at your areas of improvement as learning opportunities instead of a weakness that hinders the group, you will experience so much more growth! The point of our trips is not to simply get from point A to point B as fast as possible; we are journeying. This means that what happens along the way is just as important, or maybe more so, than the final destination.
  • DO PARTICIPANTS HAVE ANY DOWN TIME DURING THE TRIP TO RELAX?
    Our trips are fairly fast-paced, but we believe strongly in fun, reflection, and taking the time to find a Christ-centred calmness while in the wilderness. Morning quiet times are an integral part of our daily routine, as are evening group conversations around the campfire. Should the opportunity present itself, groups have been known to enjoy swimming, hiking, and exploring.
  • I STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS. HOW CAN I REACH OUT?
    Please feel free to send an email with any questions you may have to info@coldwatercanada.org and we'll get back to you shortly!
  • HOW DO I KNOW WHICH TRIP TO SIGN UP FOR?
    Each of our trips is designed for a certain age range. We've listed ages for each trip, which indicate what age you will be by the end of this calendar year. For increased clarity, we've added grade ranges this year for all youth trips. If you still find yourself unsure of which trip to sign yourself or your child up for, please feel free to send an email to info@coldwatercanada.org.
  • WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY?
    In the unlikely event of an emergency that cannot be handled with the available first aid supplies, instructors are equipped with and trained to use a satellite locator device. This device sends out the exact location of the group to the assigned Coldwater contact person. This person is available for contact 24/7 for the duration of the trip. Immediately upon receipt of the 'help' signal, a team is mobilized to head out and meet the group, bringing whatever they might need. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, the instructors can use the special SOS button to send a signal to the nearest emergency services team. This team typically travels by helicopter, providing a very quick response time. They will arrive at the location of the signal and will take the necessary action.
  • ARE THE TRIPS SAFE?
    Every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of all staff and participants on a trip. All of our instructors are individuals who have proven themselves to be competent and mature in the wilderness and who have received a high degree of first aid training that meets the industry standard. Risk management is a significant portion of instructor training and our instructors are trained to identify different hazards and address them before they become an issue.
  • WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A POTENTIAL PARTICIPANT WHO'S BEEN TO A STAY-OVER BIBLE CAMP BEFORE AND LOVED IT, BUT HAVEN'T BEEN ON A CANOE TRIP? ARE THERE CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF CAMP THAT MIGHT BE FAMILIAR TO THEM ON A COLDWATER TRIP?"
    Definitely come on a trip! Similar to camp, you will have leaders (we call them instructors) with you for the whole week. You will get the chance to swim, sing songs, have morning devotion times, and make strong friendships. You'll also get to try new things like cooking over a fire, setting up a shelter, paddling a canoe, and using a map and compass to find your way!
  • Will I be required to wear a PFD?
    YES. All participants and instructors will be required to wear PFDs when they are on or in the water.
  • What will the day look like?
    After checking-in at the Brant Conservation Area and being shuttled to your starting point, the rest of your day will be spent paddling down the Grand River. You can expect good conversation, breaks when needed and time well spent outside.
  • What should I bring?
    Please bring the following with you on June 22nd: Weather appropriate clothing Close toed shoes (we recommend an old pair of running shoes that you can get wet) A sun hat Two reusable water bottles (there will be Coldwater Nalgenes available for purchase) Sunscreen Sunglasses A dry change of clothes to keep in your vehicle and change into for the BBQ (optional)
  • Are we travelling by ourselves or in groups? What if I get lost?
    You will be traveling in a group of canoes led by a Coldwater Wilderness Instructor who will be keeping an eye out for you. There will be safety protocols and risk management in place and check-ins along the way.
  • Are there prizes for top fundraisers?
    Yes! We greatly appreciate your efforts and want to thank you for your hard work towards making Coldwater programs accessible for every student. The Paddle-a-thon participant who individually raises the highest amount of funds for our Student Sponsorship Fund prior to June 22nd, 2024 will be awarded a two-night stay at Cedar Shore Cottage in Turkey Point, ON, redeemable between September 2024 and April 2025. Full details will be provided to the winner in the weeks following the Paddle-a-thon.
  • What if there is lightning or other inclement weather?
    In the case of lightning or other unsafe inclement weather, participants will be guided off of the water until the unsafe weather passes. If it is just rain, the event will continue.
  • What will I do with my vehicle?
    You can leave your vehicle parked at the Brant Conservation Area. Parking is $8.50.
  • What if I have my own canoe or kayak?
    If you plan on bringing your own canoe or kayak, please let us know in the registration form. You are responsible for transporting your own canoe or kayak to the starting point (Full-Day: Cambridge, Half-Day: Glen Morris) prior to meeting at the Brant Conservation Area.
  • What gear is included?
    On the day of the event, we will provide: A canoe and safety kit for every pair registered. A PFD and paddle for each participant. A First-Aid kit for every group.
  • Do I have to fundraise?
    Your registration fee will help cover the cost of the event. However, your fundraising efforts will directly impact the lives of students in need of financial assistance. In order to make a greater impact, please intentionally and prayerfully fundraise.
  • When does the event end?
    We are anticipating both groups to arrive back at Brant Conservation Area around 5:30 PM. We will enjoy a celebratory BBQ dinner together and be on our way before your parking day pass expires at 8:00 PM.
  • How do I fundraise? Is there a minimum amount I need to fundraise?
    For details on how to fundraise, check out the ‘Fundraising Specifics’ section above. If you have any further questions or want to discuss ideas, feel free to contact Jess at jessm@coldwatercanada.org. As for the minimum amount to fundraise, we encourage at least $405, which would cover one registration fee for our shortest trip.
  • What will the dinner look like?
    A BBQ dinner will be provided by Coldwater volunteers for your arrival at the Brant Conservation Area at the end of your paddle.
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