Today is National Canoe Day, and we invited our own Director of Programs, Jennifer “Twinkle” Buckelew to share her thoughts on the tradition of canoeing.

Being on the water is my favorite place! The sound of the paddle dipping into the water, the splash of a fish jumping and the feeling of the breeze on your face are a few of my favorite things. Whether you are gliding on the still waters of a lake or slipping through the rapids on a river, the view from a boat gives you new perspectives on the world, people, animals and nature.

There are many benefits of canoeing or paddling sports. Canoeing is a low impact activity that increases your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. It engages your whole body – core, back, arms and legs– without intense wear on joints and tissue.

The mental health benefits of canoeing include stress relief, positive self-esteem and increased social skills. As you propel your boat across the stream, your brain triggers the release of chemicals that improve your mood. Water sports provide opportunities to be social with diverse groups of people and create a sense of community with other boaters.

The sport of canoeing is open to everyone! Families can share the love of the sport, explore nature and stay fit. These opportunities provide quality family time and shared memories to last a lifetime.

Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee provides several opportunities for girls of all ages to participate in canoeing and water sport activities. Younger Girl Scouts can begin canoeing lessons in our pools during troop camping weekends and summer camp. When they are ready, they can take a canoe out on Sycamore Creek, a creek that runs through Camp Sycamore Hills. In addition to our camp canoe options, we have also partnered with Standup Paddle Board Nashville to offer introductory paddle boarding to girls. Ambassador Girl Scouts can earn their Paddling Badge by completing one of three different water activities: canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.

Through canoeing, Girl Scouts can build strength, relieve stress, make new friends or just have fun!

To reserve a spot at camp for troop camping, click here.

The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are. –Lynn Noel

I will meet you on the water, my friends!
Jennifer “Twinkle” Buckelew