Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Kayak Trip

I have been digging through my brain for a good embarrassing story to share for the link-up.

I have felt embarrassed many a time, but I don’t have any super crazy stories to tell like walking with toilet paper on my shoe, or experiencing a wardrobe malfunction, or messing up a line on stage.

But I did think of one that takes me back to summer of 2007. . .

I was working at summer camp as a counselor for the second year in a row. In the afternoons, the counselors had different “areas” that we worked in like “Arts & Crafts”, “Waterfront/Swimming”, “Nature”, and “Athletics”. My area was “Boating”. It wasn’t that I was an expert of boats, but it’s the area that I got assigned to. And I LOVED it! I learned how to sail, I got an amazing tan, I gained some strength in my arms by lugging canoes around, and I got to sit on a pier on beautiful Lake Chautauqua all afternoon long!

During kids’ camps, we helped them get in and out of their kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats. We monitored them and blew our whistles when they disobeyed rules. But on this particular afternoon, it was Family Camp, and we had a scheduled activity. We were going to take out the canoes and kayaks and do a group trek over to another camp farther down the shore. It was going to be 1.4 miles there, and 1.4 miles back.

I had made the trip before in a canoe with my “boss”, Jim, and I had no memory of it being difficult. I chose to kayak by myself, and I was the only girl among a group of dads, teenage boys, and Jim. We started paddling out, and we had a really nice time out on the water!

When we got to the other camp and turned our boats around, I started to get nervous that the waves were pretty significant coming toward us. The trip there must have been easy because we were riding the waves!

I paddled and paddled and paddled, and then I paused, and I drifted right back to where I started. This kept happening, and I noticed that I had not made much distance along the shoreline. What made it worse—all the guys started getting further and further ahead of me!

At this point, I decided that I could WALK my kayak back to camp quicker than I could paddle. So I hopped out of the kayak, and began pulling it alongside me through the shallow water.

This was all fine until the water got deeper in certain spots, and pulling it got even harder.

And there were piers. LOTS of piers. I had to swim underneath them while dragging the kayak with me. I’m not the best swimmer, so I didn’t want to go out past the piers (in water where I couldn’t touch the bottom).

And what was embarrassing—there were people on their Adirondack chairs along the lake watching this girl walking/swimming with her kayak, ducking under their private piers. I can only imagine what they were thinking! And I don’t know that one of them asked me what I was doing or if I needed help.

I FINALLY got back to camp, and the bell had already rung for dinner. As I was putting my kayak up on the rack, another boating member asked me, “Did Jim find you??” Apparently Jim had realized I was missing, and he had gone out in the camp’s pontoon boat looking for me! I still don’t know how he could have missed me—and how I didn’t see him either—(maybe I was under a pier at the time). :)

I went up to the dining hall for dinner, probably wet and disheveled, and I had to explain the whole story to my soon-to-be boyfriend Stephen. I sounded like quite the damsel in distress, I’m sure :)

Luckily, despite my embarrassing camp moment, and despite some awkward costumes for goofy skits that we did, Stephen started dating me anyway, and we know how that story goes. This summer, we’ll be attending Family Camp for the third year in a row, so things have come full circle. And any embarrassing moments will probably be mommy-related ;)

Linking up with Andrea for “Show and Tell” Tuesday.



  1. What a sweet ending to what I would classify as a terrifying story! That was very smart to stay under the piers - I probably would have gotten washed out to sea! :D Thanks for sharing!

  2. I had a similar event happen while kayaking! I had no trouble getting out, but the wind was blowing and I literally COULD NOT MOVE on the way back. My BIL had to tow me in. Talk about embarrassing! Love this story!! And love how it's come full circle too :-)
    -Erin (No Bohns About It)

  3. I'm sure it felt embarrassing at the time, but it's a sweet story now! =) Fun to read!


Thank you so much for your comments! I enjoy reading each one!


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