Outdoor Education: Candlelight Canoeing Activity

Outdoor Education: Candlelight Canoeing Activity

Dick Moss

If you're taking your students canoeing, a candlelight paddle can be the perfect finale for your trip. It's especially nice if you a calm stretch of water near your final campsite.

You'll need a placid stretch of water and a night that is calm and dry. You'll also need a number of one-gallon (large size) pickle jars. These jars are readily available from facilities that cook for large groups, such as restaurants or summer camps. Be sure to get jars with openings large enough to fit your hand.

Because these jars are large, this activity is best performed at your final or base camp, so you don't have to carry them on your trip. Fill the bottom quarter of the jars with sand and insert a candle into the sand so it sits upright in the jar.

Candlelight Canoeing
Light the candles and assign one to each canoe. Your students place their jar and candle in random locations on the water. The jars are large enough to remain buoyant and the sand will keep them upright in the water.

The effect of these flickering flames floating on the water is beautiful and you can enhance the atmosphere by playing soft music from the shore.

Let your students paddle or float on the water for 20 to 30 minutes, listening to the music and watching the candles. It will be a lovely, serene activity they will associate with nature and remember for many years to come.

Reference: Terry Moss (Associate Editor), PE Update.com. From an activity she participated in at the Bark Lake Outdoor Education Centre, in Ontario, Canada.

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