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Sitting at a small table at Starbucks, hoping a cappuccino will help illuminate the path, I wonder how in the world all of the stuff the Canoe Museum is working on is going to come together.  We are working on a full roster of fall adult artisan workshops, new education programs, new public events, new tour packages, fundraisers, a strategic planning retreat, a new exhibit for the spring, a fall appeal, the Beaver Club Gala and on top of it all, a project bigger than any of this–a partnership with Parks Canada and the full redevelopment and moving of the Museum to the water!  How do we do it?? Read the rest of this entry »

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Summer camps? What?! I can’t believe the ice is just out now and that I just planted my peas and spinach last night.  Everything is so late this spring and as such so is my planning for the summer. This is the first year for me that one of my kids can register for the fabulous (and affordable) Paddling Camps that we offer at the Canoe Museum.  Check out the Paddling camp scene on the video below for a taste of what kids are going to be up to this coming summer (and yes, summer is coming)!  Register soon, space is limited and there are others out there who also haven’t planned their summer yet!

Parks Canada and The Canadian Canoe Museum Consider Potential Relocation
of Museum to Peterborough Lift Lock

Collaboration would boost tourism and sustainability

artist rendition of the Canoe Museum at the Peterborough Lift Lock

April 9, 2014 – Parks Canada

Parks Canada and the Canadian Canoe Museum are exploring an innovative idea of relocating the museum to the Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site on the Trent-Severn Waterway as a way to boost the tourism and revenue potential for both organizations.

The construction of a new museum at this location would consolidate two significant tourism and recreation destinations in the region and offer enhanced opportunities for Canadian families, including the opportunity to better explore the canoe’s history in Canada and enjoy the diverse water-related programming and associated activities that can be offered by the museum at this historic location.

Parks Canada and the Canoe Museum will now enter into detailed negotiations to determine the terms of the potential partnership. This joint project would aim to increase visitation and offer new opportunities that would support each organization’s mandate and their financial sustainability.

This project demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to work with partners and communities to help canals be a premier tourism destination, generate revenue, foster recreation and economic development, and ultimately build strong communities and support Canadian families. For the Canoe Museum, this initiative represents the potential fulfillment of a long-cherished aspiration – the relocation to a new water-based site that will enable wider and more extensive programming. Read the rest of this entry »

A gazillion times a day, this is how it goes:

“Education Coordinator, Karen Taylor speaking…”

“Yes, hello, I’m just wondering if I could bring my students (scouts, guides, youth group) for a tour.”

“No.”

Okay, I don’t really just say NO.  I do have some people skills.  But that is my answer in a nutshell, because I know that when we get your 28 grade 2s – or your 11 Guides or your 17 at-risk youth – into the Museum,  the worst move is to herd ’em up and lead the pack through our exhibits, even though there’s fascinating stuff to talk about and just about any one of us here could go on for hours about it all, passionately, adding the behind-the-scenes stories and more historical context to the wealth of information already in our displays.

Instead, when you call, I’m going to nudge you to toss that idea of a How-to-Visit-a-Museum out the window, and sign your kids up for an experience, for learning-by-doing, for one of our many education programs that aim to take kids to that the edge of their comfort zone where learning happens, and where learning lasts. “Experiential education” can take a lot of forms around here: role plays, a new hands-on skill, artistic expression, games,  but this is what it has looked like in the past couple of weeks. Doesn’t it look fun?! Read the rest of this entry »

You may not remember this, but on Thursday, September 12, in the middle of the afternoon, it was raining.  A lot. You could even call it torrential. I don’t have an impressive photo of the downpour, but let’s just say it was not the kind of weather to make even this life-long, hard-core canoeist think: golly, let’s head out for a picnic and paddle this evening.

So, a hundred cheers for the two dozen intrepid new Canadians who did just that, coming out on a chilly, still damp – but surprisingly precipitation-free! – evening to meet new friends and experience a Voyageur canoe ride along the Otonabee River.

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I have to admit it: it seems just the teensiest bit as if summer is… okay, I’ll just say it… over.  It’s not the back-to-school stuff in the stores (which has been up since July anyway) or the recent crisp nights, it’s that for me summer is all about the Museum’s Paddling Camps — and we’ve just said goodbye to our last campers for the year.

Our five weeks of camp saw over 50 paddlers learning new paddling skills and earning ORCKA certifications, with 23 new paddlers earning Level 1 badges, and our returning campers achieving 12 level 2s, five level 3s and seven Tripping 1A certifications. Plus five intrepid and very dedicated campers took us up on our new camp offering this year — the Level 4 ORCKA option, achieving their solo canoe certifications in just one week — no small achievement (can YOU paddle a canoe on your own in a straight line backwards?).  But badge stats aside, that’s a whole lot of kids with water safety and paddling skills they can use to enjoy the Canadian wilderness, or just a local river, their whole lives through. Read the rest of this entry »

We all have our systems when on trip.   We have our dish system, our shelter system, our sleeping system, and of course, our kitchen system.  I am definitely a ‘nester’ and must say that my kitchen system reflects this pretty well:)  I like canoe tripping because I can carry things that make my back country ‘nest’ more comfortable, especially my kitchen nest.   This is a sampling of the kitchen gear I like to have on hand when I head out on canoe trip with the family or my friends.

all gear shot July 24 2013

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If you’ve raised children, looked after children or read to children, chances are you’ve encountered Richard Scarry’s immortal Busytown stories and met Huckle the Cat, his sister Sally, Mr. Frumble and of course, Lowly Worm. One of the stories begins something like this (it’s been a few years since I read this, so forgive me if the quotation is a little bit off!):

It’s early morning in Busytown. My, what a busy place!

That line went through my head all last week, as we were a very busy place indeed. The week began with Arts & Culture Week, part of Peterborough’s Seniors Month event, organized by indefatigable community organizer (and former Canoe Museum Board Member) Pat Hooper.

Seniors Month cropped

Monday it was photography and artisans and a wigwam drop-in. Tuesday brought the New Horizons band, square dancers and singers. Wednesday was painting, Thursday was theatre, artisans and a wigwam drop-in and Friday offered more music and journal and memoir writing. So far, so good and pretty busy. As the psalm says, there was definitely some “joyful noise,” especially when the kids from Spring Valley PS got together with members of the Fairhaven Choir.

IMG_5602 2013 June 14 Spring Valley and Fairhaven choir

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Poster - Men Legal SizedYou are a bit of DIY’er and you like the idea of small boats, boat building, canoe building and maybe kayak building but you aren’t sure where to begin? You like looking at different kinds of boats and seeing how they are made, how they fit together and what tools are needed to make it all work.  You are keen to learn directly from the actual woodworkers, builders and artisans? Maybe you aren’t ready to build something yourself yet but you want to know more about the different companies, meet them, talk to them and find out more about the options available to you.  You might already have a boat you are proud of and are looking to connect with other people who have a boat like yours or maybe you are keen to make a paddle for your canoe or kayak? The place for you on Saturday June 22nd is the Small Craft Rendezvous at The Canadian Canoe Museum! Read the rest of this entry »

americanCraftPress01Join us SATURDAY JUNE 22nd at The Canadian Canoe Museum for the Small Craft Rendezvous, a day devoted to all things watercraft.  Take in live demonstrations of canoe canvassing (Carlisle Canoes), back-country cooking (ORCKA), tool sharpening (Lee Valley Tools) and wood bending (Michael Fortune) to name just a few.  There will be family-friendly crafts, activities and a special presentation by Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre.  A BBQ lunch will be available on-site as well as Kawartha Dairy ice cream!  See the Rendezvous‘ webpage for a more thorough listing.  It’s still not too late to register. Registration for exhibitors, vendors and participants is still open, so if you would like to bring something to display or demonstrate, please click here to register.

To make the day even better, NICK OFFERMAN will be at the Museum to take in the various demonstrations and exhibits.  Joan Barrett and Ted Moores’ of Bear Mountain Boats‘ invited Nick, their colleague, friend and Bear Mountain boat builder, to attend the day and he said YES!!  Nick Offerman currently stars as Ron Swanson on NBC’s wildly popular show, Parks and Recreation.  Nick will be hosting a special dinner at the Canoe Museum for Bear Mountain Boats and Ted Moores’ 40th anniversary. Tickets are sold out for this.

Nick Offerman Q&A posterIf you are a fan of Nick Offerman, then this is the event for you.  An informal, intimate and likely hilarious Q&A with Nick Offerman will be from 2:30pm-4:00pm in the Education Room at the Canoe Museum on Saturday June 22nd.  Appetizers and 2 drinks are provided with your ticket. Tickets are $30 and seating is limited.  To purchase a ticket, click here.