Youth Paddle Program

Kayaking in Jamaica Bay

Questions? Like to schedule a group? Contact

Description . When . Cancellation of Trips . Your Health . Safety . What to Bring . Questions


  • These paddling trips are guided group kayak trips launching from the dock of the Sebago Canoe Club on Paerdegat Basin into the adjacent waters of Jamaica Bay (Gateway National Park). These paddles will take place during July and August.
  • This paddle program (boats, equipment and trained leaders) is FREE-OF-CHARGE to participants 16 yrs and younger.
  • Sebago Canoe Club will PAY the mandatory insurance fee. This fee is sent directly to the insurance company. No one may participate in this program without the Insurance Waiver being signed by parents or guardians. Trips are strictly limited to 20 participants’ circumstances permitting. Participants are expected to help carry boats and equipment from the storage facilities to the dock and help wash and store all boats and equipment on their return.


  • Open Paddles take place (weather permitting) on specific dates determined by the participating group and Sebago. Trips may be cancelled due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Paddles include approximately 20-min. introduction on land and the on water paddling excursions can last up to 1hr.

Cancellation of Trips

  • Trips may be cancelled or modified due to weather conditions, water conditions, or for safety reasons. The trip leader has COMPLETE Authority over the trip and SAFETY of all participants is paramount.
  • You will be sent contact information about 1 week before your visit to the club. It is suggested that you contact the club representative on the day of your event BEFORE you leave for the club to get any specific details or to see if the event needs to be canceled.

Your Health

  • Participants can be from 10 to 16 yrs old. However, you must realize that you do need to be in good physical shape to help carry your boat and equipment to the dock and back.
  • You must be physically able to sit in an open sit-on-top boat and paddle for a 1 hr period.
  • Persons with physical disabilities should contact the Open Paddle coordinator BEFORE you arrive for a paddle.
  • If you have any health concerns please contact the Paddle coordinator BEFORE you arrive for a paddle.

Safety Requirements

  • Volunteer Trip Leaders and Assistants have taken certified courses in kayaking and leadership.
  • Trip Leaders have taken and passed additional kayak rescue classes. Trip Leaders and Assistants carry VHF radios in case of emergencies.
  • Trips leaders have complete authority over all trips and may exclude any individual as they see fit. Please keep in mind that during these paddles you will be operating as part of a group under the direction of the leaders.
  • You must sign a standard American Canoe Association Insurance Waiver.
  • Lifejackets must be worn and closed at all times.
  • Competent swimming skills are encouraged but not required, you should at a minimum be comfortable in the water. The boats used are all wide recreational kayaks designed for beginners but there is always a chance of falling into the water.

What to Bring

  • Dress appropriately for the day. Sebago suggests that all participants wear sneakers and clothes that can get wet and that they bring a set of dry clothes to change into after the paddle. There are lockers available to leave your dry clothes, keys and wallet. Please bring your own small locker size lock.
  • The water in July and August is warm and you should wear clothes that are breathable. We recommended that clothes NOT be made of COTTON. Breathable sportswear is suggested.
  • Please bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a bottle of water and an energy snack. Please eat something and drink at least 8 oz of water before you arrive in order to be fueled for the trip. Snacks can be left in the refrigerator (please mark your name on the bag) at the club or taken with you on the paddle.
  • Sebago will not be responsible for the loss of any items. Please leave your valuables at home.
  • There are no shower facilities available and restrooms consist of Porta-Sans on the property. Drinking water is available in the clubhouse.