Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop


A Canoe Trip With Kids

Yes, It's Doable

Our summer vacation took a bit of a detour when the resort we normally go to went bankrupt. Thankfully, we got our money back but instead of booking something similar we decided to forgo our summer vacay and booked a winter trip on a Disney Cruise instead.

This led me with the conundrum of trying to figure out how to entertain two boys for two months while I still fit in work. Essentially we’ve been doing lots of day trips.

Yesterday my husband and I took our boys canoeing and it was by far one of my most favourite excursions to date.

We booked through a company called Treks In The Wild which took all of the work out of our canoe trip. They provided us with the canoe, paddles, life jackets, a dry bag, safety kit and a map, plus they shuttled us to the start point and put the canoe in the water for us.

It was 2.5 hours of gentle paddling on the Grand River surrounded by nature.

And my children bickering, but that one is kind of a given.

So how do you make an outing like this successful?

1) Pack Snacks and Water: You’re out in the middle of nowhere for two to three hours. Want to know the quickest way to have your outing ruined? By having your little one say to you within the first five minutes, "I'm thirty/hungry." Don’t be caught without food and hydration otherwise that’s all you’ll hear about the rest of the trip.

2) Be Realistic: Originally we were going to rent individual kayaks for each of us but decided to go with the canoe since we were sure our youngest son was capable of doing the entire trip on his own. Smart move. We’d still be on that river if we had gone with the kayaks.

3) Let It Slide: My children bickered at least one full hour of the trip but instead of getting all annoyed and attempting to make them stop I ignored it which, as an aside, almost caused my head to explode in the process, but eventually they stopped.

4) Talk It Up: The pre-trip warm-up is almost the most important part. That’s when you make it sound SUPER EXCITING and OMG WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN!!!!! We could have been going to watch grass grow but by the time I was finished with those boys, they would have been excited to do it.

We’re planning on going back in the fall when the leaves change colour. I’ve already begun to talk it up because OMG — LEAVES CHANGING COLOURS, GUYS!

p.s. Not sponsored. Paid with for my own money because sometimes maintaining your sanity comes with a price tag.