ecosplash kids camp to get outside
Ecuador, Kids Outdoors

Outdoor Experiences for Your Kids – Not Toys

-we are the whitewater industry leader in providing outdoor experiences for you and your kids!!

Both here in North Carolina and internationally, we have a long tradition of being part of parents and childrens’ outdoor experiences. That tradition began 26+ years ago.

Kids Kayaking Internationally

Our first “young international paddler” was Caleb, some 20+ years ago. For his 16th birthday, his parents gave him a trip to Costa Rica with us. Caleb came sans parents – so he was a 16 year old along on a trip full of adults. He was a role model for what we came to expect from young people traveling with us: an enthusiastic paddler, totally cool spending a week with a group of “adults”, curious, attentive and not scared to ask questions. Our favorite Caleb question was on a day we were driving back to Turrialba from the river, and we were passing people walking alongside the road. Caleb asked “why are so many people walking?” When we said “because they do not own cars and walk to where they are going,” he became very quiet for the rest of the trip back to town, processing the idea that there were places where people did not drive everywhere. Caleb went on to become an accomplished kayaker, a valuable part of Endless River Adventures in our early years, half of our first “couple” that met working with us, and eventually a husband and a father. His time with us inspired us to encourage young people to travel with us.

We have had many young people join us paddling. Some have come with their parents, and some in groups. Not only do we enjoy what a young person adds to our trip, it has been documented that family vacations not only boost long-term happiness, but vacations can make children smarter.

Parents and Kids Sharing Adventures in Ecuador

This year in Ecuador was no exception. During our 2019-2020 season, we had four separate father/kid teams come down to paddle with us in Ecuador. Three were father/daughters and one father/son. The kids ranged from 14-17 years old. The dads ranged from “dad age to dad age” 😉

In finishing up our Ecuador season, we thought we would touch base with each of the four after their trips to ask what made this particular trip special for them. Following are some of their thoughts.

Brent and Olivia from South Carolina
Brent – “The most exciting part of paddling with my daughter with ERA in Ecuador also brought a tear to my eye. We came to a section on a river where I had to said good bye to her. She had the skills to continue, but I did not. As a parent, the objective is to raise your kids so they pursue life successfully without you. However, there is a sadness when they start doing it.”
Olivia – My favorite part about kayaking in Ecuador was having the opportunity to run harder sections of the river and seeing different types of scenery on the runs. I also enjoyed being chased by a cow while taking off of a river that had just flashed. A shout out to Ben and Tarquino for taking me down harder sections of whitewater. Off the river, I really enjoyed Kimchi, the side trips we did, especially to the equator, and the visit to the school. Thanks, Juliet, for this amazing opportunity.

Mike and Hayden from South Carolina
Hayden (our youngest this year) “My favorite part about kayaking in Ecuador was the big water. It was really scary but it was so much fun!”
Mike “-I loved all the firsts I got to do with Hayden.  First plane trip, first time out of country, biggest water she’s ever paddled.”

Todd and Olivia from Georgia
Todd– “It is difficult to pinpoint one thing which defined our trip to Ecuador.  There were a world of experiences that created memories.  It is always amazing to travel and paddle internationally with your kid.  What was extra special about this trip is that it was the first time Olivia traveled internationally where she did not have to train for a competition.  This trip was 100% about fun.  I loved seeing her have a great time running awesome rivers and interacting with all the different characters and trying new things.  If I had to narrow it down, it was great to spend time with her totally relaxed and seeing the awesome person she is and growing up to be. “

Dave and Zach from NC
Zach: “I really loved paddling different rivers every day… and ones that are different than the runs at home”. He also said, “It was really fun to paddle with folks I’ve never boated with before”.
Dave – “Watching Zachary explode into an amazing young boater… but more than that… getting to share a unique and irreplaceable bonding experience… the kind that we’re fortunate to have maybe just once in a lifetime”

Happiness from Experiences not Possessions

There are so many studies out there that document the idea that children’s happiness can be derived from experiences rather than material possessions.

Outdoor Adventures: Ecuador 2020

If you are thinking about your children and what would be the best investment in their future, think about an international trip to Ecuador with us. We have posted our 2020-20201 dates. Start thinking about what it would be like to share an incredible week with your children in a wonderful country.

Outdoor Adventures: Here in North Carolina 2020

And here in North Carolina, we have
an awesome line up of outdoor experiences
for you and your kids this season!!
New for this summer is our EcoSplash Camp.
Don’t miss out!!

“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.”

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