From: Gillson Beach or Skokie Lagoons
Price:$ 425
Duration: 10am - 3pm

Or book a Custom Trip

10am - 3pm
Skill Rating:
Van Supported:
Gillson Beach or Skokie Lagoons
$ 425
Minimum Age 9
Included: All sea kayak equipment, instruction and supervision.
Not Included: Transportation or personal clothing, equipment, and lunch. Cancellation policy applies.

Introduce your paddlers to the skills, techniques and leadership required to enjoy the excitement of kayaking. This course will provide kids with the basic skills to tour on the water. Throughout the week your aspiring adventurer will grow to love the magic a paddle through the water can bring! Ages 9 to 13 welcome.


We will meet our campers at the Gillson Park (directions included) kayak launch at 10:00 a.m. each morning. Please be sure to arrive on time so that we can get started on our full day of exciting activities!

Once everyone has arrived, we’ll start the day with group games that will energize us for the day! We’ll spend some time on land as we learn about the essential gear and safety guidelines of kayaking. Once everyone is comfortable with the equipment and safety guidelines, we’ll get on the water!

In the afternoon we’ll apply what we’ve learned on land in the water! We’ll play games that will incorporate paddle strokes, map reading skills, and other essentials of kayaking. To make sure that each camper is getting the most out of his/her Water Week experience, our skilled staff will provide the best learning environment possible.

Our campers will be prepared to be picked up at 3:00 p.m. each afternoon at Gillson Park. You will be notified if the time or place of pick-up/drop-off is changed.

Monday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch
10:00am Meet Time
Confirm paper work/Answer any Parent Questions
Provide Schedule for week
10:30 Introduction/Games/Daily Morning Activity
11:00 Kayak Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Paddling Games

Tuesday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch
10:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
10:30 Kayak Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Paddling Games

Wednesday Meet Gillson Park Kayak Launch
10:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
10:30 Put-in North Branch Chicago River
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Commute to Centennial Park, Wilmette
1:30 Water Park (Centennial Park, Wilmette)
3:00 PICK- UP at Gillson Park

10:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
10:30 Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling/Orientation to Lagoons
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Kayak the Lagoons
3:00 PICK-UP Skokie Lagoons

Friday Meet at Gillson Park Kayak Launch
10:00 Games/Daily Morning Activity
10:30 Kayak Safety Talk/Outfitting/Paddling
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Kayak the lake front
3:00 PICK-UP at Gillson Park

** Itinerary subject to change.

Clothing & Equipment:

Day Pack containing . . .

  • Water Bottle (filled with water!)
  • Swim Suit
  • Towel
  • Change of Dry Clothes
  • Sun Screen Lotion
  • Sunglasses with retaining strap (optional)
  • Lunch (we will provide a late afternoon snack.)

For each day, please provide clothing layers, as appropriate to the weather and activity, which may include; rain gear, hat, socks, gloves, and a complete change of clothes.
The week should be a fun, exciting learning experience. Comfortable outings will be a direct result of the care you take in preparing for each day. Even rainy days can be fun if the proper clothing is worn. In choosing clothing for sea kayaking, remember that the water is still cold even on hot days. You will get wet. Dress in layers: waterproof pants and jackets are recommended as the outermost layer. Wool and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene and fiber pile maintain much of their insulating value when wet and should be worn as inner layers. Cotton clothing has no insulating value when wet, and is not acceptable.

Trips go rain or shine, but we’re not into getting totally wet, cold or miserable. In the event of very bad weather, an alternate activity may be chosen.

What is special about this trip?
Our Water Week camps are the premier adventure day camps in Chicagoland. Our experienced and enthusiastic guides teach your children to paddle confidently and effectively. Each day is a new adventure during Water Week!

How do I get there?
We kayak out of Gillson Park in Wilmette and the Skokie Lagoons in Winnetka. We will send you a map and detailed directions upon registration.

How and where will you meet me?
We will meet you at the predetermined launch site.

What money should I take?

What's the weather like?
Plan for Chicago summer air temperatures and water temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees.

What do I need to bring?
We will send you a detailed gear list upon registration.

How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
The guides will be carrying cell phones and marine radios.

How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
We split up the day so that everyone gets a chance to learn kayaking skills and go for a few long paddles, but we also save plenty of time for playing around in the water.

What kind of equipment do you use?
We use rotomolded singe and double plastic sea kayaks.

How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Our guides are outdoor professionals who are certified in Wilderness First Aid. Our lead guides are BCU or ACA certified kayak instructors.

How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
No prior experience or conditioning is necessary for this camp.