Waterfront Program

Learn to fish, row, canoe, and kayak at the Lafayette Reservoir.

All campers participate in waterfront activities taught by our lifeguard-certified waterfront staff. Activities are tailored for all ages and abilities to make this a safe and fun area of camp. Campers develop their skills through instruction, practice, and adventures along the Reservoir. Waterfront activities include canoeing (2nd grade & up), fishing (all ages), rowing (K-4th grade), and kayaking (5th grade & up). Learn more these activities and skill development below.


Campers 2nd through 10th grade learn the basics of flat water canoeing. Strokes are practiced on the dock and all campers must pass the tip-a-canoe safety challenge on land before going out in the water. Places too far to reach by rowboat are open for exploration by canoe, including small hidden coves of the reservoir that require dedicated teamwork and skill to reach.


  • Wears Personal Flotation Device (PDF) Properly
  • Passes the Tip-A-Canoe Challenge
  • Knowledge of the parts of a canoe and paddle
  • Understands canoeing safety
  • Loading and unloading of boats


  • Attains Discoverer Level
  • Can demonstrate basic canoeing strokes as follows:
    – Forward Stroke
    – Backward Stroke
    Docking Strokes: draw and pry
  • Has knowledge of basics of steering a canoe


  • Attains Discoverer level
  • Attains Explorer level
  • Can navigate a 3-point obstacle course
  • Has sufficient endurance to paddle solo for 20 minutes
  • Can maneuver using the “C” stroke
  • Has been introduced to the “J” stroke (5th grade & up)
  • Can identify and react to wind in a canoe


  • Can steer using ruddering technique
  • Learning basics of “stern” position leadership
  • Has endurance to paddle for 40 minutes
  • Can successfully use “J” strokes
  • Can successfully use “C” strokes
  • Can paddle a canoe in a straight line without a counselor
  • Can direct fellow campers in canoe from stern
  • Can canoe independently in pairs

New Voyager Challenge Award – For Campers that master all skills in Levels 1-4 and complete the Voyager Challenge.


Fishing is enjoyed by all campers, from PreK to 10th grade. Blue gill, trout, and bass are common catches down at the dock. After learning the safety rules of the dock, our fishing counselor teaches campers a variety of casting skills, with ample practice time.

There are many tales to be told while fishing at the dock. One of the most popular is the legend of Big Fred, the largest fish in the reservoir, with campers hoping to catch a glimpse of him.



  • Has knowledge of dock rules and safety
  • Has knowledge of fishing first aid
  • Can bait own hook
  • Uses fish voice
  • Can work a spincasting reel
  • Has knowledge of different kinds of bait and tackle
  • Has knowledge of different kinds of fish in the Reservoir
  • Knows casting calls safely
  • Drop Cast Ability
  • Can cast a spin casting reel
  • Can attach a weight to fishing line
  • Identify fishing “hot spots”
  • Can de-bait a hook
  • Has knowledge of catch-and-release principles

New Angler Award – for campers that complete all fishing skills, plus earn casting license and their Fish Identification card.

Campers 2nd grade and above can be awarded an “Official Casting License” from the Fishing Counselor & Waterfront Staff! If they show their casting skills and knowledge of fishing/casting rules.

Requirements to obtain a Casting License:

  1. Knows casting rules and safety procedures.
  2. Makes sure area is clear behind them.
  3. Calls out “Casting, Casting 1-2-3” to alert people they are casting.
  4. Has cast 3 times in a row successfully.
The Fishing Counselor has Fish ID Cards which describe each type of fish found in the Lafayette Reservoir. Campers work to identify and catch all of them while at camp!


Campers PreK to 4th grade learn to row at Capt’n Rough’s protected cove out on the reservoir. Safety is the highest priority, and campers learn the boating rules, how to put on their life jacket (PFD), and how to board the boat properly. Every boat has a counselor on board, and it is safe for non-swimmers. All rowing activities are taught by our waterfront staff who are lifeguard certified. Campers will learn that Teamwork is essential as campers take trips around the cove and row out to Princess Row-a-boata’s tower.

Summer2018-0960 (Large)


  • Knowledge of safety skills
    – Fits PDF properly
    – Knows dock safety rules
    – Loads and unloads boats safely
  • Can put on Personal Flotation Device
  • Knowledge of boating terms
  • Knowledge of basic boat parts
  • Moves in boat safely
  • Rows with help of counselor
  • Rows with help of partner
  • Row one oar
  • Can guide boat in a straight line
  • Synchronization of strokes
  • Understands and executes right and left turns
  • Able to stop moving boat by holding water
  • Effective coxswain
  • Expresses leadership and helps other campers


Campers 5th to 10th grade participate in tandem kayaking and explore new areas of the west side of the lake. Campers learn basic kayaking skills, maneuvering techniques, and the importance of teamwork to travel in straight lines, turn, and dock the boats. As they progress in skills, the waterfront staff teach new challenges and games to perfect skills while having fun!


  • Knowledge of kayaking safety
  • Understands kayaking rescues
  • Knowledge of kayaking vocabulary
  • Knowledge of parts of kayak & paddle
  • Loads & unloads kayaks properly & safely
  • Paddle in tandem with a partner
  • Demonstrates leadership
  • Can paddle in a straight line
  • Learns how to launch & portage kayaks
  • Knowledge of strokes
  • Sits correctly in kayak
  • Forward stroke
  • Backward stroke
  • Draw stroke
  • Sweep stroke or “C” stroke
  • Steers using rudder action
  • Participates in group challenges
  • Participates in excursions around the Reservoir
  • Can successfully navigate around a buoy