Waterfront Levels

Waterfront Skill Levels for Canoeing, Fishing, Rowing & Kayaking

All campers participate in waterfront activities taught by our waterfront staff (lifeguard certified) designed for their age, abilities, and safety. Campers develop their skills through instruction, practice, and adventures on the water. Waterfront Activities include Canoeing (2nd Grade & Up), Fishing (all ages), Rowing (K-4th Grade), and Kayaking (5th Grade & Up). See the skills & levels below.


Campers 2nd through 10th grade learn the basics of flat water canoeing. Campers begin at the first level and progress through the four canoe levels!


  • 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



All of our campers go fishing! Over time they advance their skills and develop knowledge of local fish, proper bait, and casting techniques.


  • 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
Casting License Summer 2024 Front

Fishing Casting License

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.

Fishing Skill Requirements for a Casting License:

  • Knows casting rules and safety procedures.
  • Makes sure area is clear behind them.
  • Calls out “Casting, Casting 1-2-3” to alert people they are casting.
  • To be able to cast 3x in a row successfully.

Fish ID Card

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 rowing with their counselor on the Reservoir

Campers PreK to 4th grade learn to row. Campers will learn that Teamwork is essential as they develop their boating skills and adventure out on the water of the Reservoir!


  • 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 Reservoir.


  • 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