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updated: 7/27/2012 2:55 PM

Lake County Forest Preserve District program lets students trying kayaking

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  • Zach Huseen, 13, of Wauconda paddles through the water lilies as members of the Adventures in Nature Camp kayak on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. The weeklong summer camp, run by the Lake County Forest Preserve District, included an obstacle course, biking, swimming and hiking.

       Zach Huseen, 13, of Wauconda paddles through the water lilies as members of the Adventures in Nature Camp kayak on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. The weeklong summer camp, run by the Lake County Forest Preserve District, included an obstacle course, biking, swimming and hiking.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Heather McNaughton, front, and Maddie Nichol, both 12, share a kayak as they race against other members of the Adventures in Nature Camp on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.

       Heather McNaughton, front, and Maddie Nichol, both 12, share a kayak as they race against other members of the Adventures in Nature Camp on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Joseph Harbeck, 13, left, and Tim Paczynski, 14, swim their kayak to shore after it was swamped during an exercise with the Adventures in Nature Camp on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.

       Joseph Harbeck, 13, left, and Tim Paczynski, 14, swim their kayak to shore after it was swamped during an exercise with the Adventures in Nature Camp on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Members of the Adventures in Nature Camp kayak on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.

       Members of the Adventures in Nature Camp kayak on a lake at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

A group of seventh- and eighth-grade students can include kayaking when they list what they did on their summer vacation.

The students participated in the Lake County Forest Preserve District's weeklong program called Adventures in Nature. Campers spent the week kayaking, biking, hiking, swimming, and running through an obstacle course at various forest preserves around the county.

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At Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville, the kids learned kayaking skills while also learning about the ecosystem at the lake from environmental educators Nikki Ball-Toughhill and Kelly Morgensen.

"We are kayaking and keeping cool while learning about water quality," said Ball-Toughhill. "They are a great group of kids. We have just been having a great time playing games and exploring."

The young kayakers laughed and played as they tried new skills with the kayaks, some flying around the pond while others swamped their boats. Later, the group trekked around the reservoir to discover animals and vegetation interacting with the water.

"It's a lot of fun to go kayaking because I don't have a kayak," said 12-year-old Heather McNaughton of Antioch, as she finished playing a game on the kayak course. "It's fun to go and meet new people, and you get to try new things that you usually wouldn't be able to."

The Lake County Forest Preserve District offers several more sessions of the nature program during the summer.

For details, visit www.LCFPD.org or call (847) 968-3321.

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