SARANAC By 9 a.m. Friday morning on Aug. 10, 10 local teens, two group leaders and 12 kayaks were clustered along the edge of the Saranac River at the Bowen Road access in Saranac. There was a buzz of excitement as they prepared for the third and final day of the Outdoor Adventure Program offered by the Clinton County Youth Bureau and the town of Plattsburgh Recreation Department.
Former Clinton County Recreation Director Mark Elmore inaugurated the event last summer.
He contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in working together with him to make the event happen, Mel Defayette, recreation director for the town of Plattsburgh, explained.
"We live in a beautiful area and some of the kids don't have access to it. We are the vehicle that gets them there," she said.
The program ran from Aug. 8 -10 and was open to the first 10 Clinton County youth ages 14 - 16 to sign up. The program was advertised in the paper and on the youth bureau's Web site and filled up in a few short days. Like all other Youth Bureau programs, there was no cost to the participants. The fortunate few to secure spots were: Ben Alberry, from Morrisonville, Mitchell and Mack Kilkeary, Taylor Mcmahon, James and Brandon O'Connell, Will Pellerin, Ashley Rebidue, Ben Schultz, and C.J. Worley, all from Plattsburgh.
Chris Trombley, the new CC Rec. Director, and Jamie Truedeau, the new Rec. Assistant for the Town of Plattsburgh served as leaders, instructors, and chaperones.
The first day's adventure was a kayak trip from the Old Base Marina to Crab Island. The group explored the island and learned about it's historical significance from Trombley and Trudeau. The kayak trip out to the island was instructional and Trombley noted an improvement in his students paddling skills and speed on the return trip.