TAHOE, Calif. — Being out on the water is one of the many perks of being a resident of Lake Tahoe. However, there are obstacles that can stop us from doing so: tight budgets, busy schedules, or avoiding tourists, to name a few. But one thing is true, kids and water go together and Tahoe Maritime Museum (TMM) wants local children to get out there and enjoy it.
TMM recently kicked off its Youth Paddleboard Program with funding from the Lana Vento Foundation. Spearheaded by Katena Sanford, TMM’s public programs associate, the program is designed to give local youth a healthy, fun, and educational opportunity.
TMM offers free youth paddleboard lessons and tours every Wednesday through August. The first group went out on the lake Wednesday, July 11. The group included children aged 8-13, some with paddling experience, and others paddleboarded for the first time. Eight-year-old Ben Roesler said, “This isn’t really like a class, it’s like a ride!” The class begins with basic instruction on paddleboarding; including correct form, how to maneuver, and what to do if you fall in. Once the basics are covered, the group goes out for a tour of the lake in the Tahoe City area. From the water there are great opportunities to learn about the area’s geology, flora and fauna, weather patterns, and history.
The program is funded by a grant from the Lana Vento Charitable Trust. The grant allowed for the purchase of six new WAI SUP boards, life vests, and paddles. All the equipment is provided, the children need to bring sunscreen, swimsuit, and be ready to paddle, get wet and have fun.
The group meets at Commons Beach in Tahoe City and is led by TMM’s Public Programs Associate Katena Sanford. “It’s an exciting and fun way to get kids on the water. The kids seem to pick it up right away and we want to make sure local youth get to experience being out on the lake,” said Sanford.
The program’s goal is to foster a love of the lake in youth and provide a chance for them to be physically active on the water. They get to explore the lake from a different point of view. They take in the underwater views and the views from the lake, all while propelling themselves across the water. It is a great platform to discuss the natural and cultural history of the lake. Ages 8 and up can participate in the program by calling the museum to sign up for either the 9:30 a.m. session or the 11 a.m. session.
TMM is also starting a women’s program on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. at Commons Beach. Bring your board and enjoy a morning paddleboard session for free or donate $12 and use one of the museum’s boards. Call early to reserve your spot for the youth or women’s programs or find out more about the programs. Call 530-525-9253, ext. 103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tahoe Maritime Museum, 5205 West Lake Blvd. in Homewood is dedicated to preserving Lake Tahoe’s maritime history through innovative interpretation and public education. Visit www.tahoemaritimemuseum.org.