Youth Paddling Symposium

In 2024, the NFCT and its partners in the Adirondacks are pleased to present the first ever Youth Paddling Symposium, four days of introductory paddling and camping instruction for youth age 8-15. The inaugural Youth Paddling Symposium will be held this year July 15-18 at the Paul Smith’s College Alumni Campground. The Youth Paddling Symposium was created based on the premise that even though paddling is among the most popular outdoor, life-long activities in the Adirondacks, it can be inaccessible due to the financial barriers of purchasing gear and access to instruction to develop adequate skills to paddle safely. 

The  Youth Paddling Symposium is presented by the NFCT in partnership with NRS, St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters and Matt Burnett Guiding. Instruction will include: 

  • Introduction to camping (setting up tents, building campfires, shelter building, first aid)
  • Introduction to paddling & paddling safety
  • Introduction to fishing
  • Paddling excursions
  • Campfire storytelling

For a full itinerary, click here.

The Youth Paddling Symposium costs $250/kid, which covers all costs including gear, food and instruction. Kids do not need to own outdoor gear of any kind to participate. Scholarships to cover the cost of participation are available; email [email protected] to learn more.

Please note: Space is limited to 20 kids for our first year.

Click here to register!


The Youth Paddling Symposium is presented by the NFCT with support from the following generous sponsors: