Get your children (age 10-14) into colorful wooden canoes and onto the water this summer.
As a River Ranger, they will explore the Navesink and Swimming Rivers. Enjoy paddling, swimming, and learning something of the on-water and under-water life while they are having fun!
Canoes, life vests, paddles, and qualified and experienced adult supervision is all part of the package. Just add your children!
The annual River Rangers program has been offered for many years by the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association, and is managed by Monmouth County teachers with CPR training and many years of experience with managing River Rangers children on the water. Participants must be able to swim.
The program each week runs from Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 1:30PM in July and August.
Each year there are five or six weeks to choose from with up to 20 paddlers each week. An Informational Meeting for you and your River Rangers will be held prior to the start of the program, and you will also be provided with detailed instructions needed for a successful on-water experience.
The Start of River Rangers
The Start of River Rangers.
After NMHA had run a number of wooden boat building programs it became apparent that it was not always possible for the participants to make use of their home-built vessels due to lack of river access and lack of boating experience.
In 2002 NMHA organized the first Eco-Trip where prior participants in the wooden boat building programs took a one day trip from the headwaters of the Swimming River to theMonmouth Boat Club. The paddlers were accompanied by experienced canoers and a Monmouth County Parks naturalist. Just like the boat building programs it became apparent that trips like these were powerful settings for experiential education.
This led to a discussion with a local school who was interested in getting their students on the Navesink River for experiential environmental and outdoor education.
NMHA developed a curriculum that resulted in the River Rangers program, that has been in continuous operation since 2004.
While there is great variety and flexibility in these programs, they are 5-day programs that use home built canoes that were often built during NMHA organized boat building programs. The program can accommodate 20-30 expedition members starting from age 10 with 2-3 certified instructors.
The materials we provide include a lesson plan for instructors, maps of the Navesink River with marked places to visit, bird charts, seining nets, log books for all, and more.
Since inception of the program NMHA has developed working relationships with a number of river stake holders who have allowed low impact use of their facilities for the River Ranger programs.
NMHA also owns a custom trailer that allows transportation of an entire River Rangers expedition, consisting of 12 canoes, paddles life jackets and supplies to and from put-in and take out locations.
NMHA is available to develop customized River Rangers programs for community organizations and schools, both on the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and other suitable locations.