Student stories

A work term at GO Rowing and Paddling Centre

Megan Smith

GO Rowing and Paddling Centre

Megan Smith wrote this summary of your co-op experience as Summer Camp Coordinator for GO Rowing and Paddling Centre in Victoria, BC. Read more to learn about her adventures.

1) What is GO Rowing and Paddling Centre?

For my final Co-op experience I had the opportunity to be the Summer Camp Co-Coordinator for Gorge Rowing and Paddling Centre one of several GO Rowing and Paddling Centers in Canada, including Vernon, Penticton, Victoria and Nanaimo. Each centre offers a wide variety of rowing and paddling programs for members of their community.  From my experience, the Gorge Rowing and Padding Centre does a great job of having an open door policy. Everyone was welcome - adaptive athletes, young children, the elderly, people of all backgrounds and high performance athletes.

2) What were your responsibilities?

My main responsibilities during May and June were to familiarize myself with how the centre operated and to observe first-hand the range of people who used the facility each day. Later in the spring, I began to go out with small groups taking them kayaking and dragon boating. This was a great way for me to have a better understanding of the types of activities I would be doing with participants during their week at camp. The summer involved planning and implementing the water sports camps. 

I started by reviewing last year’s camp coordinators notes and the outline of what my supervisor expected the participants to get out of a week at camp. Once I understood what the camps were all about I began to make schedules for the week and outlines of how I would run the lessons for each of the different water sports. I began using project and task management skills to help prioritize what tasked need to be done first and how long each task would take. I knew that promoting the camp was needed to be done early in order to spread the word about the programs to as many people as possible. After reviewing the past seasonal summaries, I used some suggestions to adapt the schedule to in attempt to make a smoother running program.  Each camp lasted a week and usually included two field trips – one to the Maritime Museum and one to Crystal Pool. Each camp involved the participants learning a variety of water sports – from kayaking an outrigger canoeing to dragon boating and rowing.

3) What competencies did you develop?

Teamwork came into play during the Water Sports Camps as had the full staff team came on board. As a group, we implemented a summer of hard work, team building and water activity. Working at Go Rowing and Paddling Centre has been a great learning experience. It allowed me to truly have a better understanding of how much planning goes on behind the scenes and develop my competencies in personal management, communication, teamwork and task management.

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