A few weeks ago I was trying to think of an activity that I could do for women that would be fun and a learning experience. I was talking to my friend Tina Thornsberry and together we decided to do a kayaking event. I had never been in one myself, so I was all for it. She said she had kayaked lots of times and would teach us how to do it and she had 5 kayaks and could borrow more, so I set a date and advertised my event. A few days before my event, she asked me if I would like to meet at the location we were going to have it and go for a kayak ride on the lake. I figured this would be the best opportunity for me to see if I could get in or on one and not flip it over and get wet and be totally embarrassed. So we met and Tina showed me how to unload the kayak, get it ready, get on it and into the water. Then she told me how to steer it, turn it how to use your paddles and body to hold your balance in the kayak. Having fished out of a small John boat, I knew how to balance in a boat and before you knew it, I was gliding down the lake. It was so peaceful. Tina and her family had fished from kayaks, and I had taken a fishing pole with me and after we had paddled around awhile, I decided to try my luck at casting from a kayak. To my surprise I mastered this within minutes. I didn’t catch any fish but we spent the next hour or so floating and casting and enjoying the peacefulness of this. I was so elated. It was something I had never done before and now I was doing it with ease. I couldn’t wait for Saturday for my event so the other ladies to be able to do this. When my event date came I was worried I wouldn’t have many to come, but to my surprise, I had 14, including myself, for the event. Tina instructed half the ladies first, and they went out in the kayaks and before long they were gliding away in their new found freedom up the lake, while the ones who stayed behind, laughed and encouraged them from the bank, and hardly being able to wait for our turn! The first group returned in about an hour and were so excited about the fun they had just had. We decided we would break for lunch, because some ladies had to leave early, and afterwards the second group would go out on the lake, and try kayaking. After lunch we had ten ladies and ten kayaks so after another class in kayak safety, we took off on our journey up the lake. The ladies and myself had a wonderful time. We laughed and shouted back and forth the whole way to the headwaters of Carr Creek Lake and back. Of all the ladies who attended the event only two had kayaked regularly and myself had been in one for about two hours, so 11 of 14 ladies had their first experience in kayaking that day. And everyone said they had a wonderful time that day. I came away feeling like I had helped make a wonderful memory for the ladies, that would last forever! To me that’s what Wildlife Women is all about. Not only do we teach, encourage and inspire, we make memories that last a lifetime and that is priceless! Linda Campbell.