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Outdoor Leadership Series Freshman Kayaking Trip relaunches on Back Bay
Mrs. Alexandra Oglesby, Director of Communications

Cape Henry Collegiate is back on the water! After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nexus Global Studies Program’s Outdoor Leadership Series’ kayaking challenge relaunched over the weekend, following a fall rafting trip. 

A group of freshman students paddled through Back Bay and camped throughout False Cape State Park Friday through Sunday, logging about four miles per day in their kayaks.

The trip, led by Mrs. Amber Hecker and Mr. Howie Hodapp, taught students outdoor skills such as navigating with maps, cooking over an open flame, and conscientiousness camping. 

“We had them teaching each other,” said Mrs. Hecker. “OLS exposes kids to activities they may not have otherwise experienced, and builds a sense of independence and confidence.”

The 11 students on the trip bonded particularly well, which will be important as they progress through OLS.

Rock climbing and backpacking await them in the coming years, challenges that Mrs. Hecker is confident they will be able to overcome together. 

“The kids all worked really well together,” she said. “They were all very supportive and positive.”

So positive, in fact, that not even April water temperatures could dissuade them from jumping in when they reached the Atlantic. 

“They all got to the beach and started running for the ocean and jumped in,” said Mrs. Hecker. “They were having the best time out there. It was fun to see.”

Although the weather for the trip was ideal, with wind at the kayakers’ backs most of the way, they faced windier, rougher conditions on the final day. 

“A few kids that were struggling pushed through and made it to the end,” Mrs. Hecker said. “They just felt really accomplished.” 



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