McPherson Slough, Grapevine Lake

As a Girl Scout troop leader, I would love to take my daughter’s troop out canoeing, and share with them our family’s love of the water and paddling sports!  Before I can do that, I has to take a series of 2 classes from out Girl Scout council, taught by Barbara Cutter of Cutter Aquatics, who just AMAZED me!  This was my second of the two classes, please click HERE to read about the first one.

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McPherson Slough

We met at McPherson Slough (pronounced slew) on Grapevine Lake.    It was a really nice place to put in our canoes and practice, with very little boat traffic.   Free to visitors, there is a boat ramp, and picnic areas around the park.  People were fishing from the shore, and although there are no lifeguards or roped off swimming area, families were swimming, too!

ducks in life jackets

Cute reminder to ALWAYS wear a life jacket!

During our class, we watched a man picking blackberries from the plentiful bushes around the park!  On his way out, he stopped and shared some of them with us!

The Restroom Report:

There are port-a-potties in the park, located at the top of the hill.  No running water, so be sure to bring your own, with soap and I always carry a roll of toilet paper in my car, because you never know.

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Classwork

We met at 8:30am, and the lake was quiet, as if it was waiting on the sun!  We put in our canoes, paired up and started some practice drills.  After refreshing different paddling techniques we had already learned, we split up and paddled solo!  It was so much more difficult than with a partner in those long, heavy canoes!

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We also practiced how we will instruct our Girl Scouts when we take them to the lake!   We were each assigned a task, and mine was to explain and lead the girls in the proper way to take down a boat.

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We were shown different rescue techniques for paddlers who have fallen out of their boats.  I never knew that an uninjured  swimmer should hold onto the bow (front) of the canoe, wrapping their legs up, instead of trying to pull them into the canoe, and possibly capsizing a second boat as well.    That’s just some of the terrific information we learned!

At the end of the day, we had each earned the necessary requirements to take our Girl Scouts out on a lake!

If you would like to try a paddling sport, either canoes, kayaks or the new sport of paddle boarding, but aren’t a Girl Scout, you can rent them.  For information on canoes and kayaks, click HERE and for paddle boards, check out Stand Up Paddle North Texas.  

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

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