The official start of summer is here and many people are heading out on Lake Oroville to cool off, but some local high school students are taking their leisure a step further by learning a new skill. The Forebay Aquatic Center opened its doors for the first time under the management of the Feather River Rowing Club on June 1st. On Monday, the group kicked off one of its first programs of the summer, a high school rowing camp. The club's director, Mike Seely, says he's excited to have the aquatic center back open and pass on his passion for rowing.
"I want them to acquire a new skill, try out something that's new and different and hopefully carry that through with them," he says.
During the camp students will learn about 2 different types of rowing: sculling, which requires rowers to use 2 oars, and sweep rowing which usually involves a bigger boat and only calls for 1 oar. Kids taking part in the camp say they're enjoying taking on a new challenge, and even the students who have experience on the water say learning how to row is no easy task.
Pleasant Valley High junior Zack Cavender says, "You just can't get out there on the water and hope you can do it. You have to learn to get familiar with the boat and the oars."
The Feather River Rowing Club got some help with funding the camp from the California Department of Boating and Waterways. The group was awarded a grant earlier this year that provided scholarships for many of the students and will help fund other programs at the center. The club has also received help from several other organizations.
"It's a cooperative program. The City of Oroville has given us a lot of support. So all of those people have worked together to make this thing happen and we're just lucky enough to be in the middle, opening the door and bringing out the boats and enjoying the summer with the people," says Seely.
The camp will wrap up on Friday and another one will be offered in July. Seely says he hopes the club will be able to host a race against other rowing clubs by the end of summer. The Feather River Rowing Club is also offering rental equipment to the public and courses for adults. We've posted more information under Newslinks.