Youth Kayak Classes

Kids Kayak Class: Registration

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Does Your Child Know How to Swim?*
Has Your Child Attended Kayak Class in the Past?*

About our Youth Class

Urban Kayaks’ youth “Kayak Class” offers a comprehensive learn-to-paddle program for kids and teens aged 9-16, aimed at fostering comfort on the water. Set against the serene backdrop of Monroe Harbor at our Lakefront location, children can explore the basics of kayaking and paddleboarding in a secure and tranquil environment, while engaging in exciting activities and cherished lessons. At Urban Kayaks, our mission is to deliver a tailored class for middle schoolers, instilling kayaking fundamentals within a enjoyable and secure learning setting, with the goal of cultivating confidence and proficiency in young individuals, creating memorable experiences for friends and families to share.

For five years running, Urban Kayaks’ youth kayaking and paddleboarding class has been a cherished fixture along the Chicago lakefront. Our uniquely crafted program is led by experienced Chicago educators, boasting over 20 years of combined teaching expertise. All instructors are CPR & First Aid certified with AED training and access to an on-site AED. Each week is meticulously tailored to align with student interests and to showcase the best our vibrant city has to offer. Beyond kayaking and paddleboarding instruction, our diverse range of activities provides students the opportunity to learn something new, have fun, embrace challenges, and forge lasting friendships. From kickball and volleyball to capture the flag, bracelet making, puff paint decorating, water balloon fights, tie-dye parties, Millennium Park adventures, to free swims in our protected harbor—there’s something for every young adventurer in our class.

Throughout the week, your child will benefit from individualized guidance provided by our seasoned instructors, fostering the growth of confidence and skills as they embrace new challenges. Students will have the opportunity to apply their newfound skills during a captivating tour of the renowned Chicago River. To culminate the week, participants can engage in an exhilarating student kayak race to and from the Adler Planetarium, further enhancing their kayaking experience.

Several of our students have enjoyed their time at summer class so much that they have gone on to become employees at Urban Kayaks and now contribute to the vibrant and enthusiastic culture we have built. We hope you can join us this summer to adventure with us. Now… let’s go kayaking!

Testimonials

“Urban Kayak is a fabulous summer camp option for kids. Safety is the top priority. The kids are outside all day learning new skills on the kayaks and paddle boards. My daughter went every summer and loved it so much that now she works there!”- Lisa B., member, summer class mom 2019-2021

“We loved our Urban Kayaks summer class. Our son could not wait to get up and go in the morning! It was a super fun wholesome experience. The best part was our son was able to meet some new kids while gaining skills as a kayaker and having fun on the lakefront.”- Dawn L., summer class mom 2020-2022

“The camp was one of the highlights of my summer last year, I had a great time both on the water and land. I absolutely would recommend it.” – Alex Z., summer class student 2020-2022

Summer Schedule: Registration Open for 2024 Season

SESSION 1

SESSION 2

Group outings can be booked at either our Riverwalk or Lakefront locations. Tours will typically have 1 guide for every 8 boats. There is a 15-minute pre-tour session on land where our guides go over safety issues, the ‘rules of the river,’ and instructions for guests new to kayaking.

Pricing

Pricing is dependent on the number of weeks you register for.

AGE GROUPS

Explorers (Ages 9-12)
Explorers have the opportunity to learn about kayaking and paddle boarding in the safe, calm waters of Monroe Harbor. They’ll also be able to enjoy new water-based activities and some classic camp favorites! We encourage explorers to challenge themselves and forge lasting friendships with other participants. Groups are intentionally kept small to ensure the chance for individual instruction. All explorers must know how to swim before registering for the course.
Adventurers (Ages 13-16)
Adventures learn about leadership and teamwork while embarking on longer kayaking and paddle boarding trips. Adventurers will learn safety and rescue techniques as well as continue to hone their paddling skills. Groups are intentionally kept small to ensure the chance for individual instruction. All explorers must know how to swim before registering for the course.

Additional Details

COVID-19 Guidelines:

How To Register

Complete the registration form on this page with your child’s information. Once complete, an Urban Kayaks staff member will reach out to you. You will be required to provide a non-refundable 25% deposit per child.

Contact Information

Meet Our Instructors

A woman sitting on a kayak in front of the Chicago skyline

Sammy Munyon

Youth Kayak Class Director
Sammy is returning for another summer as the Youth Kayaking Class Director at Urban Kayaks. Sammy first started kayaking with her parents as a child and kept it up as a form of cross-training while playing soccer for Loyola University of Chicago. In the kayaking off-season, Sammy teaches first grade at Bateman Elementary School alongside several other class counselors. In her free time, Sammy enjoys cheering on the Chicago Cubs and traveling with her husband and 2 dogs, Maggie and Bernard.
A guy and his furry friend paddle boarding in the city.

Aaron Gershenzon

Owner/Manager
Aaron is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor and spends most of his time paddling the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. When Aaron is not kayaking, he is playing fetch with his Chocolate Lab, Joni. Fun Fact: Aaron has been collecting NBA basketball cards since he was 6 years old.
A man in a yellow vest paddling a kayak in the water.

Asher Gershenzon

OWNER
Asher is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor. Asher worked closely with his brother, Aaron, in the kayaking industry for many years. He is one of the most qualified and experienced guides on the Chicago River. Asher’s passion for kayaking is surpassed only by his love for Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Come at him (if you can)!

Kids Kayak Class: Registration

"*" indicates required fields

Address Line 1
Address Line 2
City
State/ Province/ Region
Zip / Postal Code
Age Group*
Preferred Session*
Does Your Child Know How to Swim?*
Has Your Child Attended Kayak Class in the Past?*