My dad taught my brothers and I to canoe on the Chattahoochee River when we were little kids. If he hadn’t, then I would never have gotten in to science education. It was my hook towards exploring the natural world.
While working at the Chattahoochee Nature Center 20 years later, I was given the opportunity to lead 12 underserved youth on Paddle Georgia as a part of a grant. Paddle Georgia is a week-long, 100-mile paddling and camping trip for 400 people that visits a different Georgia River each year. I jumped at the chance! And I did it the next year. And then the money ran out, so for 8 more years I raised the money to keep it going and took a week off each summer to participate.
I passed off the scholarship program after 10 years, 1000+ miles, and 120 kids - kids that had never done anything like that, but might find themselves studying science or sharing the outdoors with other because of it! The trip is coming up in a week, and while I’ll only join them for a day or two to catch up, I’d like to help raise money for the Georgia River Network, who puts on the event, and Camp Horizon, this year’s scholarship participants.
Please consider helping me by donating here: https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/joey-giunta/paddle-georgia-canoeathon-2019
(I’ll even take you paddling sometime as a thank you!)