As the term “gunwale bobbing” was only introduced to me last spring, I would not find it hard to believe that the majority of active outdoor kids, teens and those in their twenties have also never been introduce to this fun canoe activity. Writer Virginia Marshall however, finds it unbelievable that our generation is missing out on the fun. I learned that gunwale bobbing started its downward popularity spiral during the late 90’s and is no longer a traditional game played at summer camps and in school programs across Canada. This articles theme is that this generation has more boring and inactive kids than previous generations due to over protective parents. Virginia Marshall believes the young risk takers of Canada are down to a select few.
I rated this article three stars as it is fairly informative. I learned that there are existing activist groups such as the 62-member National Gunwale Bobbing Association (NGBA) that formed to spread the word about gunwale bobbing at community pools and waterfront parks, as well as street corners. They even hold a “Save Gunwale Bobbing” on-water event to raise awareness on the game. The article introduced me to a few variations of Gunwale Bobbing. In Gunwale Races one person stands on the stern and bobs up and down going forward until the finish. Bob-offs are when two players are on either ends of the canoe performing alternate squats. The goal is to force your opponent to swim. Finally, Volley-Bob is a game in which all canoes bob at an equal vigor to see who can withstand the longest.
I recommend that Outdoor Ed students read this article to inform themselves on gunwale bobbing if they have not already tried it. As active Outdoor Ed students we should continue to spread the word about gunwale bobbing to keep gunwale games alive for more generations to come.
Marshall, Virginia. "Going, Going… Act Now To Save Gunwale Bobbing Before It’s Gone." Page 36-37. Canoeroots - Spring 2011. N.p., 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://content.yudu.com/A1qut5/crspring11/resources/36.htm>.