"No man can define the attraction and the disadvantages of heat, thirst, flies, long hours bent on a paddle, under rain or sunshine, hard carries over rough portages, all things inherent to such a trip through unfrequented territories. What then urges one to go, knowing well what is in store for him?"

"Perhaps the charm lies in magnificent sunrise and sunset scenes, or in contending with the forces of nature by one's own physical power. Or is it the soothing calm of the forest, the restful horizon of silvery lakes, the alluring rise of rapids and waterfalls?"

"The question is hard to answer. One goes in spite of it all, accepting in advance whatever may happen. He goes and returns satisfied, even if he only brings back memories of the beautiful panoramas he has had the privilege of admiring, memories of pleasant evenings spent around the campfire, listening to the mysterious voices of the wild, memories of the freedom he has enjoyed." - Quebec adventurer, Raoul Clothier (1928)



The Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA) was formed in 1975 to promote accessibility of paddling experiences for everyone, the development of safe, competent and knowledgeable recreational paddlers, igniting the passion for a journey of paddling experiences and the preservation of the paddling environment.

As an organizational member of ORCKA:

  • SHSM program staff are ORCKA certified canoeists and instructors;
  • The provincially recognized ORCKA Canoeing Program gives credibility to the SHSM program;
  • The SHSM program receives support in developing and running our canoeing program;
  • The SHSM program has access to affordable liability and sport accident insurance.

Wa naak ni gaa waad Award


Wa naak ni gaa waad is an Anishinabe phrase which translates as the “clearing or creating of space for new growth.”

The purpose of the recognition is to acknowledge a student who best exemplifies the desired attitudes, skills and knowledge to transition as an informed and active citizen to post-secondary education or employment in the modern “green” economy. Specifically, the student:

  • demonstrates a genuine interest in and enjoyment of the natural environment; 
  • demonstrates active participation in all program elements, modelling a positive attitude; 
  • demonstrates an active interest and enthusiasm in experiential learning; and 
  • demonstrates leadership and works collaboratively with others to achieve program goals.

Award Winners

Jenna Biot & Meaghan Hymers (2016)

Jordan Tishler (2017)

Liam Witt (2018)