There has never been a greater need for society to unplug and reconnect all at the same time. The Paddle In The Park Contest was created to inform and remind people of the many rewards of getting outside, from the benefits we see in our health and well being, to supporting our parks and wild places. What better way to do this than with a chance to find a handcrafted (BADGER®) canoe paddle, hidden somewhere along the many vast water trails in Ontario?!

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So, with the hope to encourage more people to get “Out There”, BADGER® Paddles and Portaguer.ca got together with a number of Ontario paddle sports industry leaders to help promote spending time in the wilderness (parks and conservation areas, as well as other remote locations) by way of an interesting campaign. We put together 9+1 Rewards and Reasons to spend time in nature, every day this summer; and in 2015, we developed a “Paddle Points” system so those who are unable to take part in the paddle-seeking part of this popular event, will still have a chance to share their love of Nature and all of her rewards, all while increasing their chance of winning some cool gear and other prizes!

Paddle In The Park Contest; History & Current Times

Read our interview with Canoe & Kayak Magazine for where the inspiration for the Paddle In The Park Contest came from and find out more about what it all means to us here: Finders Keepers, Badger Paddles hides sweet sticks in Ontario’s top canoeing parks. Or find out more below…

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In our first year , Hap Wilson (Environmentalist, Author, Artist, Cartographer), Kevin Callan (The Happy Camper), and Preston Ciere (Blogger: Portageur.ca) hid 6 canoe paddles at different dates in undisclosed locations (along the portage trails) around 3 different canoeing areas in Ontario (Algonquin, Temagami, and Killarney) and who ever found them while on trip – got to keep them!

As an incentive for recording the found paddles with us, we also compiled a number of backend prizes that the paddle finders received once they have contacted us to let us know they have, indeed, found the paddle. Always with pictures and a good story to share with the rest of us too.

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In 2014 we hid more paddles and enlisted the help of author Conor Mihell, past paddle-finder Doug Gordon, and expert guide Andrea Wilson. Last year, we hid 6 paddles with the help of some of our past paddle-hiders. This year we are hiding 3 canoe paddles; The Nova Craft Canoe Paddle; The Happy Camper Paddle; The Portageur.ca Paddle; and a special PORTAGE QUEEN paddle from Algonquin Outfitters. Plus to help make more people aware of the rewards of getting “Out There”, we have once again compiled a bunch of prizes to give away to those who are unsuccessful in their paddle-seeking, are unable to access paddle-seeking areas, or who are too far away. Because with the PADDLE POINTS system, even more of you can help us raise awareness for all the rewards found in Nature and win prizes too… like a brand new canoe from Nova Craft!


 

“this is like an awesome version of charlie and the chocolate factory…” ~Andrew M. (by comment via Facebook)


The paddle seeking portion of the contest starts July and runs until September 15th, 2016 or until all the paddles are found – which ever comes first. The PADDLE POINTS portion of the contest opens July 1st, 2016 and closes October 15, 2016, with winners to be announced shortly there after. But be sure to read the contest rules before you enter, because it’s really important that you do!


PADDLE SEEKERS:

There are 4 (four) Badger® Canoe Paddles hidden along the portage trails of some of the more popular canoeing destinations of Ontario.
• Clues to their specific location will be offered throughout the summer, becoming increasingly specific
• Hidden paddles are marked with a special collectors wooden tag with instructions and other information
• Once you find a paddle, contact us and we’ll send you the rest of the prize package
• Prizes, besides the hidden paddles, include a subscription to Canoeroots Magazine, along with more prizes and gear as provided by Algonquin Outfitters, Portageur.ca, Badger Paddles, The Happy Camper, Killarney Outfitters, Cabin Falls EcoLodge, Jeff’s Map, and more!

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 PADDLE POINTS SEEKERS:

There are a limited number of PADDLE POINTS up for grabs this summer.
• Upload photos of you and your friends completing tasks from our official list of various outdoor related challenges in exchange for Paddle Points and a chance to win gear and prizes from our fabulous sponsors, including a new Prospector from Nova Craft Canoe!

• By naturally incorporating the official PITPC hashtag “#RewardsAreOutThere” in your photos, or when you include a copy of our official PADDLE POINTS Flag image, you automatically double your points value for each verified photo! (No photo editing programs please!)

• PITPC prize packs include the title classes Tenderfoot, Explorer, Pathfinder, Voyageur, and the coveted 1st class title of Wilderness Guide and Park Ranger.

• Share your PADDLE POINTS photos and camping adventures with everyone over the summer and at the end of the contest, entrants within each title class will have a chance to win the prize pack for their coinciding title class and more!


 

Thanks to all of our sponsors, contributors, and associates for their very supportive response. The Paddle In The Park Contest would not be the same without you! In addition, a special thanks to Preston Ciere for his tremendous passion and dedication to getting people “Out There”. Without him this contest would not be happening. And without this contest, we would not be having near as much fun this summer as we are now. Thanks also to Fiona and Mike of Badger Paddles, for inspiring so many to get “Out There”. The biggest of thanks as well to Hap Wilson and Kevin Callan for being so supportive and generous – not only with their time but also with their work. Very special gentlemen, indeed. Plus an extra big thanks to Andrea Wilson (expert guide, paddle hider, and Queen of The Dreaded Portage) for becoming our first official female paddle-hider in 2014.  And finally, a special thanks to our good friends at Nova Craft Canoe and Algonquin Outfitters and the rest of our amazing friends and sponsors for all that they do to help make the PITPC the best outdoor advocacy campaign – disguised as a contest – ever!