Jupiter Outdoor Center has had a few School’s Out Day Camps since my last blog from Camp #2. Most of those camps were a combination of wind and more wind plus the added bonus of one camp on a full moon. Never the less, fun and adventure were had by the kids.
Speaking of the kids…I just adore my job as counselor. Each child is treasure in their own way. They never cease to amaze me. So, I thought I would just blog about a few things that I have learned from hanging out with the campers.
I sometimes just sit back a bit and watch. Kids from every walk of life have joined us here at Jupiter Outdoor Center and there is no prejudice, no questions..just pure innocence with the expectation of fun ahead. As adults I feel we become jaded by society …thus…watching these kids, who are total strangers for the most part, just instantly bond the way they do is a fantastic thing to see? The joyous innocence of youth. I’ve seen the connection of siblings in a way that warms my heart. Fears have been overcome and memories of a lifetime have been made.Spending the day with these kids makes me happy. One day in particular after a great afternoon with the campers…I went home and turned on the news. What a buzz kill!!! After such a day of wonderment and fun with the children… I was disturbed and saddened by the real world. I turned off the television. All in all, I think there is a point when all of us as adults and /or parents would like to be a kid at Jupiter Outdoor Center’s School’s Out Day Camp. Young is a state of mind. Come visit us at JOC and let your kids show you.
Peanut Island is a great place to enjoy a day packed with fun recreation activities from paddleboarding or kayaking to snorkeling and fishing from the Singer Island Outdoor Center. Peanut Island has a long history here in Palm Beach County, created in 1918 from material that was dredged during the construction of the Lake Worth Inlet. In 1923 the Lake Worth Inlet District purchased the Island and in 1930 Congress authorizes the building of a coast guard station which would open six years later and close almost 60 years later in 1995.
How did they decide to name it “Peanut” Island? Well even though plans to use the island as a terminal for peanut oil were abandoned they had decided to keep the name. In 1961 JFK constructed an underground bunker that provided a shelter and command post on the island.
By 1984 Palm Beach County and the Port of Palm Beach enter into an agreement to provide maintenance of the island, provided it remains a recreation area. In 1991 the Port of Palm Beach sells 50 acres of the 79 acre island to the Florida Inland Navigation District. To protect the wildlife and it’s habitat on Peanut Island the Army Corps of Engineers awards a contract for the Peanut Island Environmental Enhancement Project. While creating over 30 acres of wildlife habitat they removed invasive non native vegetation and spoil materials. In 2005 the projects amenities officially opened to the public to enjoy recreational activities year round.
Today Peanut Island has an excellent lifeguarded area to enjoy snorkeling and swimming on its south eastern side. Currently the Island has a 1.25 mile walking path that allows you to explore and see some of the amazing wildlife the island has to offer. Along with a campsite, boat docks, and historic Coast Guard station Peanut Island is a great way to enjoy a days worth of recreation in the sun.
The Epic V5 surfski opens up a whole new world to performance paddling. Excellent stability makes it easy for anybody to jump in and go. Sleek lines and Epic’s comfortable surfski cockpit make it fun for paddlers of all sizes and skill level. Our proprietary foam core construction creates stiffness unmatched in typical plastic kayaks.
The Epic V5 comes standard with under hull rudder, adjustable foot brace (including pedals that automatically adjust line length), rear storage compartment, bow, stern, and center carry handles, water bottle holder and Epic’s patented bailer. An optional overstern kick up rudder can be added (no modifications needed) to allow the V5 to be paddled in shallow or rocky areas.
V5 Length 14’ • Width 23.6” • Depth 12.6” • Weight 46 lbs. • Storage 10.5 gal.
• Also compatible with all 3 Epic carbon rudders (Weedless, Universal, Surf) • Optional SmartTrackTM kick up rudder • Fits range of paddlers 4’10” – 6’7
Want one? The Jupiter Outdoor Center is an authorized dealer for Epic Kayaks and Surfskis, and we can get you anything in the Epic product line! Give us a call today and schedule your demo @ 561-747-0063.
There is no place quite like the Florida everglades. Growing up in Rockland County NY I got to experience a wide variety of natural areas and have paddled in some pretty cool spots but none have lived up to paddling through the Florida Everglades. The diverse amount of wildlife from birds to fish and even pythons I have never seen more wildlife then my trip to Shark Pointe. In April of 2014 during my internship experience for SUNY Cortland, Ryan Sullivan and myself paddled from West Lake through the Lungs down to Alligator Creek where a potential campsite is located. We were informed by the ranger at Flamingo that we could camp there but we may hear gators at night due to it being nesting season. This being said we decided to extend our trip a few miles and paddle out to a two story chickee in the middle of the bay right off the coast of Shark Pointe. Within seconds of getting out of our kayaks after a 15 mile paddle we had a black tip shark swim right up. Throughout the rest of the overnight we saw countless horseshoe crabs and a wide variety of birds. At night as we shined our flashlights into the water the shrimp would come out and along the beaches of surrounding areas you could see the sea crocodile eyes staring back at you. This has been one of the few places I have ever been to where there is almost no light pollution and the stars and sky are truly unbelievable. The next morning I have never seen more mosquitoes in my entire life, packing up camp and getting ready to head home was pretty brutal but one of the highlights of my trip would easily make me forget about the bug filled morning I had earlier experienced. During my first trip to the everglades I was really pumped to see a gator have only seen a few throughout my life in the wild and no really big ones. After paddling through the mangrove lakes for a few miles we finally think we have spotted a decent sized gator head in the water and decide to get a closer look. However as we inch closer and closer we soon discover that this is no gator and in fact is a pretty large python. By far this was the highlight of my trip and my childhood excitement gave me energy throughout the res of our journey home. After we packed up the kayaks and got ready for our ride home we ended our trip with gator tacos, so while I didn’t see a gator during my trip a I did get to eat one. This is a great one night two day trip that I would recommend for anybody to take, one of the most unique experiences of my life.