Community Ed is COOL

Along with its long list of not-so thrilling, but still perfectly respectable and worthwhile offerings like Paralegal Tutoring, Fundamentals of Wet Felting, Everything You Need to Know After Having a Baby and — the butt of many jokes but the bud of many musical careers — Band Camp, Hood River County Community Education is gearing up for its most exciting season, when instructors from all walks of life get to introduce local youth to the many world-class outdoor activities the region is blessed with.

In a county like Hood River, summer is a season with endless potential for outdoor fun, and with the vibrant population that calls the area home, there’s never a shortage of people willing to share their expertise in adventure with others.

Here’s a selection of classes offered in HRCE’s spring/summer catalog. Most have limited enrolment, so early-registration is advised.

To register or more info, visit or call 541-386-2055.

Cascadia Adventures kayaking

For ages 10-16, this series introduces kids to the basics of kayaking with the expertise of Jim Wells, director of Cascadia Adventure Education School, and his team. Kids can choose from several options, including one-day camps or a five-day/four-night River Camp experience that teaches not only paddling skills but self-confidence and teamwork.

Let’s Get Out adventure camps

This series includes activities like rafting, rock climbing, caving, swimming, shelter building, service projects and more with instructor and former Olympic snowboarder Lisa Kosglow. Camps are divided into different age groups, ranging from 5-7 at the youngest and 11-13 at the oldest. Kosglow instills concepts of Leave No Trace ethics and environmental stewardship with each activity.

Summer Day Camp

For kids ages 6-11, Summer Day Camp is Hood River Community Education’s flagship all-day program. Each camp is nine days long, with kids divided into age groups, and include activities ranging from hiking and swimming to special projects, trips to the great outdoors and even an overnight camp-out on Mount Hood.

Environmental Science and Adventure Camps

Offered through Cascade Mountain School, this series of camps for boys and girls ages 12-18 is a combination of adventure and education utilizing some of the many outdoor wonders we have in the area. Students visit mounts Hood and Adams, bike, kayak, backpack and more, all while studying topics like field science and sustainable agriculture.

GORGE Junior Sailing

For ages 5-18, this widely popular learn-to-sail program includes everything needed to get on the water and having fun in a sailboat. Students learn the basics of the sport with the help of certified U.S. Sailing instructors and have the opportunity to sail in the protected water of the Hood River Marina.

Adult sailing lessons

This five-week adult sailing course consists of hands-on practice aboard sailboats ranging in size from 20-35 feet. Students of all skill levels are welcome and will learn sailing basics in one indoor lesson, followed by four on-the-water lessons.

Smith Rocks Rock-climbing Camp

This ultimate adventure for kids ages 11-18 teaches beginner to advanced climbing skills at the climbing mecca of Smith Rocks, a couple hours south of Hood River. Kids learn rappelling, building and cleaning anchors, lead climbing, multi-pitch climbing and more through the guidance of experienced guide and HRCE’s own director John Rust.

Kids weapons Camp/Archery

This unique three-day camp provides students the opportunity to learn the fundaments of projectile weapons such as archery, hatchet throwing and spears. Safety is a focus in this class, offered through North Wind Martial Arts.

Families at Family Man

This grass-roots mountain biking series runs Wednesday evenings from June 11 through Aug. 12 at the popular Family Man Skills Complex off of Riordan Hill Road. There is no signup or fees associated with this series, but donations are accepted through its partner organization, Hood River Area Trail Stewards (

Indian Creek Junior Golf Academy

This series offers a variety of camps for young golfers ages 8-15 throughout the summer at Indian Creek Golf Course with the guidance of Mark Gradin, Indian Creek’s director of instruction. Camps run regularly through the summer starting in June.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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