Brandon Thompson spent several hours Saturday afternoon in one of his favorite playgrounds: the Stonycreek River at Greenhouse Park.
The Frederick, Maryland, man was among more than 800 people who met up this weekend for the annual Stonycreek Rendezvous whitewater event. Thompson said he takes his kayak to waterways in several states, but especially enjoys the whitewater park constructed at Greenhouse Park.
“They made a nice play area,” he said, pointing to the three features designed to create waves that kayaks, canoes and standup boards can ride.
Below each wave is a pool where kayakers paddle back to wait their turns on the wave. Thompson calls the pools, “parking areas.”
“These parking areas are really great,” he said. “It’s like getting on an elevator and riding back to the top of the rapids.”
The Stonycreek Rendezvous is sponsored by Benscreek Canoe Club.
Saturday’s schedule featured a standup paddle board clinic and race, freestyle whitewater rodeo, basket raffle and live music. But the annual event is mostly just a chance to enjoy the water and spend time outdoors with friends and family, club members Mike Whaley and Debbie Heider said.
“It’s mainly just the water,” Heider said. “It is probably the most kid-friendly event in the East. It’s at a park where you can camp right by the water. There is enough room in the campsites for families to come.”
The laid-back atmosphere and friendly hosts make for a relaxing event, Whaley added. In addition to the organized races and other events, there was plenty of opportunity to try out the whitewater play area, and club members were taking time to help newcomers learn the basics.
“You can’t just get on the river,” Whaley said. “You need people to help you. Our group is really good at teaching.”
The rendezvous continues Sunday, with an outdoor devotion service, paddle time and cleanup.