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About Canoe Creation

Two canoes

As a non-profit organization founded in 2008, Canoe Creation exists to get kids outside and into creation. More than anything, Al & Amy Parker have a heart for God and for making Him known through the marvels of His creation. They love to teach kids what it means to behold His glory through enjoying everything He has made.

Al brings his extensive experience, expertise, and excitement for wildlife, eagles, swamp-stompin', exploring, botany, journaling, fishing, night-hiking, netting, birdwatching, birdlistenin', and so much more to Canoe Creation, and coupled with Amy’s fascination with these as well as singing to the Lord, cookin' on a campfire, and delight in the eyes of children, this makes for an instructive and meaningful time together in God’s creation.

We invite you to come experience a day on the river with us!

The vision

In my youth, I was fascinated with all things growing, flowing, and living in the wilds. I had this incredible thirst to know who they were. That desire took me to studies of wildlife and work with re-introducing endangered specis. But it was not until I turned Christ that I realized the joy I feel in the wilderness. God had used the created order of His world to reinforce His glory in my own heart. I began to see the Maker behind each living thing that I had learned to know like a friend. Hosea [4:3] tells us that animals are disappearing not because of ... capitalism, or industrialism, or other “-isms” ... but because “there is no acknowledgement of God in the land.”

While watching a nest of eagles on a hillside awakening to spring, I realized that young people need time in nature to understand God, the Creator. What better way to help them take hold of a faith in the Creator and Redeemer than to get them out in it? What better way to help them hold on to their faith than to help them see God in what surrounds them every day?

Psalm 71:17 convicted me of a calling: “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.”

Our family had spent most of our vacations on river trips and had often shared the experiences with friends and families. We wondered, “How can we make these river experiences available to others?”

Parker family camping

We've thought of starting a River School — a camp that is mobile and makes a classroom out of passing shores. Its purpose is to be able to waken people to the glorious riches of Creation — right out our back doors...

- Al Parker's journal

Our team

While Al and Amy may have had the idea for sharing about God through river floats a long time ago, the rest of the Canoe Creation Community is the reason it all works so well today. So many people work as volunteers in the background doing work that needs done – from the Sternmen Board of Directors down to legions of envelope stuffers and facebook messengers. But the real heroes in Canoe Creation are our River Interns. Many of these young folk have been campers and participants of past trips who have loved the programs so much that they have joined in. They start with staff training in canoe skills, water safety, rappelling rigging, situational awareness, and river first aid. They develop their own abilities in leading teaching on creation topics, apologetics, and goofy games. Many deal with the more difficult tasks of marketing, web design, trip planning, and canoe vehicle maintenance. They invest heart and soul in the workings of Canoe Creation and it shows when you get to know them on gravel bar islands and woods walks.

Canoe Creation interns 2023