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For our summer outing this year, Kate and Deb whisked the entire team away for a day of paddling down the Ipswich River. Our adventure began at Foote Brothers Canoe Rentals, where we joined other eager outdoor and nature enthusiasts (mainly large groups of summer camp kids). Covered in sunscreen and donning the largest-rimmed hats we could find in our closets, we quickly found our seats (and balance) among the three canoes assigned to us. Had I done my research ahead of time, I would have known that the person who sits in front is responsible for most of the paddling. Luckily, we hit a rope swing after only about 20 minutes. Given the 95 degree heat, it didn’t take long for folks to get the nerve and give it a go. Margaret gets the award for form, Clayton, innovativeness, and Sarah, most improved. The rest of the day was spent keeping our eyes out for frogs and turtles, maneuvering through fallen trees and under bridges, and stopping along the way for a picnic lunch. All that was missing was someone to fan us with huge palm leaves.

(image: Here's the crew!)

(image: All right, who's first on the rope swing? Sarah is thinking there is no way I'm doing this.)

(image: Margaret sets the bar.)

(image: And Clayton raises it with a flip.)

(image: The boss ladies.)

(image: Taking in the gorgeous day.)