Leading the Way with Naomie Elyard & the Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club


“Our mission is to not only bring kids into the sport of whitewater kayaking, but it is to foster relationships and to build community.” —Naomi Elyard

Having grown up kayaking in the whitewater mecca of the Columbia River Gorge, Naomi was all too aware of the disconnect between local youth and the rivers surrounding them. She recognized that disconnect grew from a lack of access and opportunity to kayak. And so, the Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club was formed.

With weekly summer paddles on the Lower White Salmon and pool sessions throughout the year, the CGJKC aims to do more than introduce kids to the local rivers; it is using kayaking as a tool to break socio-economic barriers to the outdoors and build respect for our wild spaces.

Learn more about the Columbia Gorge Junior Kayak Club.


“Leading the Way” is a film series that celebrates and promotes NRS ambassadors, organizations and projects fostering inclusivity and positive change in the outdoors.