Most classes have a waiting list, but plenty of other free instruction awaits anyone interested in outdoor activities this weekend at Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville.
Outdoors co-op REI is holding a Free Weekend Celebration Saturday and Sunday with free sessions of usually paid classes and a festival. The activities are part of a nationwide event to highlight REI Outdoor Schools that complement in-store programs, said Nick Cross, outdoor programs manager for the four central North Carolina stores in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Greensboro.
The program has kayaks, bicycles and other gear – “all the things we need to do to teach people the activities,” Cross said.
Central N.C. participants can sign up for 19 free classes, including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, backcountry cooking and other activities at Lake Crabtree, plus wilderness survival at Umstead State Park and rock climbing anchor concepts at Lake Brandt in Greensboro.
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At Lake Crabtree’s big open field, vendors will have displays and snacks, and families can learn about topics from yard games to do-it-yourself sunglasses. Experts also will offer presentations on topics including making great cup of camp coffee and avoiding mosquito bites and sunburn.
People can sign up a waiting list at www.rei.com/freeweekend to be notified of class openings, Cross said. Find park information at www.wakegov.com/parks/lakecrabtree/Pages/recreation.aspx.
Similar activities will be held at Lake Norman State Park near Troutman in Iredell County.
Kayak fishing: Shallow Lake Crabtree was bathwater warm last Saturday, hitting 100 degrees in at least one spot, but enough fish were biting to keep the field on the water for the N.C. Kayak Fishing Association’s just-for-fun Doughball Open Carp Fishing Tournament.
B.J. Ott of Roanoke Rapids boated, measured, photographed and released a 31-inch carp to take the first-place trophy.
Second went to Mike Lowe of Raleigh for a 23 1/4-in fish, and Ron Washburn of Summerfield was third with a 22 3/4-inch fish. Learn more at www.nckfa.com.
More kayak fishing: The eighth annual TJM Charity Kayak and SUP Fishing Tournament for redfish, flounder and trout will be held Saturday along the Cape Fear Coast. Entry costs $60 by Friday. Proceeds benefit the New Hanover Humane Society. Call 910-792-6945, or visit www.hooklineandpaddle.com.
Kayaking: The second annual Kayaking 4 Crohn’s benefit for the Crohn’s No More Foundation is scheduled for noon-6 p.m. Aug. 13 at Lake Wheeler Park in Raleigh. A $30 donation includes kayak rental. Go to www.crohnsnomore.org.
Awards: Tickets are on sale for the 53rd annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet hosted by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at Embassy Suites RTP in Cary.
Among the honorees are Water Conservationist of the Year Grady McCallie of Raleigh and
Natural Resources Scientist of the Year Christopher S. DePerno of Raleigh.
Tickets cost $35. Register at www.ncwf.org/programs/awards.
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