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Preparation for the 25th Celebration : Call for Volunteers!

Update March 8, 2022:

1st meeting for the community mural brainstorm session is happening Wednesday March 9 at 7 – 8 pm on google meets.

Join with this link:

We need your help with community projects at Paddler Co-op!


Hello Co-op Community Members,


We hope your winter has been filled with plenty of opportunity for outdoor activity and exercise, connection with loved ones, some time for reflection, and some time to build excitement for the summer and paddling season ahead!

We’re getting pretty excited in Palmer Rapids right now, because we are officially preparing to celebrate the (drumroll, please)


25th Anniversary of Paddler Co-op! 


Can you believe it?! We are so grateful to all of you (present and past) members who have joined and supported us in this incredible journey over the last quarter century, and for all the new members yet to join us for our next 25 years. 


As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we want to host a spring gathering for a collaborative, connective, “get dirt under your fingernails”, awesome weekend in early May to tackle some special projects (and to begin to celebrate) as a community, for the community!


We’re calling this ‘work bee’ weekend

“Preparation for the 25th Celebration”

and it’s happening May 6-8, 2022 at Paddler Co-op.


What projects are we tackling? The details of each project component are explained below, but in short, we will:

  • create a community made mural;
  • build new vegetable gardens to incorporate into our youth camps and programs;
  • spruce up existing flower beds;
  • overhaul the old outhouses to make them wheelchair accessible and smelling great;
  • come together for delicious meals and feast as a whole crew for the weekend! (head chef anyone?!)
  • And of course, some paddling too!


Below are more details on each part of our ‘Preparations for the 25th Celebration’ Project. Please take time to read through the different projects taking place during our weekend gathering to see where you can lend a hand!


This is our first call to volunteers for anyone interested in joining us the first weekend of May, (May 6th-8th, 2022), for a weekend of fun, painting, building, getting dirty, eating delicious food, jamming out and of course paddling. 


Our plan is to reveal and showcase our community projects at the 23rd annual Palmer River Fest on May Long Weekend to kick off the season with a 25th Anniversary party!


“Love it, I’m willing to help! What’s next?”

Take a moment to read through the positions we’re looking for below, then reach out!

Please email us back at and let us know what part of our ‘Preparation for 25th Celebration’ you would like to take part in. All ages and abilities are welcome and encouraged to join. We are excited to see you there!


Please read on to learn more about each branch of the project below!



The 25th Anniversary Community Created Art Mural 


Positions needed: 

  • Creative contributors (artists!) – for sketching and creating components of the mural
  • Volunteer Painters (to actually paint the mural on the fence
  • Volunteer support persons (to help with setup, cleanup, supplies management and enabling the artists to do their best work!)


Whether you bring the brainstorming, the skills, and/or the stoke, we want you to be a part of our Paddler Co-op Community Mural! Along the Paddler Co-op fence we will create a collaborative art piece where we showcase our favourite places and things about Paddler Co-op and the Madawaska River from Jessup’s Chute down to Griffith. We want our mural to reflect all the ages, genders, ethnicities and identities that make up our Paddler Co-op community. Our collaborative mural will also be accessible to everyone to paint. No matter your skill, your age or your physical availability, there is a stage in the process for you. 


We are firstly looking for brainstormers to meet with us on Google Meet to verbally share their visions and together think up all the creative possibilities (no requirements to physically design, but if you already have ideas on paper, bring them too!). These initial brainstorm sessions will happen on Wednesday March 9th @7:00pm or Saturday April 2nd @10:00am, please rsvp with Taylor for whichever you can attend. 


Then, those creatively inspired can send entries to, these can be sketches or finished products of smaller images, river sections or full design concepts etc. Deadline March 31st. These images will then all be combined to make our 25th Anniversary mural masterpiece! The last weekend of April there will be a crew assembled to outline the design onto the fence so when we have our ‘Preparations for the 25th Celebrations’ weekend ( May 6-8th) it is easy for everyone and anyone to “paint by numbers” or add their creative flair. 


The Gardeners

The one-liner:

Creating and planting new garden beds for veggies and pollinator-friendly flowers, and giving some TLC to our existing gardens.

Positions needed: 

  • Gardener Mastermind: Head Gardener to develop a plan for giving TLC to existing co-op gardens as well as formulating a soil mixture and planting plan for the new veggie raised beds. Leading the crew and delegating
  • Gardeners: Folks with gardening experience to roll out the master garden plan. Tasks may include moving soil, weeding, mulching, planting, transplanting, 
  • Garden Interns: (no gardening experience but keen to get hands dirty and learn!)


The deets:

Imagine our Kids Camps learning skills and knowledge about the land as well as the river. Going to the gardens to learn about and harvest healthy food for snacks. For all our community members grabbing a fresh flavourful tomato and smelling the sweet smell of flowers as you wander around the campsite. This is our vision for our garden project on our ‘Preparation of 25th Celebration’ weekend. We are looking for a community member who is eager to take on the role of being the mastermind of this project. As well, others who would like to volunteer their energy to help execute the vision, no gardening background necessary just enthusiasm. If you are interested in learning more about the role of Gardener Mastermind or volunteering your time email for more info.


Construction Crew (Super Dooper Pooper Crew)

The one-liner: 

Research, design, and renovate our existing 2-hole outhouse into a beautiful, smell-free, composting toilet AND build some basic 3’x8’ raised garden beds.


Positions needed: 


  • Construction Mastermind: able to research conceive and design a composting toilet, compile a supply and tools list, execute a construction project and lead a crew
  • Construction Helpers: Experience with basic carpentry, enjoy working with your body, can follow a plan, receive direction and work as part of a team
  • Construction Interns: No experience but keen on learning and developing skills for working with your hands. Able to pick things up and put them down as directed and work as a team!

The Deets:


No matter the level of physical able-ness, we want our community members to feel welcome, comfortable and safe in our facilities. This means renovating our older outhouse to make it wheelchair accessible, beautiful, and upgraded to a composting toilet system as part of our 25th anniversary project. 


Not only do we want to un-smellify and beautify our older outhouses, but we want to turn a ‘biological waste by-product’ (the stuff down the outhouse hole) into a clean, sanitary, nutritious growing medium (compost!)


Do you have knowledge in the areas of composting toilet systems, construction design, carpentry, and renovations? Do you have building experience or physical labour you’re willing to offer? Have you got connections with anyone experienced in the areas listed above? Are you passionate about researching waste-diverting, up-cycling composting toilet systems? Have you got energy and time and are eager to work with your hands to build something beautiful? 


There is a place for you on this dream team! 


If anyone in our community is interested in being the Construction Mastermind, please contact for more information. If you are ready to bring your skills or hands to help the overhaul as a Construction Helper or Construction Intern, then email to be added to the volunteer construction crew! 




The Stoke Crew (a.k.a. volunteers at large)

The one liner:

Keep the stoke high and lift those up around you – you might not feel like a specialist, but have valuable skills and contribution ability. 


Positions needed:

  • Eager, team-player volunteers (and many of them!)

The Deets:

Interested in learning from others and helping where you can? We need community members like you! Bring your excitement and hands to help lift the Co-op site up for our big reveal at the Palmer Fest 25th Anniversary Long Weekend. Email to join the dream team as a volunteer at large.



Master Chef

The one liner: 

 Last but very much not least, we need someone to keep this locomotive of people and energy fueled and hydrated (and caffeinated) all weekend long!

Positions Needed:

  • Master Chef: Meal planning, managing dietary restrictions, creating shopping and supply lists, supporting cooks and kitchen interns
  • Line Cooks: Preparing, cooking and satiating the appetites of all volunteers, staff and helpers
  • Kitchen interns: setting up, tearing down, cleaning, serving, and keeping the stoke high in support of the Master Chef and Line Cooks and bringing a chipper attitude to the crew!


The Deets:


Save the best for last they say: If you like the satisfaction of planning, preparing and serving up a delicious meal, cooking with friends and filling hungry helpers’ bellies, then you have found the perfect role the weekend! 


As Master Chef, you will be given a budget, number of meals, dietary restrictions, full access to The Co-op’s kitchen and the freedom to run with feeding the gang however you like. As a Master Chef you get to craft and create the meals and will have a dedicated support crew to help bring your vision to life. Nothing brings a hard working community together like food. 


We aren’t joking about it, when we say this is the most important role of the entire crew for the entire weekend!!!


If you would like to find out more about the Master chef role or volunteer your time to the food crew email and we will sign you up!




Oh! And one more thing: 

If you are low on time but have plants, materials, tools, or paint to contribute, we would greatly appreciate your help!

We’re looking for donations of:

  • Perennial Plants (colourful, flowering, pollinator-friendly types especially!)
  • Fruit plants/shrubs/trees
  • Annual veggies or flowers (for planting from Late May – July)
  • Basic building tools (tape measure, level, square, chop saw, circular saw, sawzall, pry/crow bar, sawhorses, chalkline, extension cords, hammers, drills/drivers, drill bits)
  • Painting Materials:
    • Paint!
    • Brushes
    • Rollers
    • Paint trays
    • Paint sponges
    • etc.
  • Building Materials:
    • Lumber (rough-sawn and finished)
    • Fasteners (screws/nails)
    • Plywood/Chipboard
    • Cement board

If you want to contribute but don’t have extra time or supplies, consider making a cash donation. This can be done by e-transfer to (preferred) or through our secure web portal here. Please specify in the message/comments that you’re donating to the 25th anniversary community project fund.

If you can’t come for the ‘Preparations for 25th Celebration’ from May 6-8th, we hope you can make it out to The Co-op this year to celebrate with us and see the beautiful results of our community working together (like at Palmer River Fest Spring 2022 on May Long Weekend!)

It is an honor to have had the support of our paddling community over the last 25 years, to be surrounded by such amazing individuals who are willing to lend a hand in building community and connection, and we can’t wait to see what the next 25 years have in store. 



Here’s to another incredible 25 years,

With deep gratitude,

The Paddler Co-op Crew

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