About Us - Club History

Club History

 Bill Robinson is clearly the founder of our club. He was the manager of the Appalachian Outfitters store in Ellicott City in the 1970's. He was in the Sierra Club and organized canoe classes for Sierra Club members in 1973 and 1974. We started to have an organized trip schedule in 1974, initially on the Patapsco, Gunpowder, Deer Creek, and Muddy Creek. By 9/74 we started meeting as a group, at the main Red Cross Bldg. downtown.  We were formally incorporated as The Greater Baltimore Canoe Club, Inc. on 16 Mar 76. Our Lawyer/paddler Pete Lareau, drew up the Articles of Incorporation.  Bill was our first president, and the other officers and trustees included Warren Therien, Ronnie True, Elizabeth Large, Carol Moore, Mike Fetchero, Ken Price and yours truly. We were incorporated as a non-profit organization to promote responsible recreational canoeing and kayaking, to develop a water safety program, and a conservation program.  In 1976, our schedule included a race on the Patapsco through "Suicide Rapids", canoe campers on the Cacapon and in the Pine Barrens, and trips to the Lehigh, Staircase, and Hopeville Canyon.

The earliest Roster in my possession is for 1980 and shows exactly 200 families in the club! I would be interested to know if any earlier rosters exist.  Today there are well over 300 families in the Club. We are especially active on Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia rivers, with frequent excursions from Maine to Florida, and occasional trips to Canada (some crossing the Arctic Circle) and to Central and South America.  We also have kayak rolling sessions in the winter, and canoe and kayak classes in the late spring and early summer. 

On December 1, 2012, the members of the club voted to amend the name of the club to the "Baltimore Canoe and Kayak Club".   This change was made to help make the club easier to identify as being a club that kayakers as well as canoeist could use to help promote their interest, skills, and meet other folks in the paddling community.