Summer eco-adventure tours offered for teens in July

■ BY SUE ERWIN

The owners of Glass Bottom Rentals and Paddle Board Adventures have teamed up with Boca Grande native Nikki Heimann to offer “Teen Eco-Adventure Tours” on the island in this summer.  Two events are scheduled in July.

The owners of Glass Bottom Rentals and Paddle Board Adventures have teamed up with Boca Grande native Nikki Heimann to offer “Teen Eco-Adventure Tours” on the island in this summer. The events are scheduled in July.

Experienced guides will lead attendees in clear kayaks or on paddleboards in undertaking several water-related activities.

Aaron and Katie Koher started their business of renting clear kayaks from the north fishing pier on the island in February. And so far they’ve been staying pretty busy with clients.

“Nikki Heimann brought the idea to us and Tracie Georgiadis (from Paddleboard Adventures),” Katie said. “Nikki said she had been approached by a few local families looking for ideas for things their teenagers could do during the summer.”

There are a lot of camps in the area for younger children ages five through 13, but very few summer camps or activities are geared toward teens.

Together, Nikki, Tracie and the Kohers decided to create an activity to fill that void. The tours will be offered on selected dates: July 6 through July 9 and July 10 through 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The tours are designed for ages 12 to 17. Each day has a separate itinerary, and parents and teens can choose whether they’d like to attend one, two or all three days.

The tours will begin from either the Boca Grande Fishing Pier or the 19th Street kayak launch, depending on the day.

Kids of all skill levels from beginners to experienced are welcome to register. Paddle instruction will be included at the beginning of each day.Guests will learn about local wildlife and barrier island ecology, find natural treasures and have the opportunity to take some great photos.

Activities will include exploring sandbars by foot, snorkeling offshore from barrier islands, a scavenger hunt and daily stretching exercises.

A group race is planned for all paddleboard participants who wish to compete. The tour guides are Florida Master Naturalist- and Paddlefit-certified instructors.Nikki will be the main tour guide, and Tracie and Aaron will help out as needed, depending on attendance.

“Nikki is a Boca Grande native, a Florida Master Naturalist in Coastal Systems, and a certified Paddlefit Core Instructor and SUP and children’s yoga instructor,” Katie said. “She has previously worked at The Gasparilla Inn as an ecotour guide. Tracie, owner of Paddleboard Adventures, is also a Florida Master Naturalist and a Paddlefit-certified instructor. She is CPR-certified and worked as a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years.”

The cost is $90 per day, $170 for two days or $250 for the three-day tour.Spaces are limited. Call (941) 237-1756 for more information or to book your reservation.

If you are unable to attend on these dates or are outside the age range, Glass Bottom Rentals and Paddleboard Adventures will be offering daily tours for all ages all summer.For more information, visit glassbottomrentals.com.