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Prairie State Canoeists

A Northeast Illinois Canoe and Kayak Club

PSC/Club News...

Here you will find news on topics related to Prairie State Canoeists members and the club in general.  If you have something you would like to contribute or have added here, please contact our News Editors
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  • 2023-01-03 12:35 AM | Website Admin2 (Administrator)

    Longtime club member and giant in local paddling, Sigrid Pilgrim passed away December 21, 2022.

    Her energy and enthusiasm reached paddlers and politicians and the wide range of people who came into her sphere of activity.  She joined Prairie State Canoeists in 1974, making her one of the earliest members. An avid paddler, instructor, and organizer, she served on both local and national boards and working groups for a number of organizations such as the Illinois Paddling Council and the American Canoe Association.  She was recognized in 1997 as the ACA Joe Pina Volunteer of the Year and in 2004 with its Presidents Award for Outstanding Service.  Many of us remember the fun and excitement of “Paddle in the Park,” held for a dozen years in Palatine.

    Sigrid will be missed by all of us who knew her. A memorial service is planned for the summer.  Versions of her obituary are available here and here.   

  • 2022-11-25 4:33 PM | News2 Coordinator (Administrator)

    Ordering window ended on 12/11 at 11:59 PM 

  • 2022-11-25 3:35 PM | News2 Coordinator (Administrator)

    PSC member Paul Klonowski is featured in the Daily Herald.

  • 2022-06-08 10:20 PM | Website Admin2 (Administrator)

    Tom, along with his wife, Carol, and his family, Mark, Susan, and Tom Jr. have been long-time members of Prairie State Canoeists.  Tom designed and drew the original PSC "River Rat" logo.  It's still in use today, after over 50 years.  All of Tom and Carol's PSC friends are grateful for wonderful memories of adventures together.  Tom was a Navy Veteran.

    Rest in Peace, dear Tom.  Save a site for us downstream.

    Happy Paddling!

  • 2022-06-02 6:58 AM | Website Admin3 (Administrator)

    A PSC store has been set up where you can buy PSC logo T-shirts and hats.  The store is only open until June 12th, so hurry to get your gear before it closes!

    Go to PSC Store

  • 2022-01-27 5:49 PM | News2 Coordinator (Administrator)

    Sadly, Club member Gary Howlett passed away on January 19.  He was such a character and so helpful to others on the river.  He could maneuver his canoe in ways you wouldn't think possible.  When he was younger he did a trip to New Orleans via the Rock and Mississippi Rivers.  The log book has already been posted on another Club's website, so rather than duplicate it, here is the link.    He will be missed.

  • 2021-07-06 6:59 PM | Deleted user

    PSC is now going back to the original group shuttle policy.   Trips will be posted with both a group car shuttle time and a launch time.  The Launch time will allow those that still want to arrange their own shuttles to plan their shuttle so they get back in time to launch with the group.  For group shuttles, the Drivers may still ask people riding in their car, to wear a mask. Please respect their wishes.

  • 2021-05-19 7:06 PM | Deleted user

    Celebrate 50 years of paddling with Prairie State Canoeists by taking the challenge to paddle 50 miles this year.  Thankfully, not all at once...Whew!

    Here is the challenge:

    Paddle five (5) official PSC trips this year.

    They each count for 10 miles.

    That’s only 5 paddle trips!

    Prizes, awards, and recognition will be yours.

    You can do it!

    (Note: Classes, clean-ups or other activities will not count toward the 50 miles).

    We will keep track of your miles and post the list of 50 Mile Paddlers on the website. Stay tuned for your reward.

  • 2021-05-19 6:10 PM | Deleted user

    Since it's our 50th anniversary, I thought I'd give you all a little history lesson:

    The founding members were part of The Prairie Club, which is still a going enterprise.  The Prairie Club was founded as a volunteer organization in 1908 and organized hikes in this tri-state area as a way for people to get out of crowded Chicago.  It evolved over the years to include other outdoor activities and acquired several properties for camps.  The Prairie Club had a key role in establishing the Lake Cook Forest Preserve system, Indiana Dunes State Park, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. 

    In 1970 a group from The Prairie Club who had a strong preference for paddling versus all the other outdoor activities, plus an aversion to The Prairie Club’s growing physical assets, formed their own breakaway group.  They were incorporated in 1971 as Prairie State Canoeists.  The original members numbered no more than fifty but grew over the years.  At one time there were around 500 members.

    So now you know - "the rest of the story"

  • 2018-09-30 2:28 PM | Website Admin2 (Administrator)

    From Fran's son, Karl:

    Frances Almquist (Fran), a long time member of Prairie State Canoeists, died Saturday September 29th surrounded by her family.

    Fran was born on November 25, 1929 and raised in Chicago. In early 1950 she traveled to the Grand Canyon in Arizona to work at the Bright Angel Lodge as a Harvey girl. It was at the Grand Canyon that her deep love for nature was fostered. Fran raised her sons to love the outdoors. Their earliest memories are of trips to places like Four Lakes and Wilmot Ski Hills, Waterfall Glen, Starved Rock and Devil Lake state parks. She encouraged people to explore and to be fearless. She loved downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping and spending time with her friends on the river. Fran traveled the National Parks and to all continents with the exception of Australia. Her joy was found on the water, be it a lake, river or stream. She logged over 100 plus rivers. Fran spent as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors. She would often say that nature was her religion.

    Over her years of travel, mom met many people who became her friends. She often talked about many of you and appreciated the time she spent with you doing the things she loved to do.

    Fran’s last trip earlier this September to Wisconsin was to one of her favorite rivers, the Flambeau. During her last days, she told us about the wonderful trip she had with good friends.

    Fran will be greatly missed by her family and friends. In her memory, please take a walk, canoe a river, visit a park, and share your passion for whatever you do with the people you love. ​

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