Canoe-kayak ‘poker run’ to debut at Culver Lake Fest

Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council executive director Kathy Clark had an idea running through her mind for several years. While she enjoyed all the great events of Lake Fest weekend, something directly involving the lake seemed to be missing.

This year, with the help of environmental council members and Lake Maxinkuckee Association executive director Jane Grund, that idea has morphed into the first ever Canoe, Kayak & SUP Poker Run on Lake Maxinkuckee, to be held Friday, July 20 from 5 pm to 8 p.m.

This first-time event is sponsored by the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council and the Lake Maxinkuckee Association in conjunction with Culver’s 2012 Lake Fest Committee.

The Canoe, Kayak & SUP Poker Run will leave shore at 5 p.m. from the Culver Park beach, next to the lighthouse. Participants will pick up five playing cards from stations marked with colorful banners along either of two routes and return to the launch area by 7:45. The person or team with the best poker hand from each of the routes will win first prize (one for each of the routes) and there will be winners for second or third prizes too.

The two route options are 2.14 miles long and one mile long – one for the adventurous athletes and one for those just seeking a bit of fun. Volunteers and lake families will participate by handing out cards to each craft as they make their way along the routes. Grund has made arrangements for the Association to have their Lake Patrol available during the event time for the participants’ safety.

“We are all very excited about this event and hope it becomes a successful one each and every year for Lake Fest,” says Clark. “Gary Shaffer, a member of the environmental council, was the one who came up with the idea of making it a poker run instead of a scavenger hunt while the concept was being discussed at one of our meetings. When presented to Jane and also Jean E. Overmyer, president of the Lake Fest Committee, they both agreed it sounded like great fun. Ed Furry, organizer of the SUP Lake Max Challenge taking place June 30th, took our idea of a t-shirt design and made it ‘camera ready’ for SuziQ’s Embroidery of Culver, who will produce our shirts – I think they might become collector’s items!”

You must be preregistered to get an event tee shirt. Head online to or pick up a flyer from your favorite local business. Send the registration form and your check ($10 for every person paddling your craft) to Culver Lake Fest, P.O. Box 146, Culver, IN 46511. All forms must be postmarked by July 5 to get a tee shirt.

If you wish to register the day of the event, you must be at the lighthouse at 4 p.m. and the price will be $15 per person. No t-shirts will be provided for late registrants. Participation is limited so register early!

“No worries,” says Clark. “No hurry really -- just stay on the route you chose and enjoy the lake, pick up your five cards from the five different stations on your route, then bring your poker hand back to the launch area and register your cards with the event coordinators.”

Winners will be announced at 8 p.m. with prizes awarded on the spot.