5 Tips for Teen Lake Days

Guest blog by Heidi Goitia

The famous John Muir quote says, “The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go,” but in the Arizona heat, the lake was calling, and we went. I recently spent a day on Lake Pleasant with my teen and college-aged boys and their friends and, let me tell you, it was just what the doctor ordered.

We arrived at Scorpion Bay Marina just before 9 am. We chose a Monday because, even though I grew up going boating with my family, it had been years since I had driven a boat and a less busy lake seemed safer and, honestly, more fun. We had reserved a pontoon boat through their online reservation system and were excited to get out on the water. Knowing the sun and the water would be draining, we brought a cooler full of water and Gatorade, a bag of snacks and all the fixings we would need to make sandwiches. Feeding a group of teenagers is no small feat and this mama wasn't messing around!

The check-in process was incredibly easy and fast because we had signed all of our waivers online so there were just a few more signatures for the Scorpion Bay team to collect. A few minutes after our arrival, we stepped on the boat and the dockhands gave us detailed and thorough instructions on safety, boat operation and the rules of the water. They also gave us a map of the lake which was very helpful. It detailed the location of coves and areas where the kids could safely jump off the boat and swim. My favorite quote from the Scorpion Bay crew was, “Pretend the boats are allergic to the shore and don't get too close!”

After the slow ride out of the bay (through the no wake zone!) we were off. Lake Pleasant is a large lake and offers so many options for whatever lake experience you're seeking. We enjoyed a few minutes of mid-speed sightseeing and then the kids were ready for some high adrenaline, high speed time on the raft. Did I mention we also rented a tube to pull behind the boat? You can get those at Scorpion Bay, too! We spent hours weaving through the water trying to launch each other OFF the raft, and finally enjoying some down time in some out-of-the-way coves. In late June with temperatures well above 100 degrees, the water felt amazing and the disconnect from technology and the “real world” felt even better.

A full-day boat rental can start as early as 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. but after about six hours our crew was wiped out, so we made our way back to the marina. Despite our (somewhat) consistent sunscreen application, we were sun-kissed and pleasantly exhausted. The SB team was waiting at the dock when we pulled in, ready to help us tie up the boat and wrap up the day. The team couldn't have been more kind and helpful.

If six hours seems too long for your crew, half day rental options are also available and may give you just the right amount of time with younger kids or a tighter time frame. Mother Nature is powerful, and the combination of the sun, water and excitement can be a lot.

A few of my biggest tips to make the most of your time on the lake:

  1. Bring your own life jackets if you have them. Scorpion Bay provides life jackets for every person on the boat but if you bring your own you get a “caught being safe” card which you can turn in at the General Store for an Otter Pop. Yes, even teenagers get excited about popsicles ☺
  2. While in the water ALWAYS wear your lifejacket. This was non-negotiable for me. Not only was I trying to protect my own boys, but when other people trust me with their children, I take that seriously. The water can be more powerful than you think, and you can easily find yourself more fatigued than you were expecting. In fact, at one point when we were circling back to get my son who had been launched off the raft, he said, “come closer, the waves are strong.”
  3. Bring plenty of water and electrolytes. I'm somewhat of a nervous nelly when it comes to life jackets and hydration. Too much/too many is always better than not enough.
  4. Respect the water and respect the rules.
  5. Relax and have fun!

Scorpion Bay is Arizona’s premier floating playground, offering everything from daily pontoon and ski boat rentals to slips for harboring your yacht (or dinghy). Come for the fishing or come for the frolicking—either way, incredible mountain views, fantastic dining and world-class marina services await less than an hour out of Phoenix.