2011, Oh What a Year its gonna be!
2011 is shaping up to be fully packed with lots of activity, at least through October and then there are the annual holidays in November and December. So guess that makes it the whole year!
January is loaded with planning and scheduling, along with a couple of pool sessions to maintain my “edge”. In February I’m off to Tybee Island Georgia for a few days of assisting with Rutabaga’s Kayak Camp with Ben Lawry. This will be a really great time, not only will I be working with Ben, but it will be in one of my favorite places to paddle. If I had things my way, I’d move to Tybee in a heartbeat!
March begins the paddling season here in the upper Midwest with Canoecopia. And, for those of us who are year-round paddlers, Canoecopia brings the excitement that kids get in a toy store in early December. For the past several years I’ve worked the entire show, either staffing the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium booth, or the Rutabaga Outdoor Programs booth. In addition to those “duties” this year I will be doing several presentations. The board of directors for the Lake Michigan Water Trail (LMWT) will be doing a presentation on the LMWT project. I’ve been working on this project for over 15 years, and these are really exciting times! I will also be doing a presentation on wilderness first aid. Then there will be a presentation on “kit” essentials, during which I will discuss why my kayak and my PFD weigh so much. And, I will be doing a couple of navigation sessions which will be “hands-on” with several other ACA instructors assisting. So, Canoecopia is going to be a scheduling nightmare, but soooooo much fun that I’m getting all giddy just thinking about it!
In April I’ll be conducting an early season Level 4 – Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Certification Exam for Rutabaga. This will be for those that may have missed the usual late summer and fall exams last year, or who are looking to perhaps upgrade from their present level before the teaching season gets in full swing this year.
In May I’ll be assisting with a Wilderness Medical Associates Wilderness First Aid class sponsored by Rutabaga. These are always fun (especially when I get to work with my mentor Ann Dunphy). It’s amazing how much practical first aid knowledge and skill one can learn in two days. Also, for you ACA instructors, or aspiring instructors, don’t forget that you are now required to have first aid and CPR as part of your instructor credentials, and successful completion of this course satisfies that requirement.
In June I’ll be doing an Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) for Rutabaga (this will be especially fun since it’s also my birthday weekend!). In mid-June the symposium schedule begins with the Inland Sea Sea Kayak Symposium in Washburn Wisconsin. I just received my invitation to be one of the instructors, and accepted immediately! This is the first symposium that I ever attended, and where I had my first “formal” lesson, with none other than Gail Green. I won’t tell you what year that was; just that it was awhile ago.
July is always a busy month with not one, but two symposiums and a bit of camping along the shores of Lake Superior between the two. First, there’s the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium. Always fun to see all the returning participants, as well as the new ones. I’ve been at this one from the beginning (this is the 8th annual), and have a blast. After DCSKS, I’ll be heading to Munising to camp on the shore of Lake Superior for a few nights with Silbs and Sherri. We’ll be doing some paddling in the area, hanging out at the local coffee shop, and just sitting and relaxing before heading over to Grand Marais (Michigan) for the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium (GLSKS) which is still going strong after a quarter of a century (2011 is the 27th annual)!
Now, sprinkle among all of this the various one day classes (navigation, open water skills, video stroke analysis, first aid and CPR) as well as some two day instructor updates, and I’ve got me a busy 2011 ahead!
So this pretty much sums up 2011 for me, looks to be jam packed, to say the least! Hope to see you at some, if not all of these events.