President’s Message – April 2017

It’s April.

We’ve had a few trips already, and already a few people have fallen out of their boats and into the still icy water.  Good thing we all know the strokes to get where we’re going so that we all didn’t fall in.  Good thing we all wear our PFDs, that we all know how to rescue, and that we all bring spare clothes to change into.

April is New Members month.  If you are new, you joined just at the right time.  The season’s learning progression starts with our Basic Paddlers tandem lakewater course beginning April 26th in the evening, and running all day on the following two Saturdays.  We space it out like that to give you a chance to recover, and to get a lot of practice in between.

And don’t let the title “Basic” fool you.  Everyone who take the course learns ways to control their boat that they never knew before, knew they needed, or knew was possible.  For our paddlers, basic is a pretty high standard.

For those interested in paddling rivers, the learning progression continues in June with a moving water clinic, a river skills practice weekend, and then a week of rivers – if you can get the time off work.

For those of us who want to paddle placid lakes and gentle streams, the learning progression continues all summer, when every weekly trip we join is a chance to practice, and to get pointers from the more experienced paddlers.

If you’ve just joined, there are a few things you have to know.

  • After you find a trip on the calendar, you need to let the trip leader know you want to come.  If there is none listed, wait a while, someone’s likely to volunteer closer to the date.
  • Give the trip leader some notice beforehand.  She needs time to organize it.  Two days for a day trip.  Seven days for a camp out.
  • When the trip leader contacts you back, tell her about yourself, about your paddling experiences.  She wants to know for good reason.  The last thing she wants is to send you down a rapid when all you expected was a pond.
  • When the leader gives you a meet time, she means that’s when she and the whole group will be ready to go.  So if you need to pick up gas or buy lunch or outfit your boat, it’s best to do it ahead of schedule.
  • Just before you leave the shore, your leader will check your boat for all the required equipment: a pfd, done up of course, a spare paddle, ropes on either end of the canoe, a bailer, water, raingear, lunch, and spare clothes in a waterproof container.
  • Who is this leader anyway?  What makes her so special?  The truth is that any of us can lead a trip, and the hope is that all of us will.  We just need to paddle enough with the club, take the leaders clinic, and to be ready to volunteer.
  • Finally, wWhen you’re paddling with your friends, you’ll notice no one is rushing – you’re already where you want to be.  If there’s one thing Beavers like as much as paddling, it’s paddling together, from start to finish.  We work as a team to make it safe and fun for everyone.

REMINDER – Next Meeting April 12th

Tripping and Trail Food Contest
Bring a plate and fork so you can sample some of the best food you’ll find in the woods!

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