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  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

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From the Prez

Published on 12/4/2013

From the Prez

I want to express how thankful I am to be a part of the Washington Kayak Club, to have all of you as my paddle pals, and to experience these wonderful coastal areas with you.   I also want to express how excited I am about two new endeavors:  a trip idea party at Elliot Bay Brewery, and trip leader training!


Share your trip ideas at Elliot Bay Brewery bash

The WKC Board and Chairs are working hard to put together a full trip calendar for 2014. But first we need ideas - yours! Join us at the Elliot Bay Brewery in Burien on Sunday, Jan 26 from 3PM-7:30 PM for our first trip planning party. Refreshments will be provided and everyone (whether a trip leader or not) is invited. Come ready to dream and discuss all the places you would love to paddle. We’ll do our best to make your dream trip happen! We’ll have charts and planning aids available, and be glad to show you how to use them. Please register on the event calendar if you plan to attend.


Trip leader training to begin in 2014

We also want to build a self-sustaining community of kayaking leaders and mentors who like to plan and play together, and enjoy supporting each other as co-leaders. So, to encourage experienced, as well as new, leaders to guide more trips for the club, we’re working on the following:


1. Offering Leader Training from both WKC instructors and area professionals.  In-house training will consist of clinics and seminars. For sea kayakers, trips are being planned that will develop various leadership skills, such as group management, how to handle incidents and rescues, trip planning and navigation. Our plan is to have one of these leadership trips each month, starting in January.


2. Those who show commitment to become a trip leader will be subsidized for courses they want to take to further develop their skills.


3. We’re looking into a new insurance policy to reduce the amount of paperwork that has been required in the past. 


Leadership has its perks!

When I joined the Washington Kayak Club several years ago, it was the trip calendar really captured my imagination. On the very first trip I met people who are still my regular paddle pals. These trips advanced my skills considerably and allowed me to go places I could not go alone. After two years, I decided that the best way to explore all the nooks of crannies of Puget Sound that I wanted to see was to lead my own trips.


Through much encouragement and advice from seasoned WKC paddlers, I developed the confidence to do this.  The rewards and pleasures of leading my own trips are far more than I expected. It is my hope to offer all WKC paddlers this same opportunity for exploration and camaraderie. I know most of you have joined the club to expand your paddling skills, so I invite you to develop the most important, challenging, and rewarding of these skills – leadership.


                                                            ~ Dave Ortland

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