Long before I was a sea kayaker, one of the common threads in my most enjoyable pursuits has been an interest in risk mitigation, leadership, and feeling prepared for challenges. With my brief stint in firefighting and the swashbuckling ocean sailing adventures quite a few years behind me, I've been more than satisfied to challenge myself as a leader in the cockpit of a sea kayak for the last decade.
While teaching leadership skills to guides and recreational paddlers has been a part of Pinniped Kayak since I started the business, I've steadily expanded opportunities to offer leadership and instructor certifications at various levels to serve experienced ocean paddlers as well as those who are exploring more protected waters, so you too can get a flavor for one of my favorite aspects of taking to the sea with a cluster of small single-person boats. Here are some of this year's offerings for Leadership and Instructor development, challenging paddlers at a wide variety of skill levels.
For paddlers and aspiring guides who are seeking leadership training for the first time, I've scheduled a 5-day Leadership and Guide Training, May 29th-June 2nd at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, in Stonington, ME. This course includes navigation and trip planning, as well as basic incident management, towing, rescues, and other leadership skills appropriate for everyone exploring protected coastal areas, recreationally or as part of a commercial guiding operation.
For those with established skills, who want to expand their existing skill-set with an emphasis on leadership, I am offering an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayaking Trip Leader Training and Assessment, June 9th-10th in Ellsworth. This leadership course caters to paddlers with previous training, who have passed a L3 Skills Assessment, or have the BCU 3-star Award. With boat-handling and rescues already under candidate's belts, this course will be able to focus on more advanced principles of leadership, trip-planning and incident management in the coastal environment. Successful candidates will leave with the ACA Coastal Kayaking Trip Leader Award.
Experienced paddlers who are ready to expand their leadership and paddling skills into more advanced conditions may be interested in the BCU Sea Leader Training (formerly known as 4-Star), offered by guest Todd Wright (BCU L5 Coach, Sea) of Saint Michael's College and Synaptic Sport. This 3-day training, June 14-16, based in Ellsworth, will use the diverse paddling venues surrounding Mount Desert Island, and includes the BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course.
Paddlers who would like to be more effective at introducing others to the sport, as well as covering aspects of effective leadership, may want to explore ACA Instructor Training, to teach paddling skills in Coastal and Advanced Coastal paddling environments. In partnership with Carl Ladd, of Osprey Sea Kayak, we are offering ACA Level 3 and Level 4 Instructor Development Workshops on July 26-29.
Regardless of how long you've been involved in ocean paddling, and whether you aspire to guide commercially, or just want to be more effective and safer in organizing your own adventures with friends, leadership skills are fundamental ocean paddling skills that will benefit every kayaker. We have diverse offerings that be a good fit for most every paddler, and I'd be happy to discuss which options are best suited to your needs. Give me a call at 207-669-2174, or you can send me a message here.
Enjoy your spring paddling!