Kicking Off Paddling Season with Our New Guides
"The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go.” – Richard Bach
(Don't worry: we will never make you do this! We overtrain our guides so that they are prepared for even the most unlikely of scenarios.)
It’s official: Summer is here and that means that paddling season is well underway.
(Though, to be fair, for our Paddling Program Director there is no beginning or end to the season. If there’s a body of water available, he’s on it!)
Much like end of season preparations, it’s important to be sure that as the weather gets warmer that we’re ready for everything that the season may bring. Not only does that mean making sure that all our gear is clean and in good working order, but it also means making sure that we have well-trained guides who feel confident in their own paddling skills as well as in their abilities to keep our clients safe, happy, and informed.
Last week, we welcomed four new paddling guides to our team. They spent weeks reviewing techniques and protocols, developing situational awareness, and learning how to navigate the many variables that paddling might possibly bring. In other words: this awesome group trained hard in conditions that our clients will pretty much never encounter (rapids, strong currents, obstructions…) so that they are overprepared for the much more relaxing excursions that we enjoy with you all.
After over 10 hours of running drills and skill-building, their hard work paid off: our guides got American Canoe Association (ACA) certified by the amazing folks over at Zoar Outdoor and are now feeling ready to take you all out on our favorite outings in the Valley. Whether it’s an Intro to Kayaking course on the serene Leverett Pond, a smooth paddle along the Connecticut River, or a slightly more challenging trip down the Deerfield River, are guides are equipped to get you out on the water in the most enjoyable way possible.
Congratulations to our Paddling Guide Class of 2022! We’re super proud of all they accomplished this spring. We know that they’re as excited to get out there as we are and we can’t wait to have more adventures with them as the season goes on.
(L to R: Trevor, Allie, Monica, Ami Jean and Paddling Program Director Brad Walker)