Facilitated by lead instructor Andy Round, the two day training session not only updated new instructors on logistical procedures but also provided an open learning environment for everyone involved. Focusing on teaching a beginner kayaking class, the instruction staff practiced explaining concepts in different ways to better reach every student. New teaching methods were presented and classic ones were reinforced.
The training began at Wet Planet Whitewater Center’s home base, using the private kayak pool to discuss flatwater techniques and key exercises like the wet exit, edge control and hip snaps. Extra attention was given to refining teaching methods for the kayak roll. From there, the group moved to Northwestern Lake at the mouth of the Middle White Salmon River to practice paddling.
Heading to the Klickitat River on day two, the group of instructors continued to discuss various ways of reaching different students. Focusing on eddy turns, ferrying and reading rivers; the day was filled with tons of new information.
Veteran instructors like Lance Rief, Ryan Copenhagen, Curt Joyce, Brian Lee and Drew Austell shared their successes with various teaching methods while new instructors Susan Hollingsworth and Molly Downy contributed ideas from their teaching experience in other parts of the country.
Together, everyone was able to walk away with more tricks up their sleeve and an even greater enthusiasm for teaching kayaking. A more passionate and skilled group of kayak instructors would be hard to find!
Susan Hollingsworth – Wet Planet Kayaking Instructor