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A New Maine Guide in Our Midst!


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Congratulations Warren!

Your rationale for taking leadership and guide training, despite not planning to work as a professional guide, perfectly reflects my philosophy of the role of leadership in the outdoors. Leadership is not a list of actions one person goes through when leading others through an environment. Leadership is a mindset that every member of a group can be employing silently throughout every adventure. If every paddler employs a leadership mindset (preparation, paddler assessment, risk management, etc.) the whole group is far safer.

Kudos to you for biting off big chunks this season! Glad I could be of some help with your successes.

(And rumor has it you didn't just pass the exam - you knocked the examiners' socks off!)


Pinniped Kayak

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Warren, congratulations on your latest achievement. Should you decide in the future that you DO actually want to be a guide, your participants will have the good fortune of being on the most well-thought out, carefully planned trip ever. Of this, I am certain.

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Thank you Lorrie!

I agree thorough trip planning and risk identification are essential duties for any guide and need to be addressed on every trip. In many ways my ongoing relationship with Mother Nature has taught me those skills. Those will always be valuable lessons learned.

This year I needed to find a solution to a different risk factor. There is an old saying within the sea kayaking community that our greatest risk can be who we choose to paddle with on any group trip. I know paddling solo eliminates the risk, but I had chosen to eliminate that option very early in my journey. My path into Guide training was my way of searching for the solution.

During my training, a solution that closely aligned with my nature was discovered. I then field tested the discovery in Alaska. It worked and now I need to test the reliability during a 2015 trip back to Alaska.

In essence I discovered a leader is one who works with the paddlers she/he is given on any trip. The test is to initiate a transition to a collection of leaders with varying skills who work as a team to strengthen each other. So team building skills which promote high levels of communication and a culture of caring are essential.

I do acknowledge this approach takes time and is best suited to longer trips. Those longer trips are usually when those skills are most needed.

Clearly, I see myself not as a guide, but as a “leader” within a team of “leaders” who explore and camp in some of the most amazing areas of the world.


Edited by Warren
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