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Announcing 2004 Trip Leader Training

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The NSPN Trip Leader Committee announces its 2004 trip leader training program.

NSPN club trips are organized and led by volunteer leaders who complete the club’s training program. Trip leaders are NOT necessarily the fastest or fanciest paddlers. Many trip leaders chose to lead only relaxed trips on quiet waters. Under NSPN policy, trip participants are responsible for their own safety by paddling with required skills and gear. Trip leaders are responsible for organizing trips and for making good faith efforts to ensure safe trips through planning and safe practices on the water. If you are interested in volunteering to lead or assist on trips, NSPN offers trip leader training to prepare you for the role.

What's in it for you?

* High quality skills training for free.

* Opportunity to develop leadership abilities.

* Access to the knowledge and wisdom of experienced paddlers.

* Great camaraderie with people who love to paddle--and love to share it!

Here’s the deal:

* We provide classroom and on-the-water training in the skills needed to lead club trips.

* You commit to lead or assist on club trips.

* The training is led by volunteers who are club members.

* We assume you are a solid Level 3 club paddler since much of the on-water training is in Level 3 conditions. (We do not teach strokes or other basic skills.)

* All of the required training is offered free of charge to participants.

If you are ready to lead after taking the course, we will coach you through your first few trips. If you aren't sure, we always need assistant leaders to support leaders on trips and you can build experience watching other trip leaders. No one will make you lead a trip. You are the one who decides when you are ready to lead a trip.

Equipment Note:

While all required classes are offered for free, there will be some equipment items you will be required to have as a trip leaders. You will need to purchase or otherwise arrange to borrow these items for your On-the-Water sessions. A list is posted on the club web site and will be distributed at one of the class room meetings.

2004 Trip Leader Training Program

Last year, we redesigned the trip leader training to be modular. What this means is that you do not have to complete all the requirements in one year. Club members can take one or all of the modules in each season. They can also complete all the required courses in one season or over several years. However, you must complete the list of all required classes to become an NSPN trip leader.

Required Courses

* Trip Planning Classroom 8 hours

* Safety on the Water Classroom 4 hours

* Navigation I and II Classroom 8 hours

* Trip Administration Classroom 4 hours

* Rescues and Tows On-the-Water 8 hours

* Leading Trips On-the-Water 8 hours

* Scenarios Day On-the-Water 8 hours

Recommended Courses

* Navigation Practice On-the-Water 8 hours

* WFA/CPR Classroom 20 hours

2004 Trip Leader Training Schedule

All classes are 9 AM to 5 PM

* April 3 Trip Planning Classroom 8 hours

Planning for trips including chart reading, wind and waves, tides and currents, route selection, put-in and take-out, equipment, safety procedures, emergency procedures and risk assessment.

* April 10 Safety on the Water Classroom 4 hours

Pre-trip organization, beach briefings, equipment check, launch and landing procedures, paddle formations, signals, comfort and health, boat traffic, VHF procedures and emergencies. (Morning)

* April 10 Navigation I Classroom 4 hours

Basic chart reading and compass work including plotting courses, taking bearings and following headings. Equivalent is needed in order to take intermediate navigation. (Morning)

* April 25 Trip Administration Classroom 4 hours

Trip selection, float plans, equipment list policy, parking issues, community impact, communicating with participants, cancellations, waivers and liability, paperwork and role of the club trip leader. (Morning)

* April 25 Navigation II Classroom 4 hours

Planning routes, boat speed, piloting, use of ranges, effects of winds, waves and currents, compensating for winds and currents, dead reckoning. (Afternoon)

* May 2 Rescues and Tows On Water 8 hours

Towing equipment, rigging tows, contact tows, single and multiple line tows, self-rescues, Eskimo rescues, T-rescue and variations.

* May 16 Leading on the Water On Water 8 hours

Beach briefings, route selection, group control, launching and landing, signaling, boat traffic, emergencies, leading groups on the water.

* May 23 Scenarios Day On Water 8 hours

Simulated trip leading scenarios where candidates lead a group for a segment of the day, during which interesting things may happen. Includes feedback and self-assessment.

* May 30 Nav Practice Optional On Water 8 hours

Practice navigation on the water including route selection, plotting courses, following headings, taking bearings, piloting, dead reckoning, use of ranges.

* June 5 Trip Leader Make Up On Water 8 hours

Make up day for required on-the-water classes (May ) that may be cancelled due to weather. The make up day has been necessary in two of the past three years. If there are no cancellations, this day will not be needed.

Note: There is a possibility that one of these dates may change to accommodate a Wilderness First Aid training session.


To sign up, please email the following information to Scott Camlin at:


Step 1. Indicate your OPTION and list your DATES:

Option A: Take all courses this year.

Option B: Take some of the courses: PLEASE list the courses and dates.

Step 2. Send us your INFORMATION:

* Name

* Home Phone

* Work Phone

* Cell Phone

* Email Address

* Mailing Address

* Emergency Contact Name

* Emergency Contact Telephone Number

* Description of boat (Manufacturer, Model, color, length)

* ACA Membership Number

To make it easier to cut and paste for registration, please submit in the following format (example):

Jane Smith

617 333-4444

508 555-6666

--- [no cell phone]


123 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

John Smith

617 333-4444 or 617 222-3333 cell

Romany Explorer, yellow over white, 17.5’




Thanks. We hope you're excited about this as we all are.

NSPN Trip Leader Committee

Scott Camlin, Chair

Rick Crangle

Linda Shelburne

Dee Hall

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