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The Compromise of Avranches or some positive thoughts


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To follow up on Ross's topic, here are some thoughts for those who may participate in paddles to consider. Likely some, if not all, are paraphrases of the CAM materials and Ross's comments.

First, every member should feel free to post trips and to post trips of interest to them. While it may well be imprudent for someone to post a trip to Isle of Shoals one week after they bought their first kayak, members should not feel they need some level of qualification to post a trip.

Second, as members we should consider those who post trips as simply offering an opportunity to participate in a joint paddle and are not leaders and recognize they need not have any level of expertise and experience.

Third, as members joining a paddle we should be proactive and inform ourselves about the area to be paddled, the weather and sea state, come prepared with adequate kit to be an independent and helpful participant should the need arise, and fairly evaluate our ability to participate in and complete the paddle uneventfully.

Fourth, it helps everyone if trips other than those of casual S&G style are posted with a description adequate to fairly inform other members of the nature of the trip so they can make a rational decision on whether to participate.

Fifth, everyone starts somewhere and many will get over their heads when pushing limits or things are beyond expectations. How they are treated/talked about then and later may have a major influence on what others think of the club and whether members continue with the club.

Sixth, hopefully others will add other activities; but here are some things that could be focused on during a paddle by various participants as their interests incline them to opine. The history of locations visited during the paddle, why a certain sea state is encountered at various locations, what the clouds and wind are saying, proper radio usage, awareness of others, buoys, and how to deal with traffic, why a date and time was picked for a paddle, neutral suggestions to other participants to consider to improve awareness or technique (A/K/A Mentoring) such as how to time surges and use eddies, take time at breaks to practice/play at various things as participants wish.

Seventh, having trips with a specific focus which creates a learning environment within a nice journey. For example, paddle to an island at dusk, eat dinner, and paddle back by moonlight or paddle to a location at dusk and camp overnight using your normal day tripping kit. Paddles that combine a variety of environments requiring different skills and skill levels.

I have seen many of these things done during paddles with NSPN so these are not new ideas nor have they been absent. Perhaps reminding ourselves that positively and affirmatively contributing on paddles can make them more enjoyable and their value to members greater is a good idea once in a while.

Just some random thoughts to further the discussion of things members might consider as the season starts. Or does it ever start or end?

Ed Lawson

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