Staff training is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends, get out on the water, shake off the rust, and share some teaching tricks. This year we had a pretty good turnout with lots of returning Paddlesports staff. After catching up and hearing a little bit about what is new with Zoar for 2015, we broke up by department and geared up for the river. There was a pretty short release on Saturday so we headed to the river to take advantage of the limited water time that we had. We started at the Gap and after playing around and catching eddies in the gap, we broke into pairs and did some movement analysis and teaching in Baby Gap. For many people this was only the first or second day they had paddled this year so it was a great warm up and a good way to remember everything that had been forgotten over the long snowy winter. After we got off the river, we spent some time reviewing some of the equipment available in the shop recertifying first aid and CPR certifications, and discussing risk management plans. Saturday night was spent catching up with coworkers and meeting the new staff members at the local bowling alley. It was a lot of fun and really great to see everyone again.
On Sunday, there was no release on the Deerfield, so we loaded up the van and headed down to Connecticut to paddle at T-Ville. This is a great spot that can be a great river run for students on longer or intermediate clinics looking for a little variety. There is also the play spot that T-Ville is primarily known for. After running the rapids above the play spot, we did spend some time surfing. It was a lot of fun but with temperatures being a little on the chilly side, most of us had chosen to paddle creek boats and no one really seemed too keen to spend some time upside down. After paddling we broke down some of the more common maneuvers that we teach and worked on looking at different ways to think about these moves and different ways to teach them to students.
It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to getting out on the water with students and introducing more people to whitewater this summer and helping some intermediate and advanced paddlers break through to the next level.