23rd Annual WMCKA Symposium

I have a great fondness for the West Michigan Coastal Kayakers’ Association and Symposium. WMCKA is one of the great clubs in the mid-west and probably the US. Their annual symposium is next weekend, Memorial Day Weekend. May 25-28.

This event has been described as 1 part kayaking symposium, 1 part summer camp, and one part family reunion, (the good kind). The energy and fun in the atmosphere is always palpable and energizing.

Marsha Henson from Sea Kayak Georgia is the guest instructor/speaker this year:

And this is how much fun you could be having at WMCKA this year!

There are spots left in both the children’s program, (which is awesome by the way) and in the adult program.


23rd Annual Sea Kayaking Symposium
May 25-28, 2012
Memorial Day Weekend
Camp Pendalouan – Big Blue Lake
Muskegon County, Michigan
For a great family adventure vacation that involves learning new skills for a great hobby look no further than WMCKA’s Kayak Symposium. It happens on Memorial Day weekend at Muskegon’s Camp Pendalouan, located on Big Blue Lake in Muskegon County, Michigan. The 23rd Annual Sea Kayaking Symposium is the best place in the country to learn the skills needed to enjoy kayaking for the whole family. It takes place in a family friendly atmosphere of a camp on a calm inland lake with a phenomenal instructor to student ratio, all run by volunteers of the West Michigan Coastal Kayaking Association. WMCKA for short, West Michigan Coastal Kayaker’s Association is a fun group of avid kayakers that have many trips and weekend events throughout the summer. After kayaking classes you can sit down and eat with your family alongside the kayaking instructors you just had in your classes and meet others at the large round tables of the Camp Pendalouan dining hall. Three meals per day are provided by the camp’s kitchen staff because learning to kayak takes lots of energy that needs replenishing. Accommodations at the camp include cabins, free tent camping, or bring your RV for the May 25-28 weekend.
Ten year old Megan Adsmond from Fremont has attended the kids program at the Symposium for the last three years and loves learning kayak skills in the club owned youth sized sea kayaks that are just like the adults paddle. Megan says, “We learn to paddle while playing games and having fun, like Kayak Tag and Treasure Hunts that take us to a location on the lake where we have to get out of our kayaks to find the next clue. We also have fun land activities with the camp’s counselors like rock wall climbing and the high and low ropes course which break up our time on the water”.
Seasoned kayaker and graduate of the Symposium Kids kayak program is Margaret Fishback, 17, from Grandville. Her love for the WMCKA Symposium is the reason she has now joined the Camp Pendalouan staff as a camp counselor for the summer, proving the fun of kayaking camp can continue into adulthood.
Each year at Symposium a guest instructor headlines the list of instructors and gives an evening program in the dining hall about kayaking adventures they have experienced. This year, Marsha Henson is the guest instructor, who co-owns Sea Kayak Georgia; a guide service on the Georgia Coast near Savannah, and she loves to teach all ranges of kayakers from beginner and intermediate paddlers to the most expert. Introduction to Sea Kayaking and Women’s paddlesport development are Marsha’s favorite programs to teach. Marsha also brings her acrylic on canvas art exhibit to this year’s Symposium.
The action doesn’t stop at dusk either at the 23rd Sea Kayaking Symposium as there is entertainment for everyone with something different happening each evening during the Memorial Weekend event.