I am more accustomed to the smell of chlorine these last few weeks than the smell of fresh air. The lakes have finally started to freeze over. I am blessed with three pools to visit. Two of which allow kayaks, the third being the YMCA.

The “WMCKA”:http://wmcka.org pool sessions are fun, but crowded. We are planning the 2007 Sea Kayaking Symposium in Grand Rapids. WMCKA is a very family oriented club with a lot of kids in the pool. Some of the kids are getting pretty skilled in their kayaks. I managed the kids program last year at the symposium which was a hoot. I look forward to working with the kids again this year.

I drove up to use the pool and got these shots of the kids in the pool. I also got a video of Margaret Fishback’s roll.

Her mother Barb worked with her in the pool to get her this far. I think it looks pretty solid.

Aidan Van Doren is also making progress on his balance brace as well. He has the same instructor I did for teaching Greenland skills, so I think he should be in fine shape!

Seeing the kids work on skills in the pool is pretty amazing. No telling what they will try. Or what they will be able to do unless they are turned loose. From my experience with Gabriel, some good some bad, I have to say that building their confidence is crucial. Believing you are capable of doing something is key. When they lose interest, you drop it and come back to it later.

This is a full size image of Andy for Paul!


  1. Very cool Keith! And your point about quitting when they lose interest is right on. I havent been to the pool with Claire in a month or so, but she is generally good for 15-20 minutes of working on skills and the rest is just play. She spends the bulk of the pool sessions climbing onto my boat or trying to get away from me as I try to haul the “seal” up onto my deck and then roll. Her confidence is growing though and she still really enjoys and looks forward to going to the pool with Daddy. This year she and Susan will be at Ladies of the Lake together. Too bad we always have other committments during the WMCKA sympo, it looks like you’re doing a great job including the kids!

  2. That’s pretty cool and it’s what sets WMCKA apart. Pretty much all the kayaking clubs I’ve been a part of don’t really encourage kids to participate. Sure we help out with the boy scouts and stuff but they seem to be more oriented toward adults. I’m as far as one can possibly be from having kids but if I ever have a kid, he or she is definitely gonna experience kayaking.