Staff go Unscathed

NSA staff spent their weekend co-hosting the Rossport Symposium along with local company Superior Outfitters. The weekend was a huge success and we managed to attract over 60 participants to the little hamlet on the shore of Lake Superior. Weather was on our side (more or less). We had a huge thunderstorm overnight Friday night but come morning the sun was shining and it was even a little bit hot. Unfortunately the good weather couldn’t last the entire weekend and our last event on Sunday afternoon was rained out.

We kicked off the weekend with a showing of various films from the Reel Paddling Film Festival. We got to watch a variety of paddling movies such as Islands of the Haida by Justine Curgenven about a group of paddlers that sea kayak 800 km around Haida Gwaii and Birthplace of the Wind by Jon Bowermaster , another sea kayaking movie about a group of friends who paddle the Aleutian Islands. Saturday was a combination of instruction for beginners and guided tours of the islands for intermediate and advanced paddlers. In the afternoon those who weren’t out for a full day tour could choose between on water playshops such as “Finding Your Edge” and “Paddle Stroke Improvement” or dryland sessions like “Yoga for Paddlers” and “Expedition Planning”. The highlight of Saturday night was the dinner put on by Environment North as a fundraiser for their initiatives. Apres stuffing our bellies we were entertained by a vicarious Joanie McGuffin as she presented her slideshow of the North Shore and promoted awareness of the Lake Superior Conservancy and Watershed Council ( ). She is also promoting their new book “How to Paddle Your Kayak”. To cap off the evening, our ears were tuned into the guitar riffs of Bill Houston and mandolin great Damian Dowback. A day on the water, a belly full of yummies add a couple of social beverages on top and I don’t think anyone had any troubles falling asleep that night!

Sunday was a busy day with the novice group heading out for some guided half day tours around the Rossport archipelago while the rest of the crew got to choose from a variety of playshops geared towards intermediate and advanced paddlers. Some of the choices included rolling, greenland style paddling and rescues. Rain took us indoors to the Rossport Community Hall for lunch prepared by the Relay for Life volunteers. The afternoon’s final activity- The Amazing Race was then morphed into the Amazing Trivial Challenge and participants were eligible for prizes from Superior Outfitters, Wild Waters and Gear Up for Outdoors. All in all everyone had an enjoyable weekend, friends were made, networking was had and even a few skills were learned.

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See more photos of the weekend.

Rossport Kayak Symposium