NH AMC PADDLERS
Welcome to New Hampshire Appalachian Mountain Club Paddling.
Paddling on rivers, lakes, ponds, estuaries, and coasts throughout New England, we offer organized trips, courses, instruction, and great fun for canoeists and kayakers of all experience levels. Come paddle with us!
Bring your boat or rent ours. Most trips are Free and Open to all!


All Upcoming Trips - MeetUp Group

Paddling Committee Report for 2010

The NHAMC Paddlers continues to be well supported by the paddling community with active leaders, many participants, numerous trips and clinics, and a solid financial base.

The paddling group continues to evolve with new leaders filling in for those stepping down and new directions as paddling interests change. In particular, the historical major focus of the group on canoe paddling is now becoming more diverse as the interest in kayaks and availability of kayaks are far greater than canoes. The NHAMC Paddlers has continued to respond to this interest with continuation and expansion into flat water, touring and sea kayaking programs, although it has been hard to develop a growing group of leaders for these activities.

The internet has provided access to many other opportunities such as "show and go" message boards and communications have allowed the people (the younger generation) to delay activity decisions to the last minute "best offer" available. We have had to compete with such opportunities. We do this by offering clinics, instruction, and a sense of friendly community in our activities. We also have to make trips available on a last minute basis based on weather and water conditions. To this end, we have sped up our trip approval process to generally within a few hours and have considered an occasional last minute update to our weekly trip email.

So far this year we have scheduled 99 trips, courses, and activities. Despite this, we are seeing a decline of overall trips being led from years past, especially whitewater trips.

TRAINING CURRICULA AND ANCHOR COURSES

Our training is one of the ways we attract and keep new active members. In order to keep our paddlers coming back and progressing, we have begun to develop several curricula in the various interest areas. The idea is that people will come back for the training and in the process develop friendships and a sense of community within the NHAMC Paddlers so that they become active participants and then contributors.

ANCHOR COURSES

We have 3 anchor courses that are generally the first courses people take with us. These always fill and are well regarded in the paddling community.

  • Sea Kayak Training - Held at Knubble Bay Camp in August, this is a full weekend of safety, skills, rescue and technique training. As part of the weekend, there are a couple of short trips. The clinic handles both beginner and intermediate sea kayakers. This years course had 12 students taught by 3 instructors.
  • Touring Training - This is a one day course focused on the skills of paddling lakes and rivers and covers safety, equipment, paddling techniques, and trip organization. Traditionally this has been a canoe paddling course but now it includes touring kayaks. It is run in June.
  • Introduction to Whitewater - This course is run in April based in Henniker and on the Contoocook and Sugar Rivers. The course includes a pool session, a full weekend of lectures, demonstrations, and practice along with a big dinner on Saturday night. This year we added a skills building trip to the course 3 weeks after the school to reinforce and build skills after the students have had at least 2 trips with us. The goal was to get the paddlers familiar with paddling with us. As our largest event of the year, this year we had 42 students taught and supported by 76 instructors and volunteers.

TRAINING CURRICULA

In order to encourage people to continue to paddle with us, we have begun to refocus our training into series of courses in each of the interest groups.

  • Wilderness Expedition Paddling Curricula - This year we introduced and marketed a new program focused on Wilderness paddling skills. We have looked to ways to bolster interest in our canoeing program by offering additional canoe oriented courses. Canoeists have traditionally been the major supporters of our programs.

    Courses in this curricula include:

    • Wilderness Canoe Expedition Planning, Equipping, and Provisioning
    • Touring
    • Introduction to Whitewater (in Canoe)
    • Poling
    • Basic Whitewater Rescue
    • Canoe Sailing
    • Attaining: The art of going upstream
    • Wilderness First Aid

  • River Skills Building Curricula include:

    • Most of the above paddling courses
    • Advanced Whitewater Safety and Rescue
    • Class II+ and Class III whitewater skills

We are developing a curricula for Sea Kayaking which currently includes basic sea kayaking, rescue, and pool rolling sessions.

INTRODUCTORY TRIPS

Although many of our trips are introductory, our Wednesday night flat water paddles have been particularly well received. It was gratifying this year to see a changing of the guard as new leaders stepped up to organize and lead the trips as the instigators of this program stepped down. We have gotten at least 4 new flatwater leaders stepping up from this program. The NH Chapter helped initiate this program by helping finance a rental fleet used for this program.

Our family paddling program is always enjoyed and we would like to expand this program with more trips and some training programs.

Our canoe poling program is bringing in yet another group of new canoeists.

MEMBERSHIP and COMMUNICATIONS

Our weekly email containing trip listings and announcements goes out to 1030 members, an increase of 20% over the 861 of late last year. These messages list our trips, meetings, announcements, and equipment swap items.

This year we've managed to publish 4 quarterly issues of our newsletter, the WrapAround, which is published now completely on-line to save expense. The WrapAround contains stories, pictures, and information about our programs.

Our website continues to attract new members. In addition to information about the club and listings of our trips, it contains descriptions of our instructional programs, trip descriptions, our newsletter, pictures of the group, conservation issues, outfitting tips, and stories about some of our members' expeditions.

Our members continue to distribute our business cards and flier. We are working on getting them distributed in the AMC facilities to generate new active members.

MEETINGS

The NHAMC Paddlers have two general meetings a year in the Fall and Spring with pot luck dinners, presentations, equipment swaps. Traditionally these meetings have been used for developing the schedule, but now more of that is being done on-line.

LEADERSHIP

Our real challenge has been to replace the leaders that are retiring and to develop leaders for our sea kayak and flat water programs. This year we offered leadership training during the student lectures of the Spring Whitewater School which was very successful in getting 17 more paddlers trained. We have not been as successful in following up with getting them through the required trip leads to get them certified as leaders.

We are developing a leadership recognition program to recognize service to the group and thank our leaders.

Overall we continue to have a core group of paddling friends that welcome new members into the group and encourage them to participate. This group is dedicated to providing a safe and fun paddling program while learning and teaching others about the sport we love.

We owe a big thank you to the many who actively support our programs.

Respectfully Submitted,
Tom Todd, co-chair
Joe O'Neil, co-chair