CCC Intermediate White Water kayak Course 2006…..Mike Betts

This course becomes more rewarding from an instructor's perspective with each new class! Objectives?
1. Have FUN! After all, this is a multi faceted sport enjoyed on many levels.
2. Safety! Speaks for itself with the CCC
3. Skills, learning how to be more aggressive and decisive regarding eddy entries and exits, ferrying for desired river feature position, water reading, scouting and planning one's route both from shore and from boat. Emphasized is the importance of watching one another in your group, and non-verbal river communication. How to dress for different weather conditions.
4. NOW TO THE IMPORTANT STUFF…..Where to eat after paddling!
5. Knowing who packs the BEST snacks in their dry bags……can you say "CANDY MAN"?
6. How to shop for the cheapest gas!
7. People and gear consolidation….see number 6
8. Seek the privilege to become a member of an "elite" camping group….can you say "KOTY CREW"? ( certain new learned skill sets are required for consideration such as knowledge of trailer hookups and setups, backing into tight spaces, cleaning and detailing of said equipment, although our leader gets the short end of that stick all too often )
9. How to recognize the wildlife…..DO NOT PET THE BLACK & WHITE KITTIES, or feed the bears.
10. Hole hogging and jousting
11. Showing your entire "skill set" in front of raft pods…( or herds )
12. Knowing the proper excuses to pass FIRE building to other campers while you relax in your chair.
13. Maintaining your pecking order status for campfire stories……we're ALL equal here!
14. Did I mention having FUN???????

We again saw our group on the Lehigh River for both days of the class as there we were not blessed with local rain for our beloved Codorus run. But I must say that I have been very pleased with what the Upper Lehigh has to offer as a teaching tool. By no means overwhelming, while challenging enough for those entering the realm of intermediate paddling. We had a release level both days of 750 cfs, enough to pad the rocks so to speak. A few swims at the start till people got comfy with the way this river flowed……….OK time to fess up! I, yes ME, yes the LEADER of this class earned the right to have the "FISHY" passed onto me this day……OH THE EMBARRASMENT. First swim in a long time, but I ask, WHY does it always happen in a place several classes below your skill level? Now that said, of course it is better to be out of one's craft in class II, yep! I said class II!!!!!, than on class IV or V, but it lacks the potential for a GREAT epic of heroic proportions! I shall still accept that "fishy" proudly and with humbleness! OH, OH, it gets better……I learned the VERY NEXT DAY, that without ever actually being handed said award; it was to pass hands AGAIN! I will leave it up to the discretion of the new recipient to come forward in some fashion. Which leads to one of my adages…we are all between swims. But in true CCC fashion, we are always there for each other, and often as was my case on Sunday, I was able to help several people who were not even members of our group, it's a universal thing with the CCC.
This year I was able to find an outfitter to assist with a shuttle for Sunday's lower Lehigh trip, what a blessing. As those familiar with this section, it is a long day to begin with, tag the two hour round trip shuttle onto that and… get the picture, WELL worth the bulk price of $75. split umpteen ways. We had that 15 passenger van loaded to the gills, even having picked up a straggler along the way, who also asked to join our pod of paddlers. Somewhere down river we also picked up another lone paddler who wished to take advantage of our group……we must simply exude a sense of safety and well being when we're on the water…ready….now everyone……ohmmmmmmmm, ohmmmmmmmm.
The students all handled themselves very well, each with slightly different personal goals for this weekend, of which we broke apart into smaller groups and met quite well from my view. After lunch stop, upon her request, and my having confidence in her growing abilities, I had Channon take the lead with me right behind her, paddle ahead of the group, and choose the lines through each rapid…..her leading. Very fine job of it she did! I had a lot of support people and instructors aiding in guiding students through these rapids as well, Kim Montage always does an excellent job of calming and leading new paddlers, and hubby Pat is the absolute GURU of explaining and picking a rapid apart, having it make sense to someone learning the art of "READ & RUN".
I've left out much, but the appreciation I feel for each and every participant, student and especially the support for this class is ever growing and admired! Special thank you to Frank Werts for always making our shuttles easy events ( and keeping out sweet tooths happy ), AND for all the running around for the "boys" our young raft guides this weekend.
Thanks to ALL who helped make this another successful CCC course!
PS…Julie's swim gets chalked up on MY list! I tried to bow rescue her while in the midst of her roll attempt….oooops!

Mike Betts……………."glub glub glub, gimme that fish!"
Brenton Petrillo………."check it out, I'm a raft guide now!"
Pat Montagne…………."Your BEST friend on any river"
Kim Montagne………..."Partner of your best friend on the river….still prettier too!"
Shirley Koty………….."CCC archiver and sweetyaker"
Evy Stauffer…………..."Queen of Chinese fire drills" You were late for Dinner!
Jeff Beard……………..."gotta love the blue suit," what was that Kim?
Dave Gibson………….."Safety First, follow me!"
Chris Iverson…………."White Cap Captain and still prez"
Don Fiesta…………….."Apprentice White Capper"
Bruce Stanrah…………."Officiall fish passer"
Frank Werts……………"No, give ME that fishy" uh oh, cats outta the bag now!
Sally Gajecki………….."Can you help me with this drysuit?
Eric McClary…………."Check out this move!"
Lee Plate………………"I love my Micro!"
Channon Koty……….."I wanna lead, I wanna lead!"

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