Classroom Presentations

Classroom presentations are included with symposium registration. Unlike master classes, you do not need to sign up for classroom programs in advance. 
  1. Friday, April 21
  2. Saturday, April 22
  3. Sunday, April 23

Friday, April 21



A Woman's Survival Guide to Wilderness Travel


1-2 p.m.
Instructor: Eila Wilkinson
Being a woman in the wilderness does not have to be a disadvantage, even if all of your companions are men. In this lively discussion we'll examine (and celebrate) the strengths of being a woman, as well as how to survive in a field that is often dominated by men. Our presenter will share her travel experiences and provide packing tips and lists for both travel and kayaking, as well as gear specific advice that will make your wilderness experience more comfortable, enjoyable, and downright fun. 

“Must Do” Paddles in Charleston


1-2 p.m. 
Instructor: Ralph Earhart

The program will provide paddlers with information about paddling opportunities near Charleston. Ralph will discuss his favorite paddle spots, provide information concerning tides and how to plan trips to effectively use the tides, and answer questions from the class about trips they may be interested in taking. He encourages all participants to bring a copy of his book, ‘Kayak Charleston: Trips Within an Hour of Charleston’. These should be available from several vendors at the festival

Introduction to the Wing Paddles


1-2 p.m.
Instructor: Brian Blankinship

Have you tried the most modern paddle design? Designed to maximize speed, the wing paddle is the most efficient paddle design available. Debunk the myths of the wing paddle and discover its versatility. Learn techniques which will not only enable you to use it effectively but also improve your stroke with a Euro paddle as well.

Birding by Boat


2:30-3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Kristina Wheeler

Birding from a canoe, kayak or SUP is a great way to get up close to birds in the wild. However, it does provide its own set of challenges. Spend this session with a certified Master Naturalist and ACA kayak instructor, who will help you improve your birding skills by providing useful techniques and sharing some birding identification tips.

Making the “Big Trip” Happen


2:30-3:30 p.m. 
Instructor: Brett Friedman of NOLS

Have you always wanted to do an epic trip, but all you can think about are the things that are keeping you from making it happen? In this workshop, Brett will talk you through the things that keep amazing trips from happening and how you can overcome those obstacles. This is trip planning on the grand scale, covering the psychological hurdles, finances, logistics. route planning, and maybe even some things you didn’t know you needed to know!

Traditional Kayaking in Greenland – A Video Tour


2:30-3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Dubside

From a Decade’s worth of trips to Greenland, Dubside’s camera has captured the annual celebration of the county’s kayaking heritage in a series of montages set to music. After seeing and discussing these, one can’t help coming away with an enlightened perspective and the seed of a desire to go there.

Instructor's Toolbox


3-4 p.m.
Instructor: Multiple Instructors

Looking to become a Jedi Master of paddling? Well your journey starts here! This course will set you on the path to instructor enlightenment and help you get the most out of your time at the Symposium. Join our ACA Certified Instructor Trainer for advice on teaching techniques, progression, activities and using the force to your advantage with any class!

So You Want to be a Trip Leader?


3-4 p.m.
Instructor: Michael Gray 

Whether you are a parent taking your family on a trip, leading a club outing or want to take on a seasonal guiding job, there are lots of things to consider. We will cover safety equipment, trip planning, personal skills preparation and the leadership mindset to help you lead successful, safe and fun outings…whether it be to Alaska or in your backyard.

VHF Communications & Emergency Signals


3-4 p.m.
Instructor: Scott Brown

Learn how to use a VHF marine radio with confidence and emergency signals that will benefit your when things do not go according to plan. Scott Brown will share VHF radio protocols, emergency signaling devices and employment considerations. A class not to miss full of useful tips for a day outing or a trip down the coast.