Make the Most of Your Time!

During your time at the symposium, you’ll have much to do and many choices competing for your limited time. The information provided here is intended to give you a better idea of what to expect once you arrive and a head start planning your time with us. We’ve tried to anticipate all of your questions, but no doubt we’ll miss a few. Please get in touch if you need more information!  

Pack Your Bags & Be Ready For Fun.

What to Bring

  • Kayak*, fitted with bulkhead or air bags for offsite programs. 
  • USCG-approved PFD (aka, life-jacket).
  • Paddle (Werner demo paddles are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis).
  • Properly-fitted spray skirt.
  • Helmet for surf zone and rescue classes (limited availability for use on a first-come, first-served basis).
  • Shoes that can get wet and will stay on your feet in the water.
  • Clothing for anticipated weather conditions, including rain gear. Avoid cotton if forecast calls for cooler temps.
  • Sun protection: hat, glasses, and lotion.
  • Water bottle (1-3 quarts in plastic bottles with lids - No alcoholic beverages please!).
  • Bag lunch for programs that run over the lunch hour and snacks.
  • Required medication for the day in its prescription packaging and the ability to self-medicate.

*Rental equipment: Traveling to the symposium and need a kayak? A limited number of touring/sea kayaks are available for rent on a first come, first served reservation basis. Reservation is required prior to arrival. The rental period is from Friday through Sunday of the symposium. Stand-up paddleboards, surfing sit-on-top kayaks, and canoes will be provided for courses specific to those craft. Sign up online or call 843-795-4386 for details. (Course #55712).

We Need Your Signature.

In order to participate, we will need you to sign our General Program Waiver. Save some time at check-in by doing this online now. 

Make Sure To Sign Up For On-Water Classes.

With expert instruction from Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission staff and other leading instructors in the paddling world, learning new strokes, rescues or rolls will never be easier or more convenient. All on-water classes require preregistration. Sign up in advance to ensure your spot and save time. Preregistration will close on April 17. Registration will be available on-site on a first-come, first-served basis starting Friday, April 20.

Your Arrival

When you arrive at the park and check in, you’ll be given a guide to the symposium and the Charleston Outdoor Festival that will include the final schedules for the symposium's on-water classes and the festival's Try-It activities. A complete list of vendors and their site locations will also guide you as you walk around the lake.

Upon check-in, you’ll be issued a wristband that corresponds to the registration packet you’ve selected. It is essential that you keep this wristband on throughout the time of your participation. This will be your ticket to demo boats, participate in classes, etc. Obviously, these are non-transferable.

Registration Check-In Hours
  • Thursday, April 19, from 5-7 p.m. at The Campground at James Island County Park
  • Friday, April 20, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the trip meeting area
  • Friday, April 20, from 12-5 p.m. at the Main Registration Tent
  • Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Main Registration Tent
  • Sunday, April 22, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Main Registration Tent

Throughout Your Time Here

During the event, our staff and volunteers can be easily identified by name tags with staff and volunteer ribbons. These folks are here to help you have a safe and fun weekend, and will be able to answer your questions or point you in the right direction. The Main Registration Tent serves as the “nerve center” of the symposium and festival. All questions can be directed here. Information about openings in on-water classes will be available here, and our staff will be happy to register you on-site.

Friday, April 20

  • After day one of paddling, join us for an informal social with other participants and symposium presenters starting at 5 p.m. Our staff will also be on-hand to answer questions or assist you in planning your busy weekend ahead.
  • Dinner will be offered at Edisto Hall at 6 p.m. We encourage you to purchase your meal tickets in advance. After April 16, meal tickets can be purchased on-site.
  • After dinner, stick around for the Paddling Film Festival, a showcase of the world's best paddling films from Canada, the United States, and around the world.

Saturday, April 21

  • Join us again for an informal social at the Edisto Hall at 5 p.m. This is another chance to meet and talk to other participants and symposium presenters over a local pint. Bring your commemorative mug or purchase a new one.
  • Dinner will be offered at Edisto Hall at 6 p.m. We encourage you to purchase your meal tickets in advance. After April 16, meal tickets can be purchased on-site.
  • After dinner, stick around for an evening presentation from Stanton Collins, Sprint Kayak U.S. National Team member and 2020 Olympic hopeful.

Live Music All Weekend

We have a great line-up of live music for the Friday social and during the day in the park.


  • 5 p.m. live music at the participant/presenter social



Campground & Cottage Guests

After enjoying what the park has to offer, those staying at the Campground or Cottages at James Island County Park can visit other areas of Charleston by hopping on our round-trip shuttle service to the downtown Convention & Visitor Bureau, Folly Beach County Park, and Folly Beach Pier for only $10 per person.

Campground check-out is at 11 a.m. We are happy to provide additional parking for RVs and campers in the overflow area while you still enjoy the symposium or festival. This will be available to symposium participants free of charge. Please see the Campground staff if you have any questions.

CCPRC logoBrought To You By

The Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission features over 11,000 acres of property and includes four land parks, three beach parks, four seasonally-lifeguarded beach areas, three dog parks, two landmark fishing piers, three waterparks, a historic plantation site, 19 boat landings, a skate park, a climbing wall, a challenge course, an interpretive center, an equestrian center, cottages, a campground, a marina, as well as wedding, meeting and event facilities. The park system also offers a wide variety of recreational services – festivals, camps, classes, programs, volunteer opportunities, and more. CCPRC’s mandate also includes the provision of unique recreational programs for the residents of Charleston County.  To succeed in our mission, we have developed a comprehensive outdoor recreation department, offering recreational trips and instruction in canoeing, kayaking, SUP, rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, and more.

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