Monday, April 04, 2011

Pittsburgh Kayakers (ka-"yack"-ers)

Pittsburgh Kayakers (ka-"yack"-ers) (Pittsburgh, PA) - Meetup: "Come paddling with us!"

Hello Kayakers,

Spring is here, and it's time to get the group moving again! Here's some news about what's going on with the group and the site.

First, please take a few minutes to update your profiles. Go to the site, mouse over to the "Members" button, click on "My profile", and then click on "edit group profile". If you haven't already, upload a profile picture and type an introduction. Then please answer these four new profile questions (the old questions have been removed):

1. What kind of kayak(s) do you have, if any? Feel free to answer generally (recreational, touring, sea kayak, etc.) or specifically (color, length, make, model)
2. Where are your favorite places to paddle?
3. What kind of trips are you most interested in? (Easy, relaxed, fitness-paced, adventurous, social, urban, challenging, overnight camping, ??)
4. What other outdoor activities do you enjoy?

You can also update your communication settings, by specifying what types of emails you would or wouldn't like to receive from Meetup.

Second, please consider taking a kayaking class or two this year - some of Venture Outdoors' and Exkursion's classes will be posted on the group's calendar. These classes are fun, and they'll make you a better & safer paddler. The Venture Outdoor "Intro to Kayaking" class this Sunday indoors, so you can get in some nice warm. They teach basic paddling & rescue skills, including what to do if you capsize (yes, you're going to get wet!) The Exkursion classes start in a month and are all outdoors, taught by their friendly expert instructors (ACA-certified). They have a wide range of classes, from their Level 1 beginner class (a "dry" class, everybody stays on top) to advanced paddling, rescue skills, rolling, and coastal kayaking. Exkursion also sponsors our group in return for us promoting their classes. We therefore don't have to charge for Meetup group membership or ask for donations, so when you take an Exkursion class, you're helping the group too!

Third, the group is looking for new trip leaders. If you love to kayak, if you're an instigator, a planner, a teacher, if you like to share your favorite places to paddle with others...there's plenty of reasons why trip leading can be very rewarding. Our biggest demand is for beginner-friendly trips, so you don't have to be a hard core paddler to be a leader. The leader's responsibilities are to post an accurate description of an event (meeting place & starting time, driving directions, distance or time you'll be paddling, difficulty level, etc.), answer posted and emailed questions, show up prepared and on time for your event, do your best to keep everyone safe (the wearing of PFD's is always mandatory), and to have fun! If you'd like to give it a try, please send me an email and let me know.

Welcome to all of our new members. It's great to see this group growing larger, along with the entire Western PA human-powered community - hikers, cyclists, runners, skiers, backpackers.... Hope you all have some great outdoor adventures this year!

I've got a canoe. Can you canoe? I'd love to spend more time in the river this summer with open water swims. It is nice to have boaters with the swimmers.

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