RTS Canoe Clinics

Paddle the planet.



2014 Canoe Clinics Offered by River Touring Section

A variety of different instructional clinics are offered by the River Touring Section of the John Muir Chapter. Each year, some or all of our clinics including Tandem Whitewater, Solo Whitewater, River Rescue, Moving Water and Beginning Tandem Flatwater clinics may be offered on separate weekends during the summer. The clinics are open to Sierra club members and non-members and registration is on a first come basis. Space is limited in all clinics so register early. This year our clinic offerings are:

June 7-8  Wolf River
Class II; Car Camp. Clinic Fee: $30 per person; plus a camping fee for two nights. 
RTS whitewater clinics are for reasonably experienced moving water (river) paddlers who want to learn whitewater skills and novice whitewater paddlers who want to improve their skills.  This is for open canoes, not kayaks. Paddlers must provide their own properly equipped canoe.  Except for some classroom sessions, separate instruction will be provided for solo and tandem participants.  There will be a potluck dinner Saturday night for clinic participants, instructors, and RTS paddlers.  Please bring a dish to share. 
We have reserved the group campsite at the Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Resort for camping Friday and Saturday nights.  If you prefer other lodging arrangements, there are many options available.  See the Wolf River Territory website (
www.wolfriverterritory.com) for information.

For information and registration, contact: 
Registration (Solo or Tandem):  Gregg Riemer, 608-257-5239, 
Solo Clinic Leader:  Rich Krieg, 920-6690-3557,

Tandem Clinic Leader:  Pat Wilson, 608-788-8831



June 7-8   Wolf River 

Class II; Car Camp. Clinic Fee: $30 per person; Camping location and fees to be determined.

Kayak clinic is limited to 10-12 participants. RTS whitewater clinics are for reasonably experienced

moving water (river) paddlers who want to learn whitewater skills and novice whitewater paddlers

who want to improve their skills.  Paddlers must provide their own properly equipped whitewater kayak, which means a bulkhead OR air bags behind the seat AND a properly fitted neoprene spray skirt.  (And of course life jacket and helmet.)  Except for some joint canoe/kayak classroom sessions, separate instruction will be provided for kayakers. There will be a potluck dinner Saturday night for clinic participants, instructors, and RTS paddlers.  Please bring a dish to share.

We will have a reserved group campsite for camping Friday and Saturday nights.   

If you prefer other lodging/camping arrangements, there are many options available.  See the 

Wolf River Territory website (www.wolfriverterritory.com) for information.

For information and registration, contact: Kasy Culbertson, 608-576-4226, kasy99@gmail.com



June 24-26 Bark and Crystal Rivers  

Class I; Car Camp.  Clinic fee $15 per person per clinic day. River choices will depend upon participant interest and water levels. If you are comfortable on lakes and now are ready to try rivers, RTS has added a KAYAK clinic.  Strokes and boat maneuvering more applicable to kayaks will be taught, as well as necessary river reading skills.  The class size will be limited to 5 per clinic day. (Some kind of flotation may be required for certain kayaks.)  For more information, contact: Kasy Culbertson, 608-222-0746, kasy99@gmail.com



June 28   Badfish Creek near Madison

Class I. Clinic Fee: $20 per person. Confident and competent on lakes, but not ready for rivers? Then this canoe clinic is for you. We’ll review the basic strokes—draws, prys, sweeps, forward, back and J. We’ll discuss safety, reading water, and maneuvers—ferries, side slips, and eddy turns. Then we’ll practice these skills as we canoe Badfish Creek or Koshkonong Creek. To register or get more details, contact: Carl Zimm, 608-246-0485, beampowered-tetrode@yahoo.com



August 2-3  Red River
Class I-II; Car Camp. Fee: $35/person, plus camping fees. Limited to 10 people. Through active, hands-on instruction, you will learn river rescue techniques. Including how to throw and receive a rope, correctly swim and cross the river, rescue boats and swimmers, handle strainers, release pinned people and boats, and manage rescue scenarios. Note that swimming in the river and moderate physical activity are part of this clinic. One of the goals of the clinic is to improve overall comfort and knowledge in the river/water/rapids.   We will paddle the Red River on both days. Recommended to all who might lead or inspire to lead paddling trips. Also recommended for regular retraining of rescue techniques for experienced leaders.  To register or get more details, contact: Walt Ruben, 920-946-1440, walt.ruben@kohler.com or Doug Robinson, 608-334-8026, dougknu@gmail.com




Whitewater Clinics Information

Our purpose in offering whitewater clinics is to introduce relatively competent flatwater paddlers to whitewater, not to make you an expert in Class V rapids, and not to teach complete novices how to get into a canoe without tipping it or how to hold a paddle. If you and your partner understand why you should paddle on opposite sides of the boat, and if you can make your canoe go reasonably straight across a lake in a modest wind without yelling at each other, you're ready to step up to whitewater, in our opinion. The instructors for our clinics are volunteers with many years paddling experience. However, they are not certified instructors. Usually there is a ratio of one instructor boat to two student boats, so you'll get plenty of individual attention.

What we do: On Saturday morning, we cover safety, water-reading, inter-partner communication, boat outfitting and basic paddle strokes. You'll get to practice these strokes on a lake with instructors coaching you. In the afternoon we run a short, easy section of a river to practice on moving water. You'll be introduced to ferrying, eddy turns, and going slower (not faster) than the river to maintain control. On Sunday, we spend the whole day on a river, practicing all the skills you learned on Saturday. You'll be tired when you head for home late Sunday afternoon.

Where: Clinics are usually held near Langlade WI, beginning on White Lake and then on the Wolf River.

Clinic registration begins on March 1st of each year. Information on how to register appears in the March-April issue of the Muir View. You can also check the trip list for registration information. The tandem clinic costs $30 per person plus nominal group camping fees. The cost for the Solo Clinic is $30 person plus camping fees.

RTS cannot provide any equipment for the whitewater clinics. Providing an appropriate boat, paddles & life-preservers is your own responsibility. Participants should recognize the potential for damage to that equipment and for personal injury. We do not provide camping equipment, although we do arrange for a group campsite within a few miles of Langlade. Transportation to the clinics is also your responsibility.

chuck on the peshtigo
Chuck at "First Drop" on the Peshtigo

last modified 21may08