Learning to Paddle.
A group of 35 faces. Standing in front of me. Some with smiles that match those of children at Disney world. While other faces had that scared look. The one that joins us as we tackle our biggest fear.
And to some, we were about to do this.
Just over a week ago my good friend, Bill Kraft and I. Headed up to Salem, Massachusetts for the Paddle for Plummer. Before we kicked off the weekend of racing. On Friday night we took part in a learn to paddle clinic.
Teaching learn to paddle is something I have done since day one. And the feeling that comes from it is a great one.
As we pulled into the Plummer Youth Promise. We were not sure of how many people would attend. After chatting with some good friends, Leah and Christos of SUP East Coast Paddle. We heard around 20 plus. Then the numbers began to grow. My good friend Danny Mongo from NRS was also at the event setting up his booth. He offered to join us on the water and share some of his knowledge. Which is quite vast.
As we begin to get everyone together. I found myself standing in front of those 35 faces I mentioned earlier. But as I turned around. Just over my shoulder I saw Bill, Danny, Michelle Currier and a few others from the Plummer Ambassador Team.
I had the support of some great paddlers and teachers. And Leah and Christos assembled their team to get all the boards, paddles, life jackets and leashes ready.
After a brief land instruction we headed out on the water. This is where the team effort revealed itself.
With over 30 paddlers out on the water. All of varies levels. We divided and conquered. Danny lead the group through basic paddle skills. And it was amazing to watch everyone pick them up. And begin to paddle around as if they’ve been out on the water for some time.
As we made our way back to the beach. We noticed that we had a few of the boys from the Plummer Youth Promise with us. Which is the main reason we all come to this event. Seeing this kids on the water. Smiling and enjoying a sport that we all loves makes it all worth while.
Along those same lines hearing the people who took the clinic beyond excited about learning how to paddle and picking up some new skills. And even hearing a few people excited about trying the fun paddle the next day at the event.
Had all of us grinning from ear to ear.
Paddle for Plummer.
Saturday was the main event. Where we all gathered to raise money for those boys.
As the sun rose. It revealed what the team assembled for the day. Spin class. SUP Yoga. And 3 different types of paddles. 2 races and a fun one.
Making it an event for the entire family. And for any ability level.
As the day went on the food truck arrived. The adult beverage stands opened. And the paddles came to a completion. We hung out as friends. Some of us meeting for the first time. Others, old friends.
We raised money and awareness for the Plummer Youth Promise. And gave back to the paddle community. It truly is and event that when I leave. I always get excited about the next year.
Put this one on the calendar for 2019. It never disappoints.