Adirondack Canoe Symposium

I just returned from the Adirondack Canoe Symposium, previously known as the Adirondack Freestyle Symposium. My return was delayed by a layover at the Adirondack Folk School where I co-taught a canoe building class.

The event was re-branded to reflect a change in emphasis from FreeStyle to more generalized canoe activities. In addition to the traditional FreeStyle activities, there was basic canoe instruction, hit and switch, creekin, guided tours, instructor updates and more. Within the basic FreeStyle classes, the emphasis was on the basics of the chosen quadrant. Enhancements such as high kneel, moving about in the boat, etc. were reserved for separate sessions.

Evenings were filled with chalk talks (paddling physics for dummies), boats on the beach (a hands on discussion about the hulls on display)and campfire sing alongs, led by the FreeStyle Guitar Quartet of Meyer, Burris, Kemp and Gurien.

The traditional FreeStyle Exhibition was held on Wednesday Eve. under perfect conditions. Temperatures were in the mid seventies, the water was flat as glass and most of the mosquitoes stayed home. Video of some of the exhibitions have already been posted to You Tube. The rest will likely be posted within the next week or two, as soon as I get them to our IT guru.

I don’t believe any video was taken of the Tuesday evening schlolom (that is the correct spelling) race. It was a hoot. Results and the names of the participants have been withheld to protect the guilty.

Regrettably, I missed some good-byes and the closing dinner, Thursday at Lisa Gs and breakfast Friday morning, as I had to hustle off to Lake Luzerne and the Folk School. Next year I’ll stay till the bitter end regardless.

Charlie, Robin and Chris out did themselves, tingling our taste buds with their culinary concoctions. How they managed, after taking classes or in Charlies case running the event, I’ll never know. I’m sure I speak for all of the participants in offering my applause.

Thank you Charlie and all the others who pitched in to make this another memorable event. Next up will be the Midwest FreeStyle Symposium in September followed by the Florida Canoe Symposium in March. I’ll be following Charlies lead, broadening the Florida event so as to offer more to the general canoeing community.

If you’ve not yet attended a FreeStyle/Canoe Symposium you owe it to yourself to try one. A word of warning; IT IS ADDICTIVE. The most up to date listings and contact information are on the FreeStyle website, .

Marc Ornstein

Agreed. the event was a hoot
Though Charlie designed the event to allow for a leisurely pace if one wanted that, I found people constantly occupied by canoeing… either in classes or on day trips to the St Regis area or Raquette River to mention just two.

And if not canoeing off to see the ice skaters or skiers training in Lake Placid or hiking…there were some good hikes for non paddlers.

I got to do some hiking besides canoeing but five days of sitting in the car now leads me to wonder if I can climb tomorrow out of Lake Louise in the Rockies…

Crossing North Dakota and its many ponds just crying for some FS and seeing not one canoe I wonder…

It was awesome!
Had a great time and learned new stuff (as always) from great instructors, and my classmate.

Also played with a tandem. (Thanks Phil for putting up with me.) Much more fun than I expected. I may have talked Maureen into doing a tandem class at MFS.

I met alot of new people. Had wonderful conversations with a variety of folks. And of course the campfires at night. I just enjoy sitting around with friends, reflecting on the day’s activities in the glow of the flames.

Thanks Charlie, and everyone who attended, for a great week.

Fantastic time!
Well, Marc certainly wrote a pretty complete synopsis of the event. The weather was perfect, classes were a hoot, and as always, I came away with more knowledge about paddling than I had going into it. I learned new things from students and instructors both.

Thanks to the great musicians who provided the evening campfire entertainment, and to Robin, Chris, and Charlie who did wonders with the evening meals.

Now looking forward to MFS in Ohio!

great confidence builder
what a great time! The river trips were beautiful, thanks Griz. Creekin was great fun under the guidance of Marc and Tracy, thanks to both. Classes had me trying things I would never do on my own Thanks Molly, Ray, and Marc. My canoe is behaving better all the time…jesse

chalk talk
Wow, anyone that missed Tom and Charlie’s chalk talk really missed out on an opportunity to learn about boats, design, history, and all the question and answers covered by these two sharing experts. All of us lucky enough to attend were amazed …jesse

Sounds like a good time.
I’ll make a symposium some day. The transmission is getting replaced in my car this week, so maybe I’ll be able to travel to paddle very soon.

Yes, indeed,
another wonderful canoe event. Good instruction, good food, good conversations with old friends and all of it in the heart of the Adirondacks. It does not get any better. Thanks, Charlie, and all your helpers too.

Peter & Judy