At the Michigan camp there were plenty of loaner boats provided, and most folks there were gracious about letting others try their own. Several fellow attendees who borrowed my 18’ Monkcraft skin on frame liked it enoigh to want to build one like it so I shared links to the plans for that replica.
There were also boats, paddles and gear that people brought to sell.
Besides the skills training, there were fun events like harpoon target throwing contests, demos and lessons on ropes exercises and seminars on Greenlandic culture. We got to help stretch and stitch a new skin on a vintage qajaq frame and there was a DIY class where you could sew a custom nylon or mesh cockpit cover for your boat. The next year the featured class was carving your own own Greenland paddle.
The big event Saturday was the “90 minute qajaq build” where 3 teams competed to build a functional kayak from bundles of wood 1 by 2’s, lots of duct tape and wide plastic stretch wrap. The resulting boats were raced (and rolled) and the winning team got some swag. At sunset the boats were carried over the hill to the Lake Michigan beach and burned in a big bonfire.
Also have to say the food was terrific. One of the organizer/instructors is a kayak tour outfitter and caterer who smokes his own meat. There was also a full vegetarian menu (Dubside, one of the star instructors, is a vegetarian.)
I’ll post some photos from the event a little later (can’t access them from this iPad.)