Qajac TC - Michigan Training Camp, August 18-21

Hello fellow kayakers and rollers,

Just a quick heads up that registration is open for Qajaq TC - Michigan Training Camp and there are still spots open. The dates for this year’s camp are August 18-21 and all skill levels are welcome.

Qajaq TC (Training Camp) is an Official Qajaq USA event. It takes place at Camp Lookout, near Frankfort, Michigan. There is no road access to the camp. Our only access is by kayak or pontoon boat, making this a true full-immersion Traditional Greenland Kayaking event. With only around sixty attendees and a very high mentor-to-student ratio, instruction is flexible and focused on helping everyone succeed, whether you have never been in a kayak before, or have decades of experience.

Here’s the link to the website –


UPDATE - there are still spots open

In addition to rolling and ropes gymnastics, there are classes on strokes, harpoon making and throwing, yoga and stretching for strength and fitness. A short paddle down the lake leads to a short beach crossing to Lake Michigan. In recent years with the high water levels, you can simply paddle through a narrow cut through the beach into Lake Michigan. If conditions are right, you can have a pleasant paddle on flat waters or do some surfing, so bring a helmet.

Registration includes accommodations (tent camping or rustic cabins), meals, instruction, and access to toilet and shower facilities.

Dubside will be one the featured mentors. Dubside has competed and won the Greenland National Kayaking Championships several times. He travels internationally teaching rolling and ropes gymnastics. Other mentors include Tim Gallaway, Henry Davies, Pete Kuhn, Doug Van Doren and Renee Dufresne among others.

Again, if you’ve never been in a kayak, don’t know how to roll, have a roll or you’re practicing the straight jacket roll for the next Greenland National Kayaking Championship, this is the event for you.

Hope to see you there!


I’m registered and will be there.

This is HIGHLY recommended. top mentors, a great venue and really great company.

I’m signed up too and am really looking forward to it after missing it for several years. Perfect venue, with a shallow sandy-bottomed lake with a dock on one side of the campground peninsula and Lake Michigan on the other side. Coaching, camaraderie and food were all first rate.

Great! Looking forward to seeing you then!

Outstanding! Yes, we’re all very excited to get back to camp after missing it the last two years due to Covid. There’s a great coaching line up again this year. This is one of the few camps/symposiums that I can go to, roll and paddle like crazy, but actually gain weight due to the great food.

See you then!

Yes, the food was outstanding (I hope they have the same chef, the paddling outfitter/caterer). I think I gained a couple of pounds too!

I have cousins throughout Michigan, so I am bracketing the trip with visits to them before and after. I signed up to get there early on Thursday to help with wrangling the parking lot shuffle.

Alas Michael is guiding an Isle Royale trip at the same time as Qajaq TC.

What meals are provided?

QajaqTC provides all meals, beginning with dinner on Thursday and concluding with lunch on Sunday. Our beloved chef, Michael Gray, is not available this year, so food service will be provided by Camp Lookout. Meals will be served family-style and consist of nutritious, fresh food (think oatmeal, granola, yogurt, veggie and hummus wraps, soups, etc.). Omnivores/vegetarians/vegans will all find something tasty. If you have special dietary needs, please specify on your registration form.}

I do get to enjoy his cooking though as I’m going on his July Isle Royal trip.

I’m so excited that QajaqTC is back this year after a break from COVID! The structure of the event makes it my absolute favorite. Paddling to camp and staying in a cabin on the isthmus between the warm inland lake and stunning Lake Michigan provides for the best atmosphere and paddling/rolling opportunities! Plus there are endless opportunities to enjoy new friends having coffee on the dining hall porch overlooking the lake or enjoying conversation around the campfire. I’m excited as always to practice ropes with Dubside and laugh until my stomach hurts at Saturday night’s activities. I’m not sure if I’ll be making a harpoon, but I’ve always wanted one, so something I’m still thinking about… I’ll see you all there!

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@willowleaf - thank you very much for assisting with the parking lot tetris!

@rival51 - we may be on the same Isle Royale trip w/Michael. We’re signed up for the July 15-22 trip. This will be our first trip to Isle Royale and can’t wait!

@dsteffey - can’t wait to get back to camp and see all the old friends and make new friends. It’s great working with the mentors, learning new rolls and skills while trying to perfect existing ones.

See everyone there!

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I figured I would need to get there early as possible since I am traveling from Pennsylvania this time in my camper which is a 24’ long converted Penske box truck (the kayaks fit inside). So I will contribute the largest Tetris block to begin with. But this also means I will have a comfortable place to hang out (bathroom and fridge for snacks and drinks on board) in the parking lot as I wait for folks to trickle in.

You guys are killing me! The Hudson Valley Greenland Festival was just canceled. I’ve been trying to go since Covid…

Road trip?

I wish. It’s a bit too far. But it sounds like a blast. Maayyybe Delmarva. Anyone ever been there?

I have been to both, Michigan QTC twice and Delmarva once. I’m in Pittsburgh so Delmarva is closer (under 7 hours) but a more challenging drive. Michigan is about 11 hours but I have all sorts of kin along the way I can stop overnight with in southern Ohio and mid Michigan so I can break it up in two or three legs.

While I love the Lake Michigan white sand beaches (I spend summers on them as a kid and lived and paddled in west Michigan for several years as an adult), I have to admit I prefer Delmarva because of the facilities.

The level of instruction is excellent at both and the warm and protected shallow lake that is available at Michigan QTC is ideal for rescue and rolling coaching, with the option to paddle out through the inlet to the Big Lake for open water and surf skills training. There were a number of the same coaches at Michigan and Delamarva, including Dubside, and I got great one-on-one training from instructors at both.

But Michigan QTC is at a pretty rough old boy scout camp on a peninsula with no vehicle access. You have to paddle over from the parking lot and have your camping gear ferried on the pontoon boat. Accommodations are a bit rough and for somebody of my age, having to hike quite a distance up soft sandy steep trails several times a night to go to the outhouses from either the tent site area or the bunkhouses (most of which don’t even have power) is a challenge, even for an old wilderness backpacking and mountaineering buff like me. I had badly pulled a muscle in my back before QTC last August and huffing all my camping and paddling gear up the steep paths and stairway of the camp was eventually excruciating. If I go again I will probably opt to paddle across the lake every night and sleep in my camper in the parking lot (where I have my own bathroom handy).

Delmarva, on the other hand, is far more “civilized” at a beautiful camp complex with a huge luxurious central lodge. The available cabins have power, light and some have bathrooms – the shared bath and shower facilities are much larger and nicer than at Michigan. I was able to park my camper a short walk from both the lodge and the beach so there was far less effort involved and I could save energy for paddling skills rather than daily routine.

Also, Delmarva has two large inland swimming pools where we could practice rescue and rolling in a controlled environment. This was pretty handy the second day of camp there when we got some really rough water at the beach and dock site. It calmed by the next day but we were able to move some of the training to the pools for that day. Lower Herring Lake at Michigan QTC seems to stay reliably calm due to being screened from the offshore winds by the steep dunes of the camp peninsula.

The water at Delmarva is, of course, colder being sea coast and in October rather than August. At Michigan QTC I didn’t even use my dry suit both years I attended but did use it at Delamarva. Michigan can require a dry suit in the Big Lake but I did not venture out there during my sessions.

Delmarva is a larger event with more instructors and attendees. There was a lot more “swag” in the way of donations for the ticket drawing giveaways and much more used gear brought to sell directly or in the Saturday night auction.

Where food goes, my first year at Michigan, the local oufitter and regular QTC coach who is also a caterer provided fantastic gourmet fare (like his own smoked meats) but he had a previous commitment last time so we had decent but pretty basic camp food prepped by the regular staff. I don’t know if the catering will be available this year again.

The food at Delmarva was great, prepped by the Lodge’s regular kitchen staff. They do provide vegetarian options at every meal at both events, by the way. You’re fed well at both, but there are more options at Delamarva.

I admit that I like both events, had fun at them and got great coaching – each has its own charms. If I can manage a more workable accommodation set up at Michigan I really want to go back. In my case I can combine the trip with visiting some favorite kin and old friends along the way to and from, so that is a plus.

But I know that Delmarva is an easier option for me because of the more modern and convenient accommodations for my old bones (and bladder).