Flatwater Training

Solo Course 2019 103FW Introduction Solo Canoe Certification Weekend- Aug 23-25 2019

A report by Nathalie M

During this weekend course, participants of all ages and backgrounds from aspiring summer camp counsellors to RACCC instructors-in-training gathered at Gracefield Camp in Quebec to obtain ORCKA or Paddle Canada flatwater intro solo canoe certifications.  Seventeen participants, instructors and assistants were divided into three groups with excellent instructor to student ratios.  The camping weekend allowed us to paddle in calmer waters each morning and evening.  In between paddling sessions, we learned course theory and joined in extracurricular activities like archery, napping in hammocks, hiking, kayaking, swimming, stargazing and singing by the campfire.  Everyone participated in a synchronized solo canoe dance and some even discovered how to roll swamped canoes in the warm, shallow waters of Lac Castor.

Thank you to the ever flexible and resourceful instructors Karen H., Jennifer H., Mark S., Suze C. and Dot B. who volunteer their time and go above and beyond to ensure all participants are well fed, sheltered and have the resources and support required to get the most out of every course.

Click on Read more for a 2nd report on the weekend plus some photos and a video.


A report by Ramtin R, age 15, who would like to become a canoe instructor in the future.

My overall experience with the canoe courses can be summed up in two words:  fun and educational.  The canoe courses offer a variety of ways to learn different skills in tandem and solo.  From the various skills you would learn, the skills I think are important would be learning how to rescue people when they get flipped, either as a soloist or when with someone else, communicating with people, and learning how to safely transport a canoe on your car.  These three skills will help you become a better leader, be able to help people in need when they are in trouble and have the necessary knowledge to carry your canoe around without worrying about the worst-case scenario.  The day-to-day training we got was filled with fun and important moments.  On some days we would be learning all about the different fundamental strokes used for solo and tandem and on other days we would be learning how to tie knots and carry a canoe.  In most cases, we would be on the water implementing different strokes to go in any direction and if you had any problem with anything the teachers and assistants would always be there to help.  Everyone was really friendly and we had great teachers.

A demo of synchro canoieng by the instructors can be found on YouTube here:  https://youtu.be/wsBoTwllC-4

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Taking a tour of Lac Castor

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Synchro canoe routine with ten canoes

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We were a group of seventeen solo canoeists

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An example of our beautiful weather - a sunset!

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Our instructors showing us a synchro "star"

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Our instructors showing us a synchro circle

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