Classes and programs

PaddlingExercises-Blue Text“Thank you for making our kayaking classes at the Door County Kayak Symposium such a rewarding experience. You taught us so much and gave us the skills and the confidence to help us to enjoy paddling for many more years. There are places we want to go and paddle and thanks to you and your excellent instruction we are much better prepared.” – Bill and Gail O’Neal

“John was a fantastic teacher. He was kind, funny, and inclusive. We loved this kayaking class and would love to continue with further classes. Now we want to buy kayaks!” – Charity P.

“Fantastic instruction! Learned so much! I will now be kayaking with more confidence thanks to this class! Highly recommended!” – Denielle N.

I am pleased to be offering a wide range of kayak skills classes and lecture-based programs throughout the upcoming season.  Please see my complete course schedule below. If there is something you’re looking for and you don’t see it listed, please contact me at 630-269-8992 or through my Contact page and we can work together to create a custom program for you.

2020 schedule

January 12 – Rescue Tune Up Skill Builder Indoor Pool Session (with Prairie State Canoeists club)

February 16 – Rescue Tune Up Skill Builder Indoor Pool Session (with Prairie State Canoeists club)

March 1 – Leadership Skills for Effective Day Trips Workshop (with Prairie State Canoeists club)

March 1 – Rescue Tune Up Skill Builder Indoor Pool Session (with Prairie State Canoeists club)

March 13-15 – Canoecopia

    • Power to the Paddle: Exercises to Improve your Canoe and Kayak Paddling
      • Saturday, March 14, 11:30 am, Atrium
      • Sunday, March 15, 11:30 am, Atrium
    • How to Perfectly Pack your Kayak for a Multi-Day Trip
      • Sunday, March 15, 11:30 am, Atrium
    • Group Leadership for Amazing Day Trips
      • Sunday, March 15, 1:30 pm, Loon

April 19 and 25 – ACA Level 3 Coastal Skills Training and Assessment – Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

May 3 – Introduction to Kayaking (for Prairie State Canoeists club)

May 16 – Moving Water I (for Prairie State Canoeists club)

May 28 – Michigan’s Keewenaw Peninsula Solo presentation, Fountaindale Public Library, Bolingbrook, IL

May 31 – Fundamentals of Moving Water, Rocktown Adventures, Rockford, IL

June 5-7 – Guide Training, Northern Michigan (private program)

June 11-14 – ACA L2 Coastal Kayak Instructor Certification Workshop – Madison, WI

June 25 – Instructor skills refresh – Monee, IL (private program)

June 28 – ACA Level 2 Essentials of Kayak Touring – Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

July 7-9 –  Dark Sky Camping in Door County Paddling Adventure, Rowley’s Bay, WI

July 9-12 – Door County Sea Kayak Symposium – Rowley’s Bay Resort, WI

July 28-August 1 – Michigan’s Keewenaw Peninsula Guided Adventure, Copper Harbor, MI

July 18 – Coastal Kayak Strokes and Maneuvers Refinement, Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

September 11-14 – Marvelous Michigan in Style, Traverse City, MI (details coming soon)

October 23 – CPR/AED/First Aid Certification, Bolingbrook, IL

October 24-25- Wilderness First Aid Certification, Bolingbrook, IL

November 14 – CPR/AED/First Aid Certification, Fountaindale Public Library, Bolingbrook, IL

Class Policies

Before reserving your spot in any of classes or trips, please read the following carefully:

  • All trips or classes are held rain or shine. Severe weather or weather unsuitable for your skill level will result in it being rescheduled for a later date.
  • You will be required to read and sign a waiver form prior to participation in any class or trip.
  • All participants will wear a properly fitted personal flotation device whenever on the water.
  • You will need to have appropriate headwear, clothing, and footwear (water shoes or sandals that stay on) rain gear, and extra clothes just in case.
  • Sunscreen is mandatory.
  • Bring lots of water and sports drinks!
  • Energy bars and light snacks are highly recommended.
  • Lunch is not provided for classes or trips unless specifically stated in the description.
  • If you wear eyeglasses, please wear a leash for them! If you wear contacts, please bring an extra pair in case you lose them.
  • Electronics on the water – AT YOUR OWN RISK – If you choose to bring a phone, camera, key fob, or anything electronic, get a dry box for them at any local sporting goods store, or leave them back on dry land!

Please, arrive to the class/trip at least 30 minutes prior to start. If you are running late, please call me immediately. Be considerate of the others in your group. Please call me at 630-269-8992.


  • You can cancel up to 14 days before the event and receive a full refund.
  • If you cancel within 4 – 13 days before the event, you will receive a 50% refund
  • Cancellations within 3 days of event, no refunds unless we can get someone to take your place in which case you would receive a 50% refund.
  • If a medical emergency should arise at the last minute, please call us. We will try to re-schedule you into another class in the future, but we cannot provide a guarantee. Documentation may be requested.
  • Cancellations at our discretion due to weather will be rescheduled for a later date or a full refund will be given.

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