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.

2019 class and program schedule

March 2 – Leadership Skills Development Workshop (Prairie State Canoeists)

March 8-10 – Canoecopia

  • Featured speaker:
    • “Power to the Paddle: Exercises to Improve your Canoe and Kayak Paddling”
    • “How to Perfectly Pack your Kayak for a Multi-Day Trip”
    • “Leadership Principles for Effective and Fun Day Trips”

May 19 – Introduction to Kayaking (Prairie State Canoeists)

June 15 – Moving Water II (Prairie State Canoeists)

June 15-16 – ACA Level 3 Coastal Skills Training and Assessment – Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

June 23 – ACA Level 2 Essentials of Kayak Touring Skills Course – Chicago

TBD – ACA Level 1/2 Instructor Candidate Workshop-West suburbs, Chicago, IL

July 11-14 – Door County Sea Kayak Symposium – Rowley’s Bay Resort, WI

July 21 – Coastal Strokes and Refinement – Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

July 31-August 4 – Isle Royale National Park Guided Trip

September 2019 – ACA Level 3 Coastal Skills Training and Assessment – Lake Michigan, Chicago, 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 7 days before the event and receive a full refund.
  • If you cancel within 4 – 6 days before the event, you will receive 50% back
  • 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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