Friday, July 24, 2009

Giving It Away(me, last year, when I was younger)
In a few minutes I will drive out to a lake about 35 miles from here. I am going there to give two ladies an introduction to recreational kayaking lesson. When I am done and arrive home, I figure my "take" will be about -$7.00, that being for gas. The lesson is free. Smart business move, don't you think?

Actually, this all began when Lady Linda's cousin asked me to donate a lesson for an auction to raise money for a local school. I said yes, someone had the high bid (I have no idea how much) and I am making good on the promise. This is a win-win as far as I am concerned. The school gets some cash, the ladies get what I hope is some excellent instruction and I get the joy of give back.

It makes me wonder how many such opportunities there are out there for such acts of give away that we paddlers (yes, even canoe people) could perform. Here in Milwaukee, the majority of inner city kids have never even seen Lake Michigan, and most have a fear of water. There is one organization that takes them out on the Milwaukee River, but my observations of these outings is that they are not led well or safely (my judgment).

I write this to see if I can find the impetus to get a few paddlers together to get funding for some beat up old rec boats and storage facilities so we can get anyone who could never afford it onto the water. That would be an enormous win-win.

Paddle safe...


Alex said...

Awesome idea Dick and good for you for helping out! Although I'm not Buddhist by any stretch of the imagination, I believe in river (or lake) karma. Sharing skills and knowledge to help keep others safer on the water benefits the whole paddling community and it is something we should always look to give away if possible.

I understand the role of professional instructors who make their livelihoods on paddling but for the rest of us, hopefully we find some genuine fulfillment in coaching that makes this a relatively easy sacrifice to make. Every time I go to symposiums and see the hundreds of coaches from around the country, it makes me feel proud of our instructor community because for the vast majority of them, they are doing it for free and actually lose money with travel expenses to teach others.

I'm in Minneapolis but I'm always willing to help if I can!

Silbs said...

Well said, Alex. have already had a positive response from the group