A Word from Your Director At-Large Colin Mullen


In 2012, NACK had some tremendous successes and one or two disappointments. The major disappointment was we failed to have an L-3 assessment. By the time we had all the assets in place the weather became a factor and it was too late in the season to give the assessment. Therefore, for those of you that spent weeks practicing for the L-3 assessment I apologize for our failure to fulfill our commitment.

However, instead of dwelling on the disappointments of 2012 let us focus on the positive accomplishments. It started in January 2012, when Renee organized the annual holiday and award dinner and through her efforts the return of NACK’s summer BBQ. Both of these events were very well attended and they brought a much-needed and missing social atmosphere to NACK.

In 2012, NACK’s board amended some existing policies or added policies to better serve and benefit our members. They added the Member in Training policy. This policy allows a member the opportunity to once a year to attend a paddle one level above their ACA assessed level. Last season the board eliminated NACK’s long-standing policy forbidding members from practicing any skills above their ACA assessed level at peer practices. They instituted a cold water practice day affording members the opportunity to practice paddling skills in cold water and an in cold weather environment, under the supervision of certified instructors. NACK’s in house instructors and the board agreed to drastically decrease the compensation NACK’s instructors receive when performing NACK instruction and assessments and to pass these savings onto its members by reducing their fee for training, when the training is supplied by NACK instructors. These are just some examples of the policy changes, which occurred in 2012.

One of the biggest assets to incur in 2012 was NACK added three new instructors to its staff and increased the number of level three instructors to better serve the members. There are now an adequate number of level three instructors for NACK to fulfill its commitment and offer its members a level three assessment yearly and with the addition of the additional instructors NACK will be offering two level one and level two assessments each year instead of one assessment. The intention in 2013 is to have more instructors volunteer to attend peer practice and to send out a schedule prior to the practice listing which instructor will be present and what skills they will be helping the members to perfect. Hopefully some of the new L-3 instructors will be able to obtain their ACA trip leader endorsements in 2013 allowing them to teach the ACA’s Trip Leader Course to our members increasing the number of NACK certified trip leaders. With an increased number of trip leaders NACK would be able to offer more paddling trips in the future.

In 2013, NACK will be instituting a mentor program thanks to a suggestion by Theresa Whelan. Bob Horchler will run the mentor program. The goal of the mentor program will be to have existing members volunteer and be paired up with a new member who resides in their area. This pairing of members old and new will assist the new member in becoming acquainted with NACK and feel welcome. It will also give them an insight to NACK’s policies, the ever confusing NACK Buck policy and hopefully give both members a paddling buddy discouraging old and new members from paddling alone.

NACK had the largest influx of new members in 2012 and regardless if they were experienced or novice kayakers each one without exception brought a friendly positive attitude to NACK. They also brought with them fresh ideas and recommendations, something NACK encourages from all its members.  You the individual member can and have helped shape and improve NACK. If you have an idea please feel free to share it with your fellow members and the board. Additionally attend general and board meetings, run for a board position, express your ideas, get involved and NACK will continue to grow both as a paddling and social organization. I sincerely thank each member for it is you the individual member that made NACK a success in 2012.

Colin Mullen

Categories : Announcements


  1. What a great list of accomplishments. It is good to see NACK pushing forward with new innovations that support members who truly want to build on-water skills. From my experience, these are the paddlers that end up helping the untrained paddler get out of trouble. And these are the best ambassadors for the sport.

    It is good to look back on your accomplishment and roadblocks so that you can build on strengths and work on the weak areas. Thanks Colin for narrating a tradition of continuous improvement.




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