Educator Expedition: New Zealand Whitewater

Posted by: Casey Adams on Mar 20, 2015

By Geoff Kooy, NOLS Instructor

This past December I had the privilege of participating in a whitewater kayaking course with the world renowned New Zealand Kayak School. I am thankful to NOLS for the support they gave me to pursue this continued training through the Instructor Development Fund. This was an intensive skill development course that broadened my competency as a whitewater instructor with NOLS.

Whitewater NOLS Instructor Geoff grew as an outdoor educator while developing his own kayaking skills.

The course I took was a challenging four-day experience. We engaged in countless drills in both a pool environment and in demanding whitewater, all while being filmed for analysis later. We continuously pushed ourselves in performing difficult maneuvers in increasingly difficult rivers, which allowed me to continue to refine my technical skills. I was also exposed to world-class kayak instruction, and the dialogue we had about teaching kayaking is invaluable to my progression as a whitewater instructor.

Completing this intensive course leaves me with increased confidence in my skills as a whitewater paddler, as well as new ideas as to how I can better serve my students as I teach them whitewater paddling. I believe strongly that ongoing professional development is important for NOLS instructors, as it not only increases our skill base, but exposes us to new ideas, practices, and methodologies from outside organizations that we can then bring to out students and to the NOLS community.

Read more stories from Educator Expeditions on the Educators Notebook page of our blog.

Casey worked as a writer and PR specialist for NOLS.