General Information

WHEN:

The symposium takes place on Memorial Day Weekend. May 25-28, 2018. Symposium Check In begins at 5:00pm on Friday evening. The Adult and Youth programs start at 9:00am Saturday and conclude at 11:30am on Monday. There are other programs going on at camp before ours. Please plan to arrive no earlier than 5:00pm on Friday.

WHERE:

The symposium is held at YMCA Camp Pendalouan on Big Blue Lake. The camp is approximately a 20 minute drive north of Muskegon, MI. The address is:

1243 Fruitvale Rd., Montague, MI 49437

For GPS (and Mapquest) directions, type in "E Fruitvale Rd & Blue Lake Rd, 49425"

Getting There From Muskegon:

Head north on the U.S. 31 freeway and exit at Russell Road (County Road B-23). Turn right (north) on Russell Road. Travel for approximately 10.5 miles to Fruitvale Road. Turn right. Go ½ mile, Camp Pendalouan is on the right.

Check out the camp’s website for more detailed directions at: www.pendalouan.org

ACCOMMODATIONS:

  • Free walk-in tent site with registration.
  • Free lots for small RV’s. However, there are no RV hook-ups.
  • Bunks in simple rustic cabins are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each cabin sleeps 6 to 12 people. Cabins have electricity. Bring your own linens and/or sleeping bags.  Cabins will be available with Male, Female, and Co Ed rooming options.
  • Centralized restrooms and showers are available at camp.
  • A list of nearby local campgrounds, motels, and restaurants may be obtained online at www.whitelake.org

MEALS:

Camp Pendalouan provides seven meals, including a Vegetarian option, during the weekend for those who elect the meal plan. Meals are served family-style in the main lodge. Most participants and staff take part in the meal program. Please note: Saturday Breakfast is the first meal served.

WHAT TO BRING:

A farmer john type wetsuit or a dry suit is HIGHLY recommended, the water is still cold in May! Some dive shops rent wetsuits for a minimal fee. Please bring:

  • Clothing and accessories for both warm and cold weather. Weather in May is hard to predict. Past years have been cool and rainy and warm, sunny, and dry.
  • Sandals or water shoes.
  • Sunscreen, rain gear, and mosquito repellent.
  • Sea kayak or recreational kayak. A sea kayak is 14’ or longer with bulkheads. A recreational kayak is less than 14’ and without bulkheads. Also bring related gear including: a paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), paddle float, and pump.
  • Rental kayaks are available from many local vendors; information about kayak rentals will be sent out with your confirmation.
  • While we love pets, they are NOT allowed in camp!

FEATURED GUEST SPEAKERS/INSTRUCTORS

James Tibensky:

A member of the US Sprint World Championship Team in 1970 and on the US Masters Slalom Team in 1989 and 1990, Jim has competed in numerous canoe and kayak races.  He has also provided  kayak guide services for week long trips through Omni Youth Services of Illinois, a unique wilderness therapy program serving youth and families in Chicago.  He holds an ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Kayak Instructor certification and is an ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor.

Ken Fink:

A retired oceanographer and one of the East Coast’s most experienced sea kayakers, Ken has been featured on instructional videos and on PBS. A skilled Euro paddling instructor, Ken is a perennial favorite at our symposium as well as others around the country.

Maggie Byrne:

With kayak trips to Scotland, Puerto Rico, Baja, Maine, and Nova Scotia, Maggie has lots of experience on the water to combine with her ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor certification and BCU 2 & 3 Star Awards.  She loves teaching people how to do things they never thought they would be able to do on the water and is rewarded with their SMILES!

Doug VanDoren:

A BCU Level 3 Coach and respected teacher and researcher of “Traditional Paddling” since 1990, Doug is an especially skilled instructor and rolling demonstrator at our symposium and others around the U.S. and abroad. He paddles mostly in the Great Lakes and has paddled many U.S. coastal areas of the Atlantic and Pacific as well as the coast of Wales and the Mediterranean coast of northeast Spain.

PRESENTATIONS/CLASSES

Classes begin with an Introduction to the Symposium at 7:00pm on Friday night, start again at 9:00am on Saturday and conclude at 11:30am on Monday. All participants are required to wear a PFD for on-water classes. Safety will be stressed, and we will need your cooperation to make all events are safe and enjoyable for everyone. See sample Course Descriptions for details. In addition to classes, there will be a rolling demonstration, wacky relay races, an evening program including slide presentations, evening paddle, and an evening of games & music (bring your own adult beverages and instruments).

NEPTUNE’S TREASURES:

Be sure to browse our ‘kayaking garage sale’ for second-hand, gently used camping and kayaking gear. There is usually a selection of used kayaks also for sale. This is a great place to sell your used kayak and gear or find some new (to you) stuff. Neptune’s Treasures is for the gearhead in all of us!