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In the spring of 2003 I had the priviledge of joining one of Steve Tripp's canoeing adventures down the Madawaska River.  It was an amazing 10 days where I learned everything you need to know to plan and enjoy a canoe trip.  One of my goals was to feel confident manoevering through whitewater and being able to read what the water was doing and I believe that i learned that throughout the course.  My favorite memory is going over a waterfall in an OC-1 [solo open canoe] and swinging left into a little eddy.  It was so fun to have your adrenaline rushing through you and having some great mates along for the show!  Steve is an excellent instructor who is always pushing you to try new things and creates a safe environment where you never fear failure.
Dayna Dixon, ESL Daycare Ottawa Public School Board, ORCA Lakewater II Instructor, Kayak Instructor.

There were a lot of highlights to the course, from the seemingly hourly injections of espresso to sitting around the fire eating lavish meals to the many hours of playing in rapids. One particular paddling memory comes from the last day of the trip, as we were paddling down the river a second time. This particular set of rapids was one we had skipped the first time through, as being too difficult. This time we tackled it and succeeded – not a perfect run by any means, but it was satisfying to see clearly how we had improved our skills over the course of a few days. Another highlight is the hike up Jamieson Mountain on our last night as a full group. More than the hike itself, sitting at the top watching the sun set and having a drink with these wonderful people was a fitting end to the trip.

            I learned a whole lot about moving water paddling, going from having minimal experience and no technical training in rapids to feeling comfortable, in control and able to execute a number of different manoeuvres. As for trip-leading, Steve provided a great example to learn from, allowing the personalities of the group to direct the pace and style of the course, while ensuring that course material was covered. He made sure that we not only learned a lot and improved our skills, but that we had a great time doing it. I’d highly recommend the course to anyone interested in tripping.

Ryan Matheson – Teacher, Outdoor Educator, Canoe lover.

Steve is an exceptional teacher in that he does not teach simply for the sake of having done it; rather, he creates a learner-focused environment to ensure that his students actually understand and retain the material in his courses.  To this end, he concentrates on - and excels in - building relationships with and among his students, striving to understand others' personalities, abilities and learning styles in order to best teach them both theory and practical skills.  It was a pleasure knowing that Steve cared not only that I learn the material in the course, but also that I grow through the learning process and that I be able to apply the knowledge months or years down the road.The highlight of the course for me was Steve's relently and contagious enthusiasm for paddling and for nurturing relationships.  He very successfully created a comfortable, safe environment in which I felt both challenged and encouraged.  One of the most valuable things I learned from Steve was the need to be constantly evaluating the physical, emotional, and spiritual states of others on trip. Only in becoming sensitive to this can one lead a trip in which campers or clients are successfully served and satisfied.
Anne Mather, 4th year Mathematics student, OPC GC Tripper 2003

The highlight of the course for me would definitely be the experience with whitewater. Steve has a great gift for teaching and an eye for knowing when a group or individual is ready to move on to the next step. There was never a time when I felt that I was not being challenged with the level of difficulty of the water nor a time when I felt I was in over my head with respect to the difficulty of the water. One of my favourite aspects of the course was the real time river rescue situations that Steve would dream up when we least expected it. Whether it was a simulated wrapped canoe or an unconscious tripper floating by us while we portaged, we always had to be alert.

 This is a must do course if you are at all interested in learning the basics of whitewater canoeing in the context of God’s creation. I never thought it was possible to learn so much in such a short period of time. My confidence in my own abilities with regard to canoeing and tripping has grown dramatically. Before the course, I considered myself a fairly competent camping individual with little formal wilderness skills training. The course filled in a lot of the gaps that I had been missing in my wilderness skill toolkit. I am now confidant in my flat-water abilities as well as my ability to assess a potential whitewater situation.
James Ruston, 2nd year Queen's Commerce student, OPC BC Tripper 2002-2003.

Watching how Steve instructed I learned valuable leadership skills; how to recognize and manage conflict and make well thought out decisions.  Steve’s leadership style is the product of many years of careful observation.  It is amazing to see him bring out the best in people, encouraging them to put all their effort into a task.  The highlight of my trip was running rifle chutes.  The standing waves were enormous, and it was a huge adrenaline rush to be carried over those waves and emerge without capsizing.  I enjoyed being able to put into practice everything that Steve had taught me about moving water in the first few days of the course. 
Meghan Dorherty, 4th year Biomed student, UBC, OPC CG tripper 2002, Mtn Bike Director 2003.

steve jpegSteve Tripp
Steve has been guiding trips for summer camp, and professional trips for the last 9 years.  He has paddled such rivers as the Spanish, Moisie, Mattagami, Mattawa, French, Petawawa,  Missasagi, Dumoine, Madawaska, Noire, and a favourite, the Coulonge River in Western Quebec.  He has a passion for whitewater and tripping.  He is a Flatwater Instructor, a level 2 Moving Water Instructor and a Level 2 Canoe Tripping Instructor as well as a being a Red Cross First Aid Instructor, and has his NLS and SRT-1.... and a good cook.

canoe tripping, moving water, river rescue...

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September 3, 2007..