Outdoor Education: Getting Ready for the School’s Own Kayak Tours
by Eugen Balzer, Fachschaft Outdoor Education
Six members of the Experiential Education Department at Schule Schloss Salem successfully completed a training course to become certified kayak and canoe tour leaders.

Paddling techniques for draw and bow strokes, safety management on the water and strenuous capsizing exercises were all part of the programme that six members of our Experiential Education Department successfully completed at the end of September in order to become certified kayak and canoe tour leaders. Thus the department was able to fulfil a long-cherished wish. While Schule Schloss Salem has been in possession of a good amount of high-quality kayaking equipment and the Spetzgart Harbour offers the very best conditions for boating, there had simply been too few qualified staff members to conduct our own tours.

During the training course the future tour leaders set off from the Spetzgart Harbour for three days on Lake Constance under the supervision and instruction of trainer Ingo Krüger of the German Canoe Association. The practical exercises demanded quite a lot from the participants. On the first day focus was placed on reliable control in the school’s own sea kayaks; on the second day the group paddled to Bodman and back in open Canadian canoes, on loan for the course. The third day involved a combination of all exercises. Blessed by the weather god with mostly sunny weather, interrupted only occasionally by bouts of rainfall, there was no shortage of fun for the group. The highly ambitious sports teachers among us even undertook some attempts at Eskimo rolls. But their first trial rolls were not quite as easy and graceful as those demonstrated by trainer Ingo Krüger. Our practical exercises were supplemented in the afternoons and evenings by sessions on theory, including such topics as types of watercraft, fluid dynamics and nature conservation regulations. Now it will be possible to use the school’s own equipment safely and with expertise on Lake Constance and in the nearby waterways.