Maine Canoe Symposium June 7-9, 2019
Jim Baird--The Adventurer. Jim Baird will present "Four Rivers to the Labrador Sea," a 33-day canoe trip from Shefferville, Quebec, to Hopedale, Labrador. Magnetawan, Ontario's Jim Baird is a professional adventurer photographer, writer, and filmmaker who grew up exploring the Public Lands of Southern Ontario, Canada alongside his brother Ted. He turned the confidence he built from spending time in the outdoors at a young age into a passion for wilderness travel in Canada’s far north. Jim is an avid canoeist, trekker, bushcrafter and all around outdoorsman who has several impressive expeditionary trips to his credit.
Jane Barron--Paddling Skills. As a Maine Guide, Jane has been guiding canoe trips in Maine for more than 20 years. She has also done extended trips in Labrador, Quebec, Yukon, and NWT. Jane owns and operates Alder Stream Canvas. She designs and makes camping gear for the outdoors from her home in Kingfield, Maine. Visit Jane's site at alderstream.wcha.org/ on the web.
Shawn Burke--Paddler Development and MCS Organizer. Shawn is an avid canoe tripper, having paddled many routes in the Northeast and Canada. His longest paddling adventure to date was a two-month solo venture in Ontario, although he much prefers tripping with his wife Monica and friends. Shawn is also an avid canoe racer, having paddled downriver and flatwater courses in the Northeast and Midwest including the 70-mile General Clinton and the USCA Nationals. Shawn has been an organizer and instructor at MCS since 1997. A Maine native, Shawn and his wife Monica live in Andover, Massachusetts.
|Photo credit: Jim Baird
David Butler--Maine Guide and MCS Organizer. David has degrees in Forest Management from West Virginia University and Computer Science from the Univ. of Maryland. His family includes his wife Tracey, son Douglass and daughter Amanda. They are all active canoe campers and quite at home on Maine's rivers and lakes. David's interests include: canoe building, paddle making, fly fishing, ice fishing, beer & wine brewing, winter sports of any kind, and most of all canoe camping in Maine. David is co-owner of
Maine Path & Paddle Guides, providing fully guided canoe adventures throughout Maine.
Garrett Conover--Maine Guide. Garrett is best known for his years as co-proprietor of
North Woods Ways, the classically resonant traditional canoe and snowshoe guiding service leading wilderness trips in Maine, Quebec, and Labrador. In 2008 he started work as one of the Assistant Managers of Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary. Garrett is author of Beyond the Paddle. His most recent book, Kristin's Wilderness, has won four awards. The Snow Walker's Companion was co-authored with Alexandra Conover, and is now in its third printing. Garrett lives along the Big Wilson Stream in Maine, a scant few miles and in the same watershed as Borestone Mountain. In addition to co-leading special trips with Alexandra, writing and photography are continuing interests, and Garrett remains in demand as a presenter of North Woods Skills Workshops and Adventure Travel Slideshows where the narration weaves a bit of history, how-to, natural history, and the intrigue of glorious trails.
Jeff Dehart--Traditional Outdoor Skills and Paddling. Jeff holds ACA canoe poling placements, having won several first to third placements. Jeff is a Registered Maine Guide and began participating in living history re-enactments in 1994. Jeff lives with his wife Lisa and son Elijah in West Gardiner, Maine. When not guiding Jeff works for State Waterways setting the buoys on the lakes in Maine.
Lisa Dehart--Traditional Paddling and Poling and MCS Organizer. Lisa attended her first MCS in 1992 as a participant and baby canoeist. She began her guide training with Mike Patterson's Wilds of Maine Guiding Service in 1993 and got her Maine Guide license in 1998. She has been guiding river trips and teaching poling ever since. Lisa has guided from the Gaspe peninsula in Canada to the Rio Grande in Texas. She loves teaching poling and guiding part time, her other two jobs include being full time mom to Elijah and working in professional live theatre as an equity stage manager for the past 18 years.
Chris Faria--Yoga for Paddlers. Chris has been teaching yoga at MCS for many years and provides a welcome session to many paddlers after a full day of activities on the shores and waters of Moose Pond.
Paul Faria--Symposium Organizer, Activities for Children, Master Maine Guide. Paul is an ACA certified coastal kayak and stand up paddleboard (SUP) instructor currently teaching paddle sports, GPS, snowshoeing and cross country skiing at LL Bean's Outdoor Discovery School. Paul is a Wilderness First Responder and is trained in swift water rescue. He has had courses in wilderness education and leadership, surf zone coastal kayak training, wilderness advanced first aid, and basic climbing skills for rescuers. He began leading outdoor trips as a Registered Maine Guide in 1999 and has led courses in river canoe, river kayak, coastal kayak and SUP. Paul tracks down our MCS evening speakers each year and coordinating activities for kids at MCS. His other interests include whitewater kayaking, snowshoeing, nordic and alpine skiing, primitive wilderness living skills, drawing, and sculpture. Paul lives in Pittsfield Maine with his wife Chris, daughter Alexandra, grand daughter Gabriela, and their dog Casey, along with several mice who prefer to remain anonymous.
Kate Farnham--Fishing Skills. Fishing fresh and saltwater with a fly for Landlocks, Brookies, and Stripers are my favorite. I’m a vetted Certified Casting Instructor (CCI) with the International Fly Fishing Federation, and my RMG license in Fishing, Recreation, and Kayaking. For 11 years I taught and guided at the LL Bean Fly Fishing school. These days I spend my off-time independently guiding out of a Boulder Boat Works drift boat or fishing with my co-pilot-golden retriever Chase. During the academic year I teach a biochemistry laboratory at Bowdoin College. My scientific background has always complemented my approach to fishing and instructing folks in the outdoors. I was born and live in Maine and have a great appreciation for the natural resources around me and love teaching fly casting and fishing.
Gil Gilpatrick--Camping and Canoeing Skills. Gil is a Master Maine Guide from Skowhegan, Maine. He has spent his life in outdoor Maine. For 26 years he was an instructor of Outdoor Resources at the Skowhegan Regional Vocational Center. His other major occupation was guiding wilderness canoe trips in northern Maine. Gil considers his life, combining these careers, an ideal blend of his love of the outdoors and that of making hand crafted items. He has never made any of his gear commercially, rather preferring to make a few items for friends and writing about them for others. He takes great pleasure in seeing people make and enjoy the items he has developed and perfected. Gil is a prolific writer and, besides writing free-lance articles when time permits, he is a regular columnist for Maine's Northwoods Sporting Journal, a monthly publication about outdoor Maine. He is the author of six outdoor-related books, five of which are still in print. Gil has been a Master Maine Guide for over 40 years and currently serves on the Guides Advisory Board, the body responsible for testing and licensing of new guides and advising the Commissioner on guide-related matters. Gil was the winner of the 2010 Legendary Maine Guide Award. Visit Gil's website at www.gilgilpatrick.com.
Benson Gray--Canoe Sailing. Benson has a passion for canoe sailing and canoe history. He will share his love for these topics and help all those who take his instruction develop sailing skills and an appreciation for the craft. Benson has also been involved with the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association for many years.
Brad Krog--Canoeist. Brad is an outdoor enthusiast from Maine with over 30 years paddling experience who completed an unsupported “Journey of a Lifetime” racing 1000 miles on the Yukon River. Starting in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, competitors from Germany, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States travel through some of the most isolated, yet breathtaking, areas in North America crossing into Alaska, entering the Arctic Circle and finishing at the Dalton Highway Bridge 135 miles north of Fairbanks.
David Lewis--Northwoods Paddling Technique and Traditional Camping & Cooking Skills. David is a Registered Maine Guide, and also a Registered Architect, from Buxton, Maine. He grew up exploring the woods and waterways of Maine, primarily by canoe, and enjoyed an extended apprenticeship with Maine Guides Garrett & Alexandra Conover, absorbing the canoe travel skills refined by generations of guides and travelers. David's longstanding interest has been in learning and teaching the highly evolved traditional wilderness travel skills of the area, including canoe handling, camp-craft, and cooking.
Jim & Lisa Lisius--North American Touring Technique (Sit and Switch) Paddling Style & Symposium Organizer. Jim and Lisa's lives center around water and people. Their careers are centered on education with Lisa as University Health Center Nurse and Jim as a retired teacher and engineer. Both discovered canoes as children and they met during the canoe racing phase of their lives. They founded the Penobscot Fifty Mile canoe race, lead canoe trips, and teach canoeing and camping skills. Their claim to fame in the canoeing world is that they are the first to complete a continuous people-powered crossing of the United States by canoe. This 5100+ mile journey changed their lives, their relationship, and their view of the world. They currently live on the banks of the Sandy River in Farmington Falls, Maine. They have been Maine Canoe Symposium staff every June since 1995. July and August often finds them heading north to canoe the Atlantic coast of Labrador with their daughter, River Dawn.
Polly Mahoney--Basic Paddling Skills & Wilderness Tripping. Polly is a Registered Maine Guide, co-owner of Mahoosuc Guide Service, in Newry, Maine. Polly is a native Mainer with extensive outdoor experience. For 10 years she lived a subsistence lifestyle in the bush of the Yukon Territory. Her Yukon huskies were the primary transportation in winter. She and her huskies were featured in the movie "Never Cry Wolf." Seldom has a musher achieved the degree of friendship, loyalty, and obedience from a dog team that Polly has accomplished. She has extensive canoe expedition experience into remote areas of the Yukon and British Columbia. Polly's soft-spoken manner and patient style go well with the wilderness she works in. She has emergency medical training as a Wilderness First Responder and is a certified instructor for Outward Bound.
Maura and Bobby Markos--Adventuring with Young Children. Maura and Bobby Markos will present "Adventuring with Young Children." Maura and Bobby Marko are writers and photographers, detailing our family of four’s adventures while giving tips, tricks, and insights along the way. We have been adventuring together since meeting in 2007 while working at Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Birchwood, WI. Over the years we have explored together participating in numerous types of outdoor recreation. Some of our favorite trips include hiking the 133 mile Kerry Way in Ireland, rock climbing in Chamonix, France, Horseback riding through the remote wilderness areas of the Sierras in California, and trips to the BWCAW.
|Photo credit: Bobby Markos
Rory Matchett--Whitewater Paddling Skills. Rory is a New Brunswick Canoe Guide from Moncton, New Brunswick. Rory has been paddling, poling and "playing in canoes" for over 30 years. He is a Canadian Recreational Canoe Association moving water instructor, a Canoe New Brunswick poling instructor, a Boy Scout leader and trainer, and treasurer for Canoe New Brunswick.
Ben Meader--Paddling Skills/Playboating. Ben lives in Newcastle, Maine and is the owner of Rhumb Line Maps where he creates beautiful maps. He often works as an instructor for GIS, but feels more at home when he's back on a good Maine river. He likes to infringe upon what many thought was only the domain of kayakers -- pushy whitewater and rolling his open canoe! He's taken oodles of trips down his home Maine rivers: the Dead River, the Kennebec, the Penobscot, the Allagash, the Sheepscot, among others; as well as trips in New York, Vermont, and Canada. A few years ago, Ben and seven friends paddled 460 miles on the Cochrane and Thlewiaza Rivers in northern Manitoba and Nunavut, Canada. You can visit their trip website for photos at: sites.google.com/site/thlewiaza/.
Forrest "Fo" G. Meader--Children's Program and Symposium Organizer. Fo has grown up going to the Maine Canoe Symposium since he was a toddler. He has been on numerous canoe trips from the Allagash and Penobscot Rivers in Maine to the Bonaventure River in Quebec. Fo has been an instructor with the children's program for six years and has proven to be a popular instructor with kids of all ages. Fo is also an active member of the MCS steering committee.
John Meader--Astronomy, Photography and Symposium Organizer. John is an avid paddler, canoe tripper, astronomy educator,,and photographer. He is a Registered Maine Guide and photographer. To see John's photography visit
john-meader.pixels.com. John is the owner and founder of
Northern Stars Planetarium, a portable planetarium business that visits schools and libraries throughout Maine. John lives in Fairfield, Maine.
Harry Rock--Modern Poling. Harry is a National Canoe Poling Champion from Westfield, Massachusetts. Harry is the author of The Basic Essentials of Canoe Poling published by ICS Books and Canoe Poling published by Little Dancer Films in London, England. He also has an instructional video on poling which was filmed and produced by Little Dancer Films in London. He is a 10 time National Canoe Poling Champion and 7 time Masters National Canoe Poling Champion. In open class competition he was undefeated for 10 years, amassing a record 81 straight victories including 15 National Slalom titles, 10 National Wildwater titles and 10 Combined National titles. Harry has been a featured speaker and presenter 3 times for the English Canoe Symposium which is an international canoe symposium held in northern England. Harry is an active downriver open canoe racer. He has been a certified American Canoe Association white water canoe instructor, an avid white water C1 paddler, and a former professional river guide. When not on the water, Harry is an enthusiastic road bicyclist and nordic ski racer. He is a Nordic and Alpine National Ski Patroller. Professionally, Harry has been the Executive Director of the YMCA in Westfield, Massachusetts and recently worked for Springfield College directing their YMCA Professional Studies Program for students aspiring for a YMCA career. He has been a member of the Maine Canoe Symposium pro staff since the symposium was begun in 1986.
Kevin Silliker--Classic Style Poling. Kevin is a New Brunswick Canoe Guide from Sunny Corner, New Brunswick. He has been "messing with canoes" for over 30 years. He is a Canadian Recreational Canoe Association moving water instructor, a Canoe New Brunswick poling instructor, a training officer for New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue, the founder/trainer of the Miramichi Search and Rescue River Team, secretary of Canoe New Brunswick, and a class I Guide.
Kevin Slater--Whitewater Skills & Basic Paddling Skills. Kevin is a Registered Maine Guide, and co-owner of Mahoosuc Guide Service of Newry, Maine. Kevin has been an active guide for more than 20 years. He has traveled extensively in the north by canoe and dog team with natives. This has provided him with a deep respect and understanding for the people and their culture. Kevin has done numerous canoe expeditions in Maine, Quebec, Labrador, and a pioneer descent of the Grand Canyon. He is an excellent teacher and a certified instructor-trainer for the American Canoe Association. Kevin has been a Registered Maine Guide since 1976. He is a former Program Director for Outward Bound and taught at the University of Maine where he received a Masters of Education degree in 1984. Kevin is a true craftsman who takes great pride in what he produces from his workshop. In his rare moments of free time he enjoys listening to Celtic music and writes occasionally for Mushing magazine.
Moe Auger--Registered Maine Guide. Moe is a member of the Maine wilderness guides association, an instructor/guide for LL Bean's Outdoor Discovery School, and avid outdoorsman. Moe loves taking people camping and introducing them to the outdoors. One of Moe's passions is outdoor cooking, and his favorite kitchen tool is the Dutch Oven. "I believe that camp cooking doesn't have to be hotdogs and beans. We know that all food tastes great outdoors, why not make it special?
Jesse Cottingham--Rocket Stove Maker and Paddler. Jesse lives in a tiny solar-powered cabin packed with simple tools and cutting edge technology. In the winter he can be found on the slopes working as a snowboard patroller. Spring and Fall he travels the country as a professional photographer. In the summer he grows food, teaches scything workshops, installs solar electric systems and anything else that involves getting muddy or greasy. In 2008 Jesse took part in a six month, six hundred mile journey through Vermont by ski and canoe..
Caleb Davis--Paddle Maker and Northwoods Paddler. Caleb is a skilled instructor and continues to enhance his skills with course work and certifications. Past and current certifications include: 1977 Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association Instructor, 1977 Eastern Professional Ski Touring Instructor, 1991 United States Rowing Association Coach, 1997 League of New Hampshire Craftsman - Canoe Paddles, 1998 American Canoeing Association Flat Water Tandem Instructor, 1998 American Canoeing Association Flat Water Solo Instructor, 2000 Traditional Flat Water Canoeing Association, Executive Director and Instructor. In 2002, Caleb completed two full length videos. The first Welcome to Traditional Flat Water Canoeing covers the basics through advanced for both tandem and solo. The second, Welcome to Making your own Traditionally Shaped Canoe and Greenland Style Kayak Paddle is about paddle making. Visit Caleb's web site at:
Winchell Delano--Expedition Canoeist. On Jan. 2, 2015, Winchell and five friends began a canoeing expedition from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. They battled against the current on the Mississippi, weathered a midwest winter of snow and ice, traversed massive lakes, dodged shifting forest fires, and shot challenging whitewater. The journey took 8 months and traversed more than 5,200 miles, and after prevailing through a windy and wet early tundra fall, they finally made their goal of Kugluktuk, Nunavut on Sept. 2, 2015.
John Diller--Canoe Builder. John built his first canoe 45 year ago at the age of 14 in his parents basement from a kit he found in a Boy's Life magazine ad. He designed his first canoe 35 years ago and soon after started Savage River Works. John has been an avid whitewater canoeist as well as kayak paddler, marathon racer, wilderness tripper and SUP paddler. His designs are created with speed and handling in mind, making his canoes not only easy to carry but also a joy to paddle. With his development of high tech building techniques, he is known for building the lightest canoes in the industry.
Kim Gass--Freestyle Paddling. Kim is an ACA instructor in tandem flat water, solo flat water, and solo freestyle. She also is a Canadian Recreational Canoe Association instructor in flat water and lake water (that's precision paddling solo in a big boat). She teaches at La Louisiane Freestyle Symposium near New Orleans, the Midwest Freestyle Symposium in Ohio, the Adirondack Freestyle Symposium at Paul Smiths, NY, as well as the annual Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly and Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake, NY. She sometimes competes in FreeStyle canoeing. She is a Registered Maine Guide. Kim also works for the Maine Island Trail Association and the Raymond, Maine Fire Department.
Nicole Grohoski--Canoeist. Nicole is a cartographer and GIS specialist with the Center for Community GIS in Maine. Nicole was the first female to through-paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) by canoe in 2006, and she has recently rowed a raft down the Grand Canyon. Whether in the Canadian barrens, the mangroves of the Everglades, or on the Dead River in Maine, Nicole is just happy to be messing about in boats. When not mapping or paddling, Nicole enjoys bike touring, backpacking, skiing, sailing, yoga, meditation, and scheming adventures with friends.
Lynne Lewis--Northwoods Paddling Technique and Traditional Camping & Cooking Skills. Lynne is a Certified Audiologist and an avid hiker. Her interest in the outdoors dates to childhood explorations in New Hampshire. Later hiking experiences in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado furthered her interest and skills. In Maine she has become an enthusiastic canoe tripper, with a continuing interest in traditional wilderness canoe travel. Together, as working professionals, Lynne and David's trips constitute the BIG VACATION of the year, and they have developed strategies to increase the enjoyment of both the trip and the year-round planning. Since 1990, the Lewises have been exhibitors at the annual Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine, with displays and discussions featuring the wilderness travel skills of the traditional Maine Guide. They are also members of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, and present their popular workshops at the annual assembly.
Lani Love--Maine Guide. Lani began guiding with her husband, Chip Cochrane in 1988, for his family run canoe trip business,
Allagash Canoe Trips. Allagash Canoe Trips is Maine's oldest continuously running canoe trip service in Maine, founded in 1953. Lani has worked as a whitewater raft guide and kayak instructor, and has won several National titles in Downriver Whitewater Canoe Racing and is reigning Female National Canoe Poling Champion. An avid adventurer, racer and a physical trainer, Lani is passionate about the woods & waters!
Becky Mason--Canoeist, Artist, Filmmaker. Becky acquired her paddling skills and her fondness for canoes from her father, Bill Mason, the author and filmmaker of the Path of the Paddle series. She continues the family tradition of sharing her passion for canoeing through her canoeing courses, art, and film making. In 2000 she produced an award winning video called Classic Solo Canoeing, profiling her course and her love of paddling. Becky has also traveled the country presenting her beautiful and captivating slide shows and she has contributed to many books on canoeing. Some writing projects include a forward for the book Paddling the Boreal Forest, Rediscovering A.P. Low, a chapter for The Canoe in Canadian Culture, writing and painting images for Rendezvous with the Wild The Boreal Forest and, with her brother Paul, she updated her father's books Song of the Paddle and Path of the Paddle. Recently Becky has been profiled in the new DVD This is Canoeing and in the Spring 2010 issue of Canoeroots Magazine. She has also been inducted as a Patron of Paddle Canada. She is a fully accredited Paddle Canada flat water instructor and trainer. Becky Mason is also a professional visual artist and has participated in a wide array of exhibitions at galleries since 1988. Becky lives in Chelsea Quebec with her husband Reid.
Reid McLachlan--Canoeist, Artist. Reid started canoeing early with his family where they explored Algonquin Park, Ontario and its surroundings. These early excursions whetted his appetite for future paddling adventures and instilled in him a love and respect for what he considers to be the most perfect craft ever invented--the canoe. Since those first strokes, Reid has paddled many miles on the rivers and lakes of Canada, he has worked as a whitewater river guide, and with his wife Becky Mason, they have travelled to many parts of North America to teach canoeing. Reid is a fully accredited Paddle Canada flat water instructor and trainer. But first and foremost Reid is a visual artist. An honors graduate of the Ontario College of Art, he has had solo and group shows of his paintings in many Canadian public and private galleries. Reid is also a skilled photographer and records his trips with Becky, these images illustrate her storytelling slideshows. Reid spends his winters painting in his studio in the Gatineau Hills, sometimes taking time to ski and tend to his hockey rink on the river. The summer months are spent building and repairing canoes for a local outfitter as well as traveling to teach canoeing with Becky, and whenever possible, going on wilderness river canoe trips. And whatever Reid is up to you can be sure he is appreciating life and all that it encompasses with laughter, love and respect.
Dave Niles--Canoeist and Canoe Builder. David, who holds BS and MS degrees, as well as a 6th year certificate, taught school for 36 years: 16 teaching P.E. and 20 as a Sp. Ed teacher of Learning Disabled students. He coached boys and girls in soccer at the club level and coached male and female scholastic teams in basketball, soccer, and track and field. He worked in YMCA Summer Camp for 4 years, was a Mobile Team Counselor for 2 summers with Youth Conservation Corps, and then directed the 8-week residential Youth Conservation Corps camp for 3 summers. He became certified in every Red Cross and YMCA Instructor course offered while in college and passed recertification classes many times in conjunction with summer jobs. He started an overnight outdoor education program for elementary students. Having grown up messing with floating objects in the stream behind his family property, David started canoeing seriously when his aunt, uncle and cousins took him on a 2 week camping trip in the Adirondacks. After paddling every day he has not stopped paddling since! He has restored historical wood-canvas canoes, vintage all wood Canadian canoes, and even a few damaged fiberglass canoes. He has also built "stitch and glue" canoes and kayaks, taught students to make their own canoes, and held a number of build your own canoe /kayak classes. He has made single and double blade paddles and taught classes in making paddles. David has conducted presentations at 2-4 paddling gatherings every summer for the past 23 years and for two decades has been collecting, restoring and selling hand woodworking tools.
Jayne Pearson--Children's Program. Jayne moved to Western Maine in 2016 and fell in love with the mountains and surrounding communities. She grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota where she went north for the summers to spend time canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She worked for 4 summers at a YMCA family camp. Currently, she coordinates programs for teens and tweens, after school programs during the year, and at the Alan Day Community Garden in the summer. Jayne finds joy while cooking, gardening, hiking, canoeing, and playing games. Thrilled to help kids and families enjoy the outdoors together, Jayne will be joining MCS for her first year leading kids activities.
Ray Reitze--Master Maine Guide, Instructor & Naturalist. Ray has been paddling and poling canoes for over forty years. Ray teaches the skills and philosophy of the Elders that have influenced his life since he was a boy. He speaks on wilderness survival at numerous organizations and schools. Ray, and his wife Nancy, co-authored a series of articles on primitive skills entitled Grandfather's Teachings. Ray runs "Heart Teachings of Old Turtle" with his wife Nancy. Visit their website at: www.oldturtle.org.
Maine Canoe Symposium
c/o Winona Camps
35 Winona Road
Bridgton, ME 04009