Do you want more than paddling instruction from your weekend canoeing course? Join us for a full weekend of paddling, intentional conversations, and a personal exploration guided by a certified life coach and paddling instructor.
In contrast to taking a regular Lakewater 1 and Lakewater 2 canoeing skills course in a weekend, this is an immersive course. We will spend the weekend camping together, sharing meals and conversation as well as paddling. This weekend retreat will also expose you to professional outdoor skills, activities, and a connected trip culture that you may want to incorporate into your personal multi-day trips.
Bring your biggest life question to a weekend on the water and come away with clarity, vision, and grounded action steps. It’s time to invest in your personal transformation and have a great time doing it, surrounded by wilderness and like minded people, with facilitator guidance.
Elements Adventure Company is very fortunate to have certified life coach, Emily Cole, as one of our most experienced wilderness canoe guides and instructors on our team.
We are excited to offer a special weekend paddling retreat led by Emily, that will combine her skills in canoeing and coaching into one fun weekend of personal growth, movement, canoeing skill development, laughter, and plenty of fresh air.
You can learn more about Emily’s diverse background below and her unique business, Wild Within Coaching here.
This course is intended to be an intro-advanced lakewater canoeing course, open to anyone whether they have prior paddling experience or not. The main focus of the paddling curriculum is the foundational skills required in canoeing – appropriate for even seasoned paddlers. There is always room to fine tune our strokes, enjoy time lake paddling, and offer your support to newer paddlers while picking up a few more advanced tips on the side.
This course is an excellent primer for multi-day back country lake trips, such as the Bowron Lakes Circuit, or develop the prerequisite skills for a moving water level 1 course. With opportunities for practice in both the bow and stern, rescue practice, and on-going feedback for improvement throughout the weekend, you can expect to come away from this course feeling confident with the foundations of safe and skilled lake canoeing.
In addition to covering the most relevant material from our level 1 and 2 tandem flatwater courses, we will focus on transformative processes, meaningful group discussions and offer a variety of other self-care and self-exploration practices. Each experience will be unique to fit the group and Emily comes ready with a flow of topics and curriculum to offer, often themed around purpose, meaningful relationships, clarity of future vision, and integration of grief and loss healing. With years of experience in canoe guiding and wilderness therapy, a balance of structure and flexibility are strengths of the facilitator.
The Value of doing Personal Work Together: Group work can feel very vulnerable at times and in this vulnerability is the power to transform. We create many of our core patterns that no longer serve us while in relationship, and we heal and grow them through relationship. Emphasis on creating and holding a safe container together is a core element of these experiences and gives us the greatest tools to grow in relationship to self and others, feel supported, and learn from alternative perspectives.
Emily Cole has spent over a decade guiding groups in the wilderness. She first began a career as an outdoor educator with university students in central Alberta, and soon found herself guiding world-class wilderness river expeditions such as on the Nahanni River in the NWT. It was on these expeditions where Emily discovered her natural talent for adventure, leading people – and gourmet backcountry cuisine!
The next chapter of her development was in working with at-risk youth in a therapeutic wilderness program in Southeast Alaska – gaining extensive flatwater paddling skills as an added bonus. In this new setting, Emily was able to grow her coaching skills to support youth in creating change in their personal habits and relationships – and it was powerful! This experience and passion led to formal training as a Certified Professional Coach and a Health and Wellness Coach.
Emily has grown her own wilderness therapy and coaching business to guide more people through intentional, transformative wilderness experiences. You can learn more about Emily and Wild Within Coaching here.
You can expect a weekend full of laughter and deep conversations, improvement in paddling skills and better understanding of yourself with what actions to take to bring your greater vision to life.
This weekend will be quite full; it is best to come in well-rested and organized to get the most out of the weekend. We will camp and share meals together, explore ourselves through metaphors of the elements and nature, support each other in clarifying and planning our individual visions, and having fun in a beautiful place all the while. You always have choice in what to participate in and how to show up to that activity. There will be group discussions and structured conversations on offer, guided and free time to journal and space to meditate, relax and have some down time.
As a coach, Emily cares deeply about your breakthrough, and specializes in offering genuine support, encouragement, and celebration while asking the hard questions and cutting through the “BS” to get to what is really going on. While she is not a “woo-woo” lover or advocate, she appreciates the value of both activity and stillness, the doing and being, group time and solo; and will aim to offer a variety of approaches for the group. There may be the opportunity, time allowing, for 1-1 breakthrough coaching throughout the weekend.