Canoe Poling Weekend Intensive


  • Course Info
  • Dates: 8/13-8/14 2022
  •  Max. Size: 10
  • Tuition: $400 ($325 with your own boat)

Poling a canoe is a skill that will make you able to navigate waters you wouldn’t even think of with a paddle. It requires a different skill and mindset than paddling and is one of the most rewarding, but challenging skills we teach. This weekend program will give you the basics of poling a canoe, as well as some of the other skills required such as reading water and trimming a boat (moving the weight where it needs to be). This is a great way to spend a summer weekend on the water, and learn how untrue the phrase “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to stand up in a canoe” is. This course will set you up for greater success if you choose to attend some of the longer river trips we run.

Students can either camp out on the SOTF campus for the weekend or meet us each morning for the start of class. This course is designed for all ages, but anyone under 15 will need a parent or other adult with them.

Topics covered include:

  • Poling Upstream
  • Snubbing (Traveling downstream with a pole)
  • Turning with a pole
  • Trimming A Boat Correctly
  • Picking A Line Up Rips And Rapids
  • “Getting your legs”, and Moving Comfortably In A Canoe To Adjust Trim
  • Lining A Canoe

Gear List

  • PFD (Life Jacket)
  • Clothes that can get wet
  • Paddle (We have spares if you don’t have one)
  • Canoe (Optional; there is a $75 discount for providing your own boat)

Travel Information and Directions: Our campus is located just outside of Brattleboro Vermont in a little town called Guilford. After you register you will receive local driving directions to our site.

Arrival and Departure:   Plan to arrive on Friday afternoon if staying on campus for the weekend, between 4 and 6. We’ll have dinner, a group introduction and a tour of the grounds starting at 5. The course is over on Sunday at 4 PM.

Accommodations:   Bring a tent, tarp, or another shelter. It will be your home for the week. For summer programs please consider bringing a bug net if you don’t have noseeum netting on your tent. We’re located just outside of Brattleboro, and there are plenty of hotels and air BnB style lodging available if needed.

Meals:   Information on food and meals at the field school is located at About The Field School: Food.

Cancellation and Refund Policies:   Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.

What is included with the tuition:   Included in the tuition are all camping fees, group food, instruction, and group gear.

What is not included with the tuition:   Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any food or meals other than the group bulk foods provided.

Course Insurance:   Adventure travel and wilderness education are not inexpensive, and anything can happen when we’re in the bush. We recommend that all participants have medical insurance. We also recommend you protect your investment with travel insurance for trips and tuition insurance for courses.

Tobacco:   Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.

Vehicles and Parking:  We’re located on a private dirt down a gravel road. During the winter and spring the road can be impassable for 2-wheel drive vehicles.

Telephone: We don’t have a phone or electricity in our teaching area. If you need to be in constant phone contact please consider bringing a cell phone, and if you need to charge a phone (or other electronic devices), please look into getting a charger or bringing extra batteries.

Other: Please don’t bring any pets or illegal drugs.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factors that make them impractical or unsafe.

If you have questions about the course, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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