Our 2015 Mentors

 

DSC_0029 Don Beale carved his first paddle in 1999 and it took nine paddles before he had one he liked. He sold his first paddle in 2002 and, since then, has created over 600 paddles including many that are part of the Qajaq USA demo inventory. Don has led multiple paddle making workshops at Training Camp. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen him and couldn’t be more delighted to have him return.In addition to his skills as a paddlemaker, Don will join us on the water. He is an ACA level 5 instructor and has completed BCU 4-star sea leader training. He teaches for the Oregon Ocean Paddling Society, and offers private instruction.
Christopher Crowhurst Christopher Crowhurst, an ex-pat Brit now living in Minnesota USA, is slightly obsessed with Greenland rolling. In 2010 he founded Qajaq Rolls, a philanthropic business that promotes the traditional art of Greenland-style kayak (qajaq) rolling. Christopher has developed video, diagrams and written instruction to help paddlers learn the traditional Greenland rolls. During 2010 he self-published “Rolling with Sticks”, a waterproof guide book of 25 Greenland-style rolls, and followed this up with a companion DVD. In 2011 he used the business to establish and fund a program of free rolling clinics providing hands-on training for paddlers looking to develop their Greenland-style kayak rolls. He’s been a valued member of our staff for a couple years and is back by popular demand!
Ernie Forgione We’re pleased to welcome first-time QTC mentor, Ernie Forgione, a registered Maine Guide, qajaq builder and ACA L4 open water instructor (with traditional and adaptive paddling endorsements). Like many paddlers he is a ‘retired power hiker’ who discovered it was easier to let the kayak carry the gear while still enjoying the fascination of reaching new destinations. Among his most interesting places where he has worked, lived and/or enjoyed extended stays are Antarctica, the Middle East, New Zealand and Atlantic Canada. In his ‘for pay’ life he is a math instructor at a community college. Ernie lives on an island and his favorite place to paddle is Muscongus Bay.
Tim Gallaway In May of 2012, after graduating from Lake Superior State University with a mechanical engineering degree, Tim Gallaway embarked on a solo and self-supported kayak expedition that would take him from his home waters of the Great Lakes along historic water routes through Canada to the edge of the sea on the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway following voyageur highways from the headwaters to the ocean. Many people have said it was a trip of a lifetime but he would disagree, it was his first trip of a lifetime. Tim loves paddling—he surfs, he rolls, and he’s Qajaq USA’s official midwest ropes guy!
Chuck Smith Chuck Smith first attended our training camp in 2008 and he hasn’t missed a year since! During the winter season he’s well known for leading SOF construction classes at the TechShop in Allen Park. An avid paddler and accomplished builder, Chuck will be leading a workshop on Friday where participants will create flotation bags for SOF qajaqs.
Additional 2015 mentors are Training Camp regulars who have always been so generous with their time – Diane Carr, Henry Davies, Renee DuFresne, Don Jay and Danielle Steffey. Sharon Bustamante returns in her role coordinating the on-water experience. Nancy Thornton, continues as chief of logistics and administration.

Sharon Bustamante

Sharon Bustamante

Diane Carr

Diane Carr

Henry Davies

Henry Davies

Renee DuFresne

Renee DuFresne

Don Jay

Don Jay

Danielle Steffey

Danielle Steffey

Nancy Thornton

Nancy Thornton