I spent many of my formative years in kayaks, competing in both slalom and marathon racing. Only on reaching the US, though, did I discover the joys of canoeing: the relaxed pace, the access to wild places that no other craft offers, the thrill of immersion in nature. Drawing on my love of teaching – I spent 18 years teaching UK high school sciences – I now delight in helping others to share these joys, both by instructing campers directly and by helping counsellors to hone their own paddling and teaching skills. The techniques which drove my competitive paddling now inform my canoeing: all strokes are things of efficiency, effectiveness and elegance, allowing the paddler to go farther to more remote places, to focus on the ambience, not on the mechanics of paddling. This mind-set underpinned my through-paddles, both ways, of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in one of my self-built cedar canoes. Working at ADK since 2005, it is my fervent wish that campers should be inspired to attempt something similar, should develop the skills needed for such a dream to come true, and so should have the opportunity to experience first-hand the powerful sense of achievement and personal growth that I have found through canoeing.