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Community Coaches Network: Intro to Whitewater Kayaking & River Running

  • New England Outdoor Center 30 Twin Pines Road Millinocket, ME, 04462 United States (map)

This three-day course is designed to give you a fun, low-stress, and engaging introduction to whitewater kayaking and river running, while also exploring how paddlesports can play an effective role in strengthening your community. Join others from OSI’s Community Coaches Network as we spend a beautiful summer weekend in the Kathadin Region on the West Branch of the Penobscot, one of Maine’s most iconic stretches of river.

Over the course of three days we’ll move from dry land to flatwater to whitewater, all under the shadow of Katahdin. The evenings will be filled with good food and relaxing accommodations at the New England Outdoor Center, with lively presentations and discussions on how paddling can play a powerful role in the active, outdoor community where you live.

Itinerary at a glance

Friday, August 16th

  • Introductions & Weekend Overview

  • Equipment Outfitting and Overview

  • Flatwater Skills & Rescues

  • Evening Presentation – The Power of Water

Saturday, August 17th

  • Introduction to water reading

  • Strokes & Maneuvers

  • Evening Presentation – Community Programming

Sunday, August 18th

  • River running

  • Introduction to river rescue & safety

Price $625 - instruction, equipment, meals & lodging

Food & Lodging – We will be spending the weekend based in the beautiful accommodations at the New England Outdoor Center, along the shores of Millinocket Lake. Meals will be provided family style beginning with dinner on the first evening and ending with lunch on the final day.

Equipment Participants need to provide personal items including clothes and a sleeping bag. Technical equipment and group camping gear will be provided by OSI. A packing list will be provided upon registration.

Registration / Cancellation

To register please email

Cancellations by July 19th will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations after July 19th will not be refunded.


No previous paddling experience is required. This course is open to current members of the Skowhegan Community Team and the OSI Community Coaches Network.

Coaches Our courses are led by outdoor sport professionals. They are skilled teachers, guides, coaches, and facilitators, and they are passionate about sharing outdoor sport with others.

The Outdoor Sport Institute

The mission of OSI is to strengthen communities through outdoor sport, and explore outdoor sport through community. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization.

We seek to:

  • Build a community’s capacity to envision and create an active, outdoor culture

  • Build capacity of teens and adults to serve as outdoor sport mentors & leaders where they live

  • Foster intergenerational relationships within the community through outdoor sport

  • Use outdoor sport to teach skills that foster self-determination capacities including but not limited to self-efficacy, self-confidence, resilience, discipline, risk management, judgment, and decision making.

For more information contact:

Michael Smith, Executive Director