As the lakes begin to melt, visions of warm days on the water begin to float around the heads of Iowa Great Lakes area locals and tourists.
For some, those visions are of motorized boating. For some, it might be paddle boarding. For some, it’s kayaking.
The Dickinson County Conservation Board wants to help those who dream of kayaking by providing adult classes throughout the summer.
“We have a lot of adults in the area who have taken up kayaking, and we wanted to continue to offer adult kayaking classes because we want to teach appropriate techniques to help make their lives easier on the water and to make their experiences safer,” said Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator. “We have so many great lakes for it. Some of our small lakes are good to explore via kayak, because you can’t get on them with motorized boats.”
Three beginners class sessions will be held at a location to be determined by wind and weather conditions. Select from classes 9 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m. June 24 or 1-4 p.m. June 25. The beginners class will teach skills such as entering and exiting a kayak, paddling and safety. Beginners may bring their own kayak and personal flotation device or may choose to borrow a kayak and PFD from the conservation board.
Even those who are experienced kayakers can learn from the beginners class if they haven’t taken a class from a certified instructor before. American Canoe Association certified instructor Mark Foss teaches all Dickinson County Conservation kayak classes and camps.
“He is just really wonderful because he volunteers his time to teach these classes,” Kuhlman said. “He’s passionate about kayaking.”
Foss will also teach an advanced course for adults who have taken the beginners course and want to delve a little deeper. The advanced course will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 7, and all participants must bring their own kayak — at least 10 feet long — and personal flotation device.
Dickinson County Conservation Board kayak class participants must be at least 16 years old. Each class costs $20 and is limited to five participants, so make sure to register quickly here.
To find out more about the kayaking courses or other conservation board programs, call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up on the latest conservation board news on the Dickinson County Nature Center’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.