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Our Mentoring Philosophy

At the Hudson River Greenland Festival, we focus on on-the-water (and on-the-ropes) sharing of the skills passed to us from the Arctic cultures. In Greenland, skills are passed from a mentor to a learner. As the learner progresses, skills are passed forward. At HRGF, we have adopted this "mentoring" approach to skills sharing. In this approach, everybody learns, and everybody teaches. Pay it forward.


For the newcomer, what to expect paddling at HRGF:


There will be informal paddling/mentoring sessions on Friday. Park in the tiny lot to the extreme right of the swimming beaches (turn North at the guard shack). Launch on the beach. It is an informal, jam-session style opportunity to paddle with friends, work on new skills, or help friends with theirs. 


Before and after dinner on Friday night, you will find sign-up sheets for the Saturday sessions. During this time, members of the mentoring team can guide you in choosing what skill you wish to work on. Fear not! These session assignments are not terribly rigid...sometimes attendees want to change their direction once the Saturday session starts. But the sign-up process helps us organize the teams for the morning. 


On Saturday morning, the more formal on-the-water sessions start. Park in the big lot filled with vehicles with roof racks. Carry your kayaks and gear to Mother's Lap Beach, directly across from the lot. It’s a long carry from the parking lot to the beach so a kayak cart can be very useful.  Don't be shy, ask for help carrying your gear!


Participants and mentors will break into small groups for the sessions.

Skills sessions may be offered in:

Strokes: Be the boss of your kayak. The forward stroke using the Greenland paddle, turning strokes, edging, and bracing will be explored.

Rescues: Safely help your paddling friends back into their kayaks after a capsize, and with an emphasis on low-volume skin-on-frame kayaks.

Bracing and Rolling: kinngusaqattaarneq in Greenlandic. Explore the range from upside-right to upside-down, and back. Different methods can be explored, along with working on difficult-to-master rolls. Many participants focus on this activity at HRGF, due to the warm water and high concentration of enthusiastic mentors.

Saturday lunch will be served at the beach.

Sunday morning sessions will follow the same format as Saturday.

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