The decision was unveiled at the recent Outdoor Retailer Conference, putting the icing on top of eNRG Kayaking’s hugely successful 2007 Paddling Life College Tour. Outdoor Geographic Awareness Award applicants are evaluated based on the overall reach, effectiveness, creativity, benefit to the outdoor industry and ease of replication of their campaigns. eNRG’s 2007 Paddling Life College Tour scored highly in each criteria.
1,000 students attended programs provided during the campaign, and 250,000 more were reached over the internet. The next tour is slated to take place between January and March of 2009, spanning the Northwest. While no schools have yet been specified for the upcoming tour the current plan is to sweep through northwestern Oregon, Washington, Idaho and possibly California. Details fill be finalized toward the end of September.
During the tour Drevo, eNRG’s Dave Hoffman and Andy Maser of the Epicocity Project provided college students with film festivals showcasing the ethics of adventure, exploration and environmental stewardship at the core of paddlesports, and first timers interested in the sport were invited onto the water to try kayaking under the guidance of professionals. “It’s very rewarding to go to colleges and introduce people to the idea of kayaking and actually get them doing it, putting them in boats,” Dave said of the program. “It empowered me to teach other boaters when I was in college and I’m super pumped to be able to share that experience with others.” Novice boaters played games and were encouraged to broaden their local boating community while experienced paddlers were offered instructor certification and swiftwater rescue courses, creating more student leaders.
The success of the tour came at a price for Dave Hoffman, the school’s PDX Director and Lead Instructor. “Maser and I ran the show last fall in the Southeast, living in a Chevy Tahoe for six or eight weeks. That’s a long time to live in a truck with him.” Just goes to show that any hygienic sacrifice is worth the opportunity to grow the sport by the thousands.
For more information check out eNRGKayaking.com.
— Sam Weiss