Planning Committee
Fran Symes: I was introduced to the "skinny stick" at the same time I was introduced to the kayak.  Although I have had to learn the Euro paddle to earn ACA instructor certifications, I remain a devoted traditional paddler, drawn to its grace, efficiency and contemplative nature.  And I have enormous respect and appreciation for the people and culture that developed this style of paddling quite simply for their survival.  As an original organizer for TIPS I am thrilled at each event to meet other enthusiasts.
Hank Baltar:  In 1996 I bought a sea kayak and for 16 years thought I was a paddler! But one hour in an ACA IDW in 2012, revealed I was clueless.  That epiphany spurred me on to earn ACA Coastal kayak Instructor and Day Trip Leader certifications as well as a BCU 3 Star ranking.  During a rolling class, a Greenland "stick" was placed in my hands and I have not looked back.  I now own 3.  TIPS 2015 taught me just how much fun Traditional paddling can be.
Debbie Seabrook:  I discovered kayaking as a means to maintain sanity in a stressful government job.  I am now retired and keep busy as a yoga teacher (200 RYT), hobby farmer, kayak mentor ( lapsed ACA L2) and master naturalist/citizen scientist.  I particularly enjoy helping fellow kayakers discover the more mindful side of paddling.  Greenland style kayaking fits right into that attitude.  I have enjoyed guiding the yoga sessions at TIPS for the last three years.
Janie Butcher: I knew nothing about Traditional paddling so, for me, it all began with the paddle.  I had been paddling for a number of years before I was handed a Greenland paddle to try for rolling.  That sold me on rolling with a "stick" and opened the door to a whole new world of kayaking.  My ACA instructor certification requires me to maintain proficiency with the euro blade, but for rolling and for most of my paddling, I'm most comfortable with my "stick" in hand.
J​ane Rosalind Wywrot Gulden:  Though I began as a modern (Euro-blade) paddler, I soon discovered greenlandic qajaqing and realized this was the path for my journey. Nevertheless, I enjoy mentoring both the modern and Traditional kayaking skills.  I have led workshops for making a tuilik (the greenlandic splash jacket/spray skirt), akuilisaq (Greenlandic summer spray skirt), and other greenlandic qajaqing gear.  I pursued my ACA Coastal Kayak L3 instructor certification to obtain my Traditional Paddling Endorsement.
Jeff Atkins:  Jeff is a 25 year veteran Park Ranger with SC State Parks and Charleston County Parks.  He has led outdoor programs all over South Carolina.  Paddle sports are his passion and he loves to spread the "infectious" recreation activity to others.  He believes in having fun, learning and helping others to expand their knowledge and skills.  "There is nothing like the feeling of seeing a person smile because they just did something they didn't think they could do."