Florida Paddlers' Rendezvous


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From Gwen Beatty, ACKC 

Well.... It's finally over.  I'm still partially sane in spite of all the mishaps...


  • Trip leader illnesses and surgeries...
  • Arrowhead Campground problems and the eventual coup...
  • The CSX construction barrier across the Chipola...
  • Low water on Ocheesee Pond...
  • Everybody wanting to paddle Econfina Creek and not enough trip leaders...
  • Having to cancel the first day of the paddle because of rain and thunder...
  • Trying to schedule a program on Friday night and not hearing back until Friday afternoon...
  • Trying to schedule another program on Friday night and never hearing from them...
  • Being told that the put-in on Dry Creek is privately owned and off limits...


I think there were a few more problems but I've managed to forget them.  In spite of it all, we managed to pull it off and did a damn fine job of it.  You can't believe the good feedback I received over the four days of the Rendezvous.


Everyone told me that we had a great website. I pointed at Butch Farmer and firmly placed the blame on him.  I hastened to add that he had a hand in the front t-shirt design and was so creative that we could barely shut him down in time to place the order in time to get the t-shirts before the Rendezvous began.  When they admired the ACKC patch on my cap, I was relentless in implicating Liz Farmer for her skills with the sewing machine.


It was amazing how smoothly registration was handled.  I think everyone who attended the Rendezvous found the occasion to comment on it.  I was quick to place the blame on Kay Cleary who handled the incoming registrations and Cathy Briggs who stayed up Weds night putting the finishing touches on the registration sign up list.  She even emailed instructions to us before she arrived so we would know exactly what to do and who hadn't paid and who needed to sign a waiver, etc.  


Rendezvous participants knew the drill before they arrived...what to do and where to be.  They had great things to say about the ACKC emails that they received periodically instructing them.  That was Kay's doing and I didn't let her get away with it, I told everyone.


People liked the t-shirt design so much that many of them wanted us to place another order so they could purchase one.  Geoff Wilson planning for next years FPR 2013 event, wants to have Dave Watson from Homestead Imprinted Sportswearto provide the t-shirts for next year's Rendezvous.  That was Dan Dobbins and his team of Carole Butler and Linda Nicholsen who came up with the design and sorted and placed the orders.  Didn't they do a wonderful job!


I received a tremendous amount of positive feedback on the trips booklet that Tom Butler wrote up to be included in each registration packet.  Everyone marveled at the detailed directions to the put-ins and take-outs and all the pertinent information included for each paddling event.  I had to refer to it myself one morning when I was so tired that I couldn't remember the highway exit for my trip.

Trips... what would they be without "Leaders & Sweeps". This is a list of our most valuable assets for the Rendezvous;

 Art Cooper,  Bill Croswell,  Carole Butler,  Cathy Briggs,  Charlotte Hand,  Christine Francescani,  Diane Pickett,  Don Kelly,  Frances Stone,  Gwen Beatty,  Jim Owens,  John Lorenz,  John Munn,  Kathy Newman,  Kay Cleary,  Kerrie Barloga,  Knox & Holly Parker,  Linda Nicholsen,  Lynn Hepner,  Red Cherry,  Ronnie Traylor,  Steve Urse,  Tom Butler,  Tom Riish,  Zoe Kulakowski.

(Hope I didn't miss anyone!)


Our own Rose Burnett surprised us all by playing the dulcimer at the campfire on Friday and Saturday night.  She's really good.  We need to talk her into playing for us at the ACKC xmas party.  There was something so relaxing about sitting around the campfire and listening to music.  I didn't want it to end.


Jane Flietman, Joanne Fletcher, Kathy Cherry, Kathy Criscola, Jean Munn, Dan Dobbins, and Susan Crosswell all helped with the registration desk and allowed the rest of us to lead paddling events.  It was great having a team of people that we could count on to be there early in the morning and late at night to register new arrivals.


Linda Nicholsen also touched base with the Marianna Chamber of Commerce and picked up discount coupons to a couple restaurants and brochures featuring local attractions.  Tom and Carole Butler found a back-up location for the potluck on Saturday in case we needed it.  Ten days prior to the Rendezvous, the management who was leasing Arrowhead Campground was replaced by the owners who was not aware of the impending event.  The owner, Leigh Carraway, made an all-out effort to spruce up the pavilion and replace the overhead lights.  Had she not stepped in, we would have been holding our potluck across town at Citizens Lodge.


Many of our club members worried that Gary Sisco had to hang around the campground and he wasn't having fun paddling like the rest of us.  It's true, he didn't even take his canoe off the truck. I'm pretty sure he had a good time anyway.  Didn't he do a great job building campfires on Friday and Saturday evening?  Although I had to leave too early every morning to enjoy coffee, I understand that he kept the pot ready and waiting for anyone needing a cup to get him or her started.


I was amazed at how many of you offered to lead and co-lead paddling events even without me threatening you with bodily harm.  I received so many compliments on how organized and knowledgeable each of you were as trip leaders, so many compliments.  Okay...I actually got a little tired of hearing how good the cookies were on Art's Econfina Creek paddles.  You can't be showing us up like that Art.  


Anyway, the Rendezvous is finally over and I can take my life back.  I will miss the teamwork and all the Rendezvous planning meetings.  I'll miss the great ideas we bounced around. It will take awhile to get use to a normal schedule, but I'm sure we will be planning more trips soon… Just not for the whole state of Florida!

Take care and paddle safely,

A note, from the many ACKC minions…

This event would not have been the success it was without the leadership of Gary Sisco and Gwen Beatty. Their attention to detail and personal drive to see this succeed was motivating for us all.


Thank you, The Minions



To Participants, A Big "Thank you"!

As in all events of this nature there is the possibility for things to go wrong. Even when the weather didn't cooperate or the couple of hiccups on trips, we sincerely appreciate everyones patience and flexibility. You have helped a lot in making this a landmark paddling event.
Thanks, from ACKC 

I  hope everyone found the information here helpful in planning your Rendezvous 2012 Trip selections. We look forward to meeting and sharing the rivers with you all.     

See you soon!

Gary Sisco, President

Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club

If you had problems downloading the registration packet, send an email to xxxxxxxxx and we will send one to your email address.