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Natalie Thomas is a Paddle Canada certified SUP instructor for Basic and Advanced levels. She grew up in Truro Nova Scotia. She’s a registered Dietitian and moved to Norris Point to work as a dietitian in her 20's, looking for a new adventure. Here in Gros Morne National Park she found new level of love for all things outdoors, hiking, trail running, ski touring and SUP. Her favorite place to paddle is right in her front yard, exploring Burnt Hill and Bonne Bay. She has paddled a number of locations across NL and enjoy the physical challenge of SUP. The aspect she most enjoys about instructing, is witnessing participants skill development and seeing the empowerment people get from achieving a new skill.
Check out Natalie and her husband’s website at www.grosmorneoutdoor.ca
Keith is a Paddle Canada instructor in advanced solo and tandem lake and moving water canoeing ,in wilderness camping and an instructor trainer in all 3 disciplines He’s a certified sea kayak instructor and an instructor trainer in cross-country skiing. Keith lives in Corner Brook but was born in Rocky Hr. and moved to Corner Brook when he was 10. After retiring from the teaching profession in 2003 he worked as a hunting and fishing guide and then as a manager in the industry. He currently divides his time between canoe and ski instructing, guiding tours in Norris Point and guiding big game hunters. He recently purchased a white water kayak and is really loving that. His favorite type of paddling is wilderness river tripping, especially in Labrador.
Kevin is an advanced solo and tandem Paddle Canada Instructor Trainer (IT) in the disciplines of Lake Canoe, Leadership Camping and Moving Water. Kevin grew up in St. John's where he worked a variety of summer jobs at YMCA camps. When he accepted a waterfront director position the Y sent him to a 10 day Paddle Canada (PC) canoe school and there he began his paddling and PC canoe Instructor journey. Kevin is former chair of PC's Program Development and Technical committees that set and refined the paddling standards for Canada. He is a long-time paddler, educator, writer, and author having co-authored canoe, kayak and sea kayak guidebooks for Newfoundland and Labrador. Kevin holds a PhD with a focus on curriculum, and especially Outdoor Education/Land Based Learning. Through some of Kevin’s adventures he has paddled ~750 km across Labrador, Lab City to Goose Bay, across NL, Gallants to Springdale, bicycle ~800 km across the NL Trailway, skied ~1600 km north of 72 deg latitude at temperatures to -50 deg C. Kevin lives in Portugal Cove with his wife Sophia. In his spare time he enjoys paddling, skiing, bicycling, hiking, salmon fishing and photography.
Check out Kevin’s website at: www.Kevinredmond.ca
Shannon Sweetland is a Paddle Canada certified Level 2 Sea Kayak Instructor and Canoe Instructor.
Shannon’s was first introduced to paddling as part of the Scouts Canada canoeing program. However,
Sea Kayaking intrigued him early in his teaching career in Woody Point where he developed a great
appreciation for the mobility and durability of the sea kayak and its connection with the ocean.
Shannon enjoys many types of paddling such as flatwater and whitewater canoeing and kayaking.
However, his favorite paddling is exploring ocean coastlines, rock hopping, surfing and just being on
the open water. Recently, Shannon is enjoying rediscovering the rugged shores of his hometown Port
Union and other areas of the Bonavista Peninsula which has been designated as a Discovery Global
Geopark! Shannon owns and operates Element Outdoor Education offering experiential adventure
programming, experiences and paddling and archery certification to youth and adults. Shannon hopes
by exposing participants to their natural environment through activities designed for exploring the
outdoors they will become stewards for the environment and learn to appreciate the beauty of our
province and maintain it for future generations. Shannon currently lives on the province's west coast in the community Corner Brook where he works as a Physical Education teacher. Shannon has over 21
years of experience teaching and coaching people of all ages and ability levels. Shannon has
certifications in many areas of sport and outdoor education and continues to learn new skills to
challenge himself and pass along his knowledge to others. In his spare time, Shannon enjoys many
sports, outdoor activities, mountain biking, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing and having adventures with
his four boys!
Check out Shannon Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/findyourelement/
and Shannon’s website: https://www.elementode.com
Shane grew up in central Newfoundland, and currently lives in CBS. He began paddling about 8 years
ago through the local PNL club. Before long he was doing week long camping trips in different
locations around the island. His love for paddling led him to seek out courses as his skill level
advanced quickly. He’s currently a Level 2 Sea Kayak instructor and loves paddling in surf and
current. For Shane, the most rewarding part of being an instructor is watching new paddlers move
beyond being nervous in a kayak as their skill and confidence grows. When he’s not in his kayak, he
can likely be found on his mountain bike or out exploring with his two boys.
Christopher has been kayaking on the sea and rivers for over 25 years and still sees the magic in
sharing the water with students and friends. He has earned his ACA Advanced Open Water Sea
Kayak Instructor, as well as The ACA level 4 Whitewater kayaking instructor certifications. He earned
his BCU 4 star award and is a Master Maine Sea Kayaking Guide. He is also a Wilderness First
Responder and a licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer and K-12 Heath and Physical Education
Teacher. Christopher is also a proud member of the P&H Custom Sea Kayaks Pro Paddling Team.
With Roots in the mountains and skiing in New Hampshire, Christopher and his wife took a trip to
Maine to try Sea Kayaking many years ago. Kayaking obsessed him so they stayed in Searsport,
Maine and his kayaking journey began and continues. Christopher loves teaching all aspects of
kayaking, from basic skills up to complex and advanced environments. He has a very unique way of
turning fear into fun by demystifying complex environments and breaking them down so students can
understand the dynamics and break through barriers to learning. He has the ability to differentiate his
instruction so every student in a group gets to meet their own personal challenges and above all enjoy
Christopher enjoys all paddling environments especially currents like those found at his
home play spot of Blue Hill. He spends his time playing in the tide races, rock gardens and beach
breaks of Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Iceland. He also enjoys journeying by kayak and
all the aspects of trip planning and risk reduction. Basically, if there is water and a kayak involved he
is ready to rock! Christopher believes that Kayaking can be for everybody. He takes great pride in
helping folks get the most out of their kayaking life. Weather that's bashing about in the rocks and
swell or gliding over a calm mirror-like bay. He strives to connect with his students to understand each
individuals learning needs. And above all he believes that kayaking should be fun! Chances are if you
see him in a kayak, He has a huge smile, loud laugh and is ready to share some water with you.
Robbie grew up in Corner Brook and spends his summers in Norris Point working in the tourism business. He first got into paddling through his father in-law, Keith Payne who is a well known canoe instructor. His career path brought him to Gros Morne Adventures which has been operating kayak tours in Bonne Bay for over 30 years.
Robbie has Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 2 skills and is a newly certified Level 1 instructor and he's excited to share his paddling knowledge with new paddlers. His favorite type of paddling is coastal play in Bonne Bay.
Peter Thurlow is a Paddle Canada Level 1 instructor, based out of Norris Point. Before the oceans consumed his mind, he chased a career in the mountains, and other environments that make you feel small. Upon leaving Western Canada with his now wife Meigan, they bought kayaks, and lashed them to the Uhaul for the big move back to Newfoundland in 2013. Peter had never been in a sea kayak, but knew if he was moving back home, the ocean was going to become the new playground. Peter enjoys putting himself into learning opportunities on the water, and gets great satisfaction watching other people develop their paddling experience. Surfing and coastal play are Peters preferred time in a boat, but he keeps his paddling well rounded with longer trips, symposiums, and almost any opportunity that could build his skills.
Jeff has been paddling both canoe and kayak for nearly 25 years and instructing for more than 15. He holds Level 4 skill and level 2 instructor in the sea kayak program and numerous tandem and solo canoe instructor certifications. Jeff has taught the Adventure Tourism/Outdoor Recreation program at the College of the North Atlantic for more than 10 years teaching outdoor leadership, expedition behaviour, various skill courses (CANSI and Paddle Canada) and wilderness survival.
Jeff is past President of Paddle Canada and is a Master Trainer for the national PaddleSmart program. In addition, Jeff has spent many years volunteering with the Duke of Edinburgh program teaching wilderness navigation, leadership and paddling skills. Jeff is a graduate of the Outdoor Recreation program at Acadia University.
Jeff is extremely passionate about extended tripping and has participated in and led more wilderness expeditions by way of the paddle than perhaps anyone else in our province. Jeff believes in the power that wilderness tripping has on an individual to recreate the soul and provide valuable life lessons in a way that only the wilderness can.
Robert started paddling kayaks in 1992 in the UK. After seeing some video of white water paddling he attended a beginners white water paddling course put on by the YMCA. He initially paddled only white water and about 2005 started paddling sea kayaks and decided teaching and guiding would be a good way of staying out of trouble during retirement.
Over the last 10 years he has worked as an instructor and guide with Cape LaHave Adventures, Pleasant Paddling, Candlebox Kayaking and Sea Sun Kayak Island Coast Adventures.
Robert holds Paddle Canada Sea kayak level 3 skills and level 1 instructor, Paddle Canada rolling instructor, Paddle Canada Beginner River kayak instructor, British Canoe Union Sea Kayak 4* leader award and BCU coastal navigation certificate and Canadian Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid Though he still enjoys white water paddling he has come to prefer sea kayaking because or the variety facets from gentle touring in flat calm and multi day trips to coping with 6 foot waves on tidal races and surf. He has coached at the Shelbourne Kayak Festival and the Cape Breton Kayak Festival and has been appointed to coach at the Bay of Fundy Kayak Symposium later this year. He has also assisted with Paddle Canada level 2 courses.
Mark grew up in Riverhead, Harbour Grace and has paddled canoe for most of his life. He got into sea kayaking about 4 years ago after seeing more kayaks around the road and highways. Mark figured kayaking opened up more paddling opportunities, especially in Newfoundland.
He has the following certification: - Intermediate Lake Tandem - Advanced Lake Solo - Intermediate Moving Water Solo - Level 2 Sea Kayak skills - Level 1 Sea Kayak Instructor (completed fall 2022)
Mark enjoys dynamic water paddling most. - Rock hopping, surfing and tidal play in a kayak - River paddling and lake tripping in a canoe His favourite place to paddle is Placentia for the tide race and tidal paddling conditions.