Newsletter 134

 

AOAC Newsletter
 

Well, who's up for a hug 😆.....it's been so long! I was going to say no-one's safe, not even you Sarah, but then it's still a good thing to be somewhat cautious and careful; we really don't want to be locked down again, do we? 🤔 So, you're all off the hook!

Looking back through Mailchimp, I wish I was a bit more on the ball....if I was I could have celebrated my 100th newsletter or my 4-year anniversary....as it is the anniversary has passed and I've published 106 newsletters! Think of all that blood, sweat and tears.....oh, and the joy of bringing you all the news and excitement from our fabulous club.

Anyway, less of the chat, let's get on with it.

Message from the Chair
Great to see so many events happening and photos on the AOAC Facebook page of smiling faces. I hope you have all been able to get out there and join in the fun.  

Thanks to everyone who has organised events, led, coached, updated procedures, moved equipment, and so many other things that have happened to get activities started safely again. Too many to mention but all your efforts are greatly appreciated.

There are lots of activities on the calendar and more being added all time so keep an eye out, or volunteer to lead/organise your own event – there are lots of people who can help you if you’re not sure about where to start.

If you have found it difficult to book on an activity due to restricted numbers there is good news. Maximum group size for organised activities is now 30. It is up to the organiser/leader to specify numbers and they may choose to have less if the activity requires.

For now we will continue to use the current system of booking events via the website rather than the forum (including the 25p charge). Once restrictions are fully lifted (June 21st at earliest), events can be arranged via the forum or website as per pre-COVID. All members will be updated via email when changes are made.

Good news also is that campsites with shared facilities are now open so we can start having overnight trips. It will be a while before indoor residential trips are allowed but it’s great to have more freedom.

Numbers for social gatherings, car sharing, shuttles and social distancing guidelines also currently vary between England, Wales and Scotland.  Please read the latest SOP and risk assessments when organising/leading/participating in an event and follow the guidelines in the area you are doing your activity.

In other news, welcome to Steve who will be sharing the Equipment Officer role with Lee.

Hope to meet lots of you on an event soon. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or any of the committee if you have any ideas/comments/suggestions about Club-related matters.

Katie 
AOAC Chair 
[email protected]

 

Paddlesports with AOAC (British Canoeing Affiliated Club)
You may have noticed that there has been an increase in paddlesport activity on our event calendar. This is the time of year when we are confined mainly to flat water, calmer seas and hopefully some warmer weather so we run our ‘Taster Days’ and British Canoeing (BC) courses. Our Taster Days are intended to give you a fun introduction to paddlesports and the different types of craft we have available. You can try an open canoe, a whitewater kayak.

British Canoeing Awards

BC Discover Award - If you wish to continue and of course everyone does, we then have our British Canoeing certified courses. Discover level is our introductory course and will help you to develop your practical skills, awareness of the environment and learn about equipment used. This can be completed in either an open canoe or a kayak. We run this course over two evenings plus two full days on the river. All kit required is included.

Once you have completed a Discover course you can take part in touring trips using the longer touring kayaks

BC Explore Award – Following on from the Discover award the Explore award will help you to become independent on the water, go on self-guided adventures and know how to control your craft and stay safe. We run this course in either open canoes or kayaks over one evening and two full days on the river. All kit is included.

Introduction to Sea Kayaking - After Explore award you can attend an Introduction to sea kayaking.

Monday Evening Coached Sessions – If you have completed the Discover award or are paddling at that level you can attend the Monday evening coached sessions. These evenings are intended to help you build your paddling skills and confidence in preparation for the Explore award as well as getting to know the Club’s coaches and other paddlers. Any kit required can be hired through the Club website when booking.

MWSS (Moving Water Safety Skills) – This is an internal course designed to introduce you to paddling on moving water with a large amount of time spent on safety and rescues. Suitable after successful completion of Explore award. We usually run this at Symonds Yat on the River Wye over two days.

Once you have completed MWSS or a similar external safety course you can then attend the full day, weekend and European paddling trips that are advertised on the events calendar. These can be whitewater kayaking, open canoe trips, touring kayak trips. You can also take part in sea kayaking introductory courses, usually held throughout the Spring and Summer. If you want to progress further in either whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking or open canoeing we can help to arrange courses with external providers.

If you want any further information please see our website for paddle leader contact details:
Elinor G. – Paddlesport Leader
Janet A. – Head of Coaching
Irene B. – Whitewater Deputy
Andy W. – Open Canoe Deputy
Keith C. – Touring Deputy
Stephen H. – Sea Kayaking Deputy

Irene

 

Walks Coordinator – Andy S.
I love being outside with like-minded people and enjoy many AOAC sports, so joining the club 3 years ago was an excellent move. I’ve made great friends and done things I never expected to do – in a good way! Walking is my main thing and I’ve been fortunate to walk with the club in delightful parts of the UK as well as further afield in Slovenia and the Pyrenees.

Since March it’s been super to see how quickly our walking programme has got off the ground and I’d like to thank all those who’ve taken the time to organise and lead walks. Excitingly, our walks in Wales kick off again very soon.

As walks coordinator I’m keen to support a full and varied walks programme and encourage skill development at all levels. These support each other of course. Do get in touch if you would like to get more involved or have questions, comments or ideas. I’ll hope to see you on a walk soon!
Andy 
[email protected]


Take a look at all the walks on the calendar right now (full details in Events list below)......
 

Creatures Great and Small
With the weather warming up cattle are out and about in the fields and ticks are more active. It's worth being mindful of the risks from both.

These guides from The Ramblers and Public Health England are well worth a look.

http://Walking near Livestock

http://Enjoy the outdoors but ‘be tick aware’

‘Smidge’ and ‘mosi-guard natural’ are DEET free repellents used by some club members.

Andy S.

Events - Who came up with that idea?
After twelve months of gazing at a fairly bleak Club calendar,  I am pleased to see that it is now filling out nicely with lots of lovely and interesting activities.  So who decides what we have on offer? The short answer is the members of the Club; nearly every event on the calendar is the result of a member having an idea for an event and then using the resources on the AOAC website to transform that idea into a workable event.

Some events are perennials like the New Year trip, ski trip, sailing trip - the organisational effort required to make these happen is Herculean and usually falls on the shoulders of a few good members.  We have also seen the first of the British Canoeing courses this weekend with more on the horizon.  Thanks to everyone who has made this happen.  New Member weekends are organised by our Membership Officer who is resigned to the task of finding lovely locations at a reasonable cost and laying on some adventure.   All the other events are down to you.

One of the most important things to remember is that you don't actually need to have any experience to put an event on. All we ask is that events must have an approved activity leader taking part, and the Club has lots of those ready and waiting. Approved leaders are a pre-requisite in order for our insurance to cover everyone attending the event. Some activities are outside of our insurance cover, swimming being the most obvious example, which is why you will not see wild swimming on the calendar as an official activity. Unofficially, it might happen, but not as a Club activity.

There are activity coordinators as well who can help develop your idea into a safe and workable trip with the necessary support for routes, equipment and the like.  Activities can even be organised through third-party if it is something that is beyond the current Club offerings but might appeal to members.   We have had a few first-timers step up and organise some trips lately, which is awesome.   Anyone who organises a trip gets an invite to the annual gathering that in pre-pandemic times was called the Organisers' Party.  If this isn't an inducement in itself, I don't know what is. 

So if you have spotted a good place for a walk, a delicious looking stretch of water or know of a bunkhouse in the hills, then why not propose it as an event?   There is a option for proposing events on the Arrange Events tab on the Club's website and that is where it all starts.  It doesn't have to be a fully fledged plan as we can help you if you need it.   When coming up with a date for your event, you need to be mindful of the availability of leaders and kit.  Avoid dates that might clash with similar events on the calendar or dates when activity leaders might be busy elsewhere. 

Overnight trips are back on the menu too, albeit camping for now until restrictions are lifted.  If your event involves an overnight camp then you need to either request members book the campsite directly, or get the campsite to agree a full refund policy in the case of more Covid restrictions putting the kibosh on the event.   Naturally your event will need to comply with whatever regulations are in force, which is why you are seeing restrictions on numbers for those events already on the calendar.  Not an ideal situation but that just about sums up the last fourteen months.

Incidentally, finding accommodation for groups isn't easy, especially at a reasonable cost and in a good location - if you come across such a place then please let us know so that we can add it to our list of venues.

Organisers of all events may appreciate an offer of additional help as the logistics of organising accommodation, activities and equipment sometimes falls to the same people again and again.  The Club makes no profit on events and both the organisers and Club coaches are giving their time for free.   If you are booked on an event, keep a lookout in the forum pages to see if any help is needed.

Any questions, suggestions or thoughts about arranging an event can be sent to [email protected]

Pete - Activities Officer

 

Family Events
As this was agreed at the AGM we are wondering if anyone would like to arrange such an event? You don't have to have a family to organise or partake in these events and you will not be responsible for any children, other than your own. Whoever it was who proposed having family events would you be prepared to start the ball rolling? That would be awesome :)

David E. - new Sea Kayak Leader
Congratulations to Dave on passing his sea kayak leader assessment, very well deserved 👏👏

Club Merchandise
Club-branded clothing will soon be available on the club website. There will be a menu option in the 'Members' section .Get your T-shirt or hoodie and be part of the team.

Track & Trace
Ahem, there are still a few of you whose login name is all in lower/upper case or has a symbol or abbreviation in the name that prevents your name from showing in alphabetical order. Or worse still, you are not using your real name!! Please login to 'My Account' now and amend your name to the correct format. This will help with Track & Trace purposes and in the administration of the club, thank you.

 

If you have any interesting news/funny stories/free videos/tales of your favourite trips/tips that may help club members, in fact, anything that might be of interest/entertaining, to brighten up the next newsletter, please let me know at [email protected] . Thank you.

See you sometime soon.

Cathy x

 

Events:

--- Title Location Date Activity Type

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 24/05/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 24/05/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Cotswold Evening Walk South Gloucestershire Tue, 25/05/2021 Walking

---

Intermediate - Advanced Sea kayaking late May bank holiday FULL Pembrokeshire Fri, 28/05/2021 to Mon, 31/05/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Brecon Beacons Challenge Stage 2 and 3 Brecon Beacons Sat, 29/05/2021 to Sun, 30/05/2021 Walking

---

Wye Wander Monmouth Sat, 29/05/2021 Walking

---

Evening walk east of Bristol Doynton Tue, 01/06/2021 Walking

---

Cycling to various Cotswold villages Doynton Wed, 02/06/2021 Road cycling

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 02/06/2021 Social

---

Frenchay Valley walk Frenchay Thu, 03/06/2021 Walking

---

Trip Full: River Wye Open Canoe and Touring Kayak Trip River Wye Fri, 04/06/2021 to Sun, 06/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Brockweir to Bigsweir and back Tintern, Wye Valley Sat, 05/06/2021 Walking

---

Milk Hill walk. Highest point in Wiltshire Pewsey Vale Sun, 06/06/2021 Walking

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 07/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 07/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

River Severn Evening walk South Gloucestershire Tue, 08/06/2021 Walking

---

Keynsham Chew Valley 6.5 mile Circular walk Keynsham Tue, 08/06/2021 Walking

---

Course 2: British Canoeing Paddle Discover Award - Kayak Avon Valley/Saltford Wed, 09/06/2021 to Sun, 13/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Advanced 3 day sea kayaking weekend Cornwall Thu, 10/06/2021 to Sun, 13/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Circular 6 mile walk Blagdon Lake Blagdon Village Fri, 11/06/2021 Walking

---

Circular 6 mile walk Blagdon Lake Blagdon Village Fri, 11/06/2021 Walking

New

Wadbury Valley Circular 14 miles Mells, Somerset Sun, 13/06/2021 Walking

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 14/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 14/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Timsbury 6.5 mile Circular Walk Timsbury Tue, 15/06/2021 Walking

---

Committee meeting Google Meet Wed, 16/06/2021 Other

---

Chew Magna Circular Walk Chew Valley Thu, 17/06/2021 Walking

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 21/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Bavarian Alps Multi-activity trip - Cancelled Bavaria - Austria/German border Mon, 21/06/2021 to Sun, 04/07/2021 Multi-activity

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 21/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 28/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 28/06/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Intromediate/intermediate sea kayaking weekend The Lizard, Cornwall Fri, 02/07/2021 to Mon, 05/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

AOAC Paddlesport Taster Day River Avon Sat, 03/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 05/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 05/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 07/07/2021 Social

---

Course 3: British Canoeing Paddle Discover Award - Kayak Avon Valley/Saltford Wed, 07/07/2021 to Sun, 11/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 12/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 12/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Course 1: British Canoeing Paddle Explore Award - Kayak Various Wed, 14/07/2021 to Sun, 18/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Tetbury and Westonbirt 9.5mile walk Tetbury Sun, 18/07/2021 Walking

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 19/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 19/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 26/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 26/07/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Weekend Outdoor Climbing Trip (trad and sport) Rhossili, Wales Thu, 29/07/2021 to Sun, 01/08/2021 Climbing

---

Anglesey Intermediate and Advanced Sea Kayaking Anglesey Sat, 31/07/2021 to Mon, 02/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 02/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 02/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Cotswold Evening walk Swineford Tue, 03/08/2021 Walking

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 04/08/2021 Social

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 09/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 09/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Course 2: British Canoeing Paddle Explore Award - Kayak Various Wed, 11/08/2021 to Sun, 15/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Weekend St David's, Pembrokeshire Fri, 13/08/2021 to Sun, 15/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Monday Evening Coached Weir Sessions Saltford Mon, 16/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 16/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Course: British Canoeing Paddle Explore Award - Canoe River Avon tbc Sat, 21/08/2021 to Sun, 22/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Monday Night Coached Kayaking and Canoeing Sessions Avon Valley Country Park Mon, 23/08/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 01/09/2021 Social

---

Sailing the Stunning Turquoise Coast - Turkey! Turkey Sat, 04/09/2021 to Sat, 11/09/2021 Sailing

---

Sardinia sea kayak adventure Sardinia, Italy Sat, 18/09/2021 to Sat, 25/09/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

New Members Weekend Brecon Fri, 24/09/2021 to Sun, 26/09/2021 Walking

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 06/10/2021 Social

---

Saundersfoot (Pembrokeshire) October Weekend Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire Fri, 08/10/2021 to Mon, 11/10/2021 Multi-activity

---

New Members Weekend Exmoor Fri, 22/10/2021 to Sun, 24/10/2021 Walking

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 03/11/2021 Social

---

North Devon Coastal Walking Weekend Boscastle Fri, 05/11/2021 to Sun, 07/11/2021 Walking

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 01/12/2021 Social

---

Save the Date - December in North Wales Betws-y-Coed Thu, 09/12/2021 to Sun, 12/12/2021 Multi-activity

---

New Year 5 Day Multi-activity Trip and Party 2021-2022 Slapton Ley, South Devon Tue, 28/12/2021 to Sun, 02/01/2022 Multi-activity

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 05/01/2022 Social

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 02/02/2022 Social

---

AOAC New, Potential and Existing Members Social Google meet Wed, 02/03/2022 Social
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