Door County Sea Kayak Symposium Benefits Door County Land Trust – Spaces Still Available, July 8-10

With some of the finest instructors from all over the country, guided day trips to many of the County’s most spectacular bays and a donation of its proceeds going to support the work of the Door County Land Trust, it’s no wonder the Symposium has become a Peninsula favorite.

The 8th Annual Door County Sea Kayak Symposium splashes down in Rowley’s Bay on July 8-10. Presented by Rutabaga, a Wisconsin-based shop and one of the country’s leading paddlesport retailers, the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium will be held at Rowley’s Bay Resort (formerly the Wagon Trail). The Symposium features on-the-water classes for all skill levels, on-land workshops, guided tours, special youth programs, and tracks especially designed for brand new paddlers.

Over 150 individuals of all ages and paddling abilities are expected to participate in three fun-packed days. Openings are still available for 1-day, 2-day or the full weekend pass – Register at

Rutabaga chose to donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Door County Land Trust (DCLT) from the very beginning. Since the Symposium’s inception in 2004, they have donated more than $20,000 to the Door County Land Trust.

“We recognized the need to give back to the community that literally opened its doors to the paddling community,” says Rutabaga owner Darren Bush. “Paddlers have received a warm welcome from the citizens of Door County and there’s no better way to say thank you than to help preserve the beauty of Door County.”

Rutabaga is adding yet another fund raising component to the Symposium to benefit the Door County Land Trust – a live auction. \

“Last year, we asked some of the manufacturers to donate a few items for an impromptu live auction and Rutabaga matched the auction proceeds bringing the total to $4000. It was amazing,” says Bush, “to see people bidding $50 on a $5 water bottle, because they knew the money was going to the DCLT.  Immediately after last year’s auction, we were approached by most of the manufacturers there who said they wanted to step it up for 2011.”

This year, a 10′ kayak from Delta Kayaks, a family owned and operated kayak company out of Vancouver, B.C. is being donated.

“At the end of the auction, the sales manager Mark Hall told me he wanted to donate a kayak,” says Bush.  “His generosity was a catalyst for other folks to step it up.”

Paddles, lifevests, clothing and other items will be donated by top industry manufacturers. In addition, a host of Door County artists have donated original pieces of artwork for the auction. Rutabaga will again match the funds raised during the auction.

Steve and Cynthia Scherrer, two internationally-known kayak instructors, fly in annually for the Symposium from their home in the Pacific Northwest.

“The Midwest is known for its warmth and hospitality,” they explain. “Rutabaga, a highly respected shop, is self-described evangelists for the sport and lifestyle we love. We’ve made great friends in Door County year after year and we look forward to etching it in our calendars. We’d encourage everyone to do the same… it’s a winner!”

“Paddling leaves no trace and is a great way to explore Door County,” says Terrie Cooper, the Land Program Director of DCLT. “But building skills and learning how to paddle safely on these big and sometime very challenging waters is important. Rutabaga’s commitment to high quality instruction mixed with lots of fun – leads to everyone experiencing quality time on the water. And their generosity towards the Land Trust has been impressive and we’re grateful for their continued support.”

The instruction, paddling skills workshops and guided trips are very appealing on their own. Add the camaraderie of fellow paddlers to an opportunity to share dinner (and yes, happy hour) under a big top tent each night, with the chance to ‘test drive’ the latest kayaks and gear from some of the nation’s premier manufacturers and the weekend gets even sweeter.

Come check things out! For more information on the Symposium or to register go to or contact Rutabaga at 800.472.3353.

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