Quiet Water Symposium creates quite
a ruckus among enthusiasts
By Elizabeth Shaw
The Flint Journal
email@example.com • 810.766.6311
Published March 10th, 2005
EAST LANSING - Paddle sports were only part of the story
at the 10th annual Quiet Water Symposium, held Saturday
on the Michigan State University campus.
While canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts found plenty
to explore at the indoor celebration, symposium planners
managed to stretch the event's boundary waters far beyond
A leisurely amble through the MSU Agriculture Pavilion
revealed an intriguing array of outdoor pursuits, from
primitive skills to dog sledding and environmental activism.
Nearly hidden in a back corner, Patrick McFatridge of
Clio squatted cross-legged on an animal skin rug, patiently
flicking a Stone Age version of a lighter - a fire piston
used by South Seas islanders 2,000 years ago.
His display of ancient arrowheads and artifacts was among
several primitive culture exhibits from groups such as
the Great Lakes Primitives, Michigan Flint Knappers and
Michigan Atlatl Association.
In the next aisle, Lucinda Means of Lansing stood behind
a row of bicycles, handing out shoreline route maps for
Michigan bike tours.
Gary O'Boyle of Flushing, meanwhile, was busy introducing
people to the new, high-tech sport of geocaching, where
modern-day treasure hunters seek hidden caches using GPS
"We've tried to expand to draw more people, but
it's also because we realize people who canoe or kayak
are the same people who care about the environment or
do a variety of outdoor activities," said Nancy Anderson
of the Lansing Oar and Paddle Club, one of the symposium's
There was plenty of evidence that women are being recognized
as a rapidly growing segment of the outdoor community.
"The latest studies show that at least 50 percent
of kayakers are women, which is almost unheard of in outdoor
sports," said Nancy Thornton of the American Canoe
Association. "But one of the biggest struggles for
women is finding someone to kayak with.
"That's why manufacturers and others are realizing
the need to market to women."
In all, nearly 1,000 people attended the event, Anderson
On the Web:
Quiet Water Symposium: www.homestead.com/qws.