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July 22, 2005

I am so proud of how far Emily has come as a young
lady in the past year as a complete package. Her individual paddling skills
just keeps on rising with no indication that she is near a plateau. She
has competed in the Pro Women’s Class in all events this year winning
top three in every one so far, with a win at Vail Mountain Games, second
place at Reno, third at Fibark, and a second at the Potomac bringing her
total winnings this year to near $4000. Then her character starts to really
show. What does a 15 year old girl do who suddenly finds herself with
$4000 in cash? Shop? Save for a car? Not Emily. Without blinking an eye,
she decides to use her money to help the less fortunate in Africa. Her
project has been on the table for a couple of years now, but she has finally
found a specific project and a date to complete it. She is going to build
a well in a small town near the White Nile this January. She will need
to raise about $10,000 total to complete the project and will attempt
to do this at Outdoor Retailer. Wow, that’s my girl!

This past weekend when I got hurt, Emily took over
my classes for me. I was scheduled to teach a 9am-1pm and a 2pm-6pm class
for Valley Mill Kayak School. Emily was going to be my assistant. Instead,
Emily got a field promotion, and Danny Stock, Jim and Monique, got the
assistant instructor positions. I wasn’t there for the classes but
from what I understand she did a great job, working 8 hours on the water
in one day at 15, cool!

Jamie at Bear Paw in Wisconsin asked for Emily to come
to teach a women’s clinic earlier this year and when she was scheduling
it, Emily had never done any such thing. Now, she is experienced leading
groups herself and is not shy about it. First off, she knows her stuff.
I will put her in the ring with any kayaker in the world in a challenge
of who can roll the best, and certainly she can teach my method of learning
the roll, hand roll, brace, etc. She is also qualified to teach level
one “EJ’s Strokes and Concepts” and “Playboating”
in flatwater, waves, or holes.

I really hope that you get a chance to take a class
with Emily this weekend if you are in Wisconsin!

🙂 EJ