The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Kayak Season Recap

Posted by | December 30, 2015

As the first snow of the season fell outside my window yesterday, with our fleet of kayaks safely stored in the barn for the winter, I compiled the evaluation results from our fifth kayak season at the Reserve. Sixteen kayaking programs were held between early July and early October (eighteen were scheduled, but two were cancelled due to high winds/small craft advisories) and 82 people participated. Sixty-one of these paddlers completed evaluations immediately following the program. This is the first year we've conducted a formal evaluation of the program. What valuable information did the evaluations provide? Lots!

As a result of the evaluations, we now know that:

1) 100% of participants would recommend this program to a friend!

2) On a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best):

  • 89% of participants rated the program a 5 or higher (we even got some 5+ and 5++ scores!)
  • 97% of participants rated the program a 4 or higher
  • 100% of participants rated the program a 3 or higher (we had a couple of teens who thought the program was too long, but even so, they would recommend it to a friend!)

3) When asked to name one new piece of information learned, answers included the identification of new bird and plant species, the history of the area, the importance of estuaries, how peat grows, how tides work and how they affect the river and marsh, the difference between invasive and native species, the migration and life cycle of the American Eel, and how to paddle a kayak!

4) When asked what they liked most about the program, participants responded with: the beauty of the marsh and the views, the kayak guides and their knowledge and personalities, the lack of technology, the pace and not feeling rushed, being on the water, peace and quiet, wildlife sightings, learning, and more.

5) What one word would participants use to describe their experience? This "Wordle" that I created using the participants' responses says it all (the larger words indicate that multiple kayakers gave that response--the "winning" word was "peaceful," with 10 people using this word in their response)...

Kayak Wordle

Thanks so much to all the folks who registered for our kayak programs and provided such valuable feedback for us. And thank you to my fellow kayak guides (Tin, Sue, Linda, Kate, and Nancy) for making our kayak program at the Reserve such a success!

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