Being able to travel while receiving a high school education is what makes World Class Kayak Academy a special school. Add the element of kayaking and you have an exceptional school. Learning to deal with the difficulties of travel is an important part of what makes our program outstanding. Students find the difficulties of international travel are compounded by the addition of a 50+ gallon kayak, gear, books, etc. Here are some of the ways in which the group is transported from one place to another.
In North America, World Class students travel with the school’s two well-maintained Ford E350 vans driven by the faculty. Equipment is carried in a 6x12 box trailer and the kayaks on a boat trailer or the van roof racks. When out of the country, modes of transportation can range from rental vans to taxis, to buses. Transportation in foreign cultures depends on the vehicles and drivers available. For example, in China the students and faculty hire taxis for getting around town and a bus with a cargo truck for equipment and luggage for longer trips. In Africa the normal mode of transportation is a safari truck or passenger van pulling a kayak trailer.
When traveling to and from school, as well as from North America to the chosen destination for the semester, WCKA students and faculty must fly. Depending on the airline, this can be a daunting task for a traveler with a kayak. Prior to booking the group’s tickets to an international destination, WCKA staff research and contact the airline to secure approval for the transport. Once this is secure the international tickets are booked under a group rate and the logistics are set. In preparation for the flight each student and faculty member is responsible for assuring that his or her bag and kayak each weigh less than 50 lbs., including books, equipment, etc. With the airlines unable to differentiate between a creekboat and a playboat, not to mention a slalom boat, it is vital that each member of the team is responsible for his or her allotment.
It is during the hard times found while traveling that the WCKA teamwork philosophy is most critical. Students need to develop patience, perseverance, personal responsibility and other teamwork skills in order to make our journeys fun and successful. World Class actively uses travel to develop teamwork skills in students, so that those skills are available on the water and later in life.