Wednesday, June 18, 2008

taking risks, earning rewards

Robert, Kerrie and Noah Schrack.

We've been meaning to write a little bit about our hosts, Robert and Kerrie Schrack. It's a daunting task because they've been so generous and impressive on so many fronts. So this post will attempt to address what's been missing from previous posts: some sense of who brought us here.
Robert and Kerrie are the owners of Adventure Crafters in Queenstown, MD. They have a small but impressively stocked pro shop and offer classes and trips. Check out their website at
Robert and Alec met during their Instructor Certification Exam at Sea Kayak Georgia, one of the premiere places for sea kayak training. They're both natural athletes and generous spirits, so they hit it off immediately.
Adventure Crafters is in its second year here in Queenstown, after a year and a half or so in Westchester, PA. Robert traded in his landscaping business to invest full-time in kayaking, with Kerrie assisting him in everything from running the shop to leading the evening paddles.
It's an impressive balancing act: work and family, time on water and time running the business, making a living and being true to their values. They're walking all those tightropes admirably.
We've been staying with them for almost a week now, sharing meals, teaching classes, messing around on the water, hanging out and sharing stories. We've met an assortment of the students they attract, who seem to share the down-to-earth, honest spirit that Robert and Kerrie bring to their business. It's been a great pleasure to see this small, family business in its early stages and help for one short week.
One of the hazards of teaching and guiding full-time is that you rarely get to go out and paddle for fun, and when you do, you usually do so alone. This evening, we paddled out with Robert into a pretty stiff head wind until the darkening clouds grew a little too ominous. We surfed back home to the sounds of thunder, looking over our shoulders at some very dramatic skies.

As we approached Eastern Neck Island, we saw sheets of raining pouring down from the clouds ahead of us.

Almost back in safe harbor, the waves subsided and we knew we had outpaddled the storm.

It seemed an apt metaphor for what makes anything in life meaningful. Often you have to take a risk to gain a reward. Whether it's a stunning sky, an exciting ride or a meaningful life, you have to take some chances.
We're awfully glad that Robert and Kerrie took a chance on Adventure Crafters and included us in their adventure.

1 comment:

Jim and Cyndy said...

It is true that taking some risks can give some big rewards. I would love to be under that dark roiling sky, as long as I could be near to shore and with the PFD! (But that's a given no matter the weather, anyway.) It looked like some of the skis producing tornadoes recently here in the Midwest.

I think this type of experience could be so wonderful for youth in jr high and high school, as well as for adults. I wonder where our government might find the money to invest in this kind of human education and development?