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From the Presidents Desk

Please Renew your membership in the IPC

The IPC is a membership based organization whose mission is to advocate for all aspects of paddling throughout the state of IL.  Your membership funds our activities.  Paddling Clubs become members and as a result their members are a Paddling-Club Member of the IPC.  Member-Paddling-Clubs have the ability to appoint a Voice which becomes a liaison between the IPC board and the Paddling Clubs board.   Paddling Club Membership is $30 plus $1 for each club member.

Supporting Membership is for individuals or families that want to support the IPC.  Supporting memberships provide a vote in the annual election of officers for the board.  Individual Membership is $15.

Of course, if you want to make an additional donation, please feel free.  You can either target the donation for a specific activity of the IPC or to our general revenues.

Please Click Here to renew or become a new member:


And the results of the survey are:

Too early to tell.  We need more survey participants.  Please Click Here to take 10 minutes to complete the survey!


See you at Canoecopia—Next Year!

Why not this year?  Staffing a table at Canoecopia is one of our most volunteer intensive events every year.  We need to count on volunteers to help staff the table, prepare literature etc. for the event, setup the table before the event starts early Friday, and take down the table after the event is over after the event is done.  This year the Primary Organizer had a work-conflict with the dates of the show.  There were concerns about finding enough volunteers to cover the requirements.  The decision was made to take a year off from the show.

It isn’t too early to start planning for next year.  CanoCopia 2018.  Please contact me if you want to help out with this, or any other volunteer opportunities at the IPC!


Tom Eckels, President, Illinois Paddling Council






Paddling Ambassadors needed to staff tables at Events

Weather’s warming up!  It’s time to go paddling!  
It is also the time to hold paddle sports related events.  Many of these events request the IPC to staff an informational table or booth.  Last year we participated in at least a dozen such events, passing out literature, and when electricity is provided, running the dam simulator. 
We need help keeping up with all of the requests we receive.   It really is a fun way to meet a lot of people, and help promote the sport to new people.  
Please contract our Director of PR and Marketing: Sigrid Pilgrim at spconsult@comcast.net if you would want to spend a day or two representing paddlesports and the IPC.
We have a few open board-level positions we are looking to recruit.  A voice serves the role of a Liaison between the special paddling interest they represent and the IPC board.
Currently open positions include a voice for Southern IL paddlers, Flat Water Paddlers, NorthWest Il Paddlers, Sea Kayakers, and paddle sports businesses.
Our Member clubs are also invited to appoint a voice of their paddling club to serve on our board.
Tom Eckels
President, Illinois Paddling Council

Happy New Year 2017

New Year—New Board


Happy New Year!  I hope it brings lots of good opportunity for some great paddling!  For the new year, lets welcome in our new board:


Elected Officers:

President: Tom Eckels

VP: Scott Hewitt

Secretary: Jennifer Satorius

Treasurer:  Don Mueggenborg

Directors: Andy Cocallas, Greg Taylor, Jeff Fitch,        Roger Schamberger, Sigrid Pilgrim


​For a full list of board members, along with contact information can be found on our website.


Paddlers Survey: 


​Along with a newly elected board comes the opportunity to review our 3-year strategic plan.  A couple of years ago, we sought input from the paddling community by way of a paddlers survey.  This input is invaluable in helping us set our priorities and goals for the future.  It is time to reach out again and ask how we are doing, and what we can do to improve.  The Survey is available Here and will be open through end of March.


​Of course, you can contact any board member at any time to discuss your input into the IPC.​


​Coffee and Conversation:


​I will also be scheduling some coffee-and-conversation events between now and April.  These social events can also provide an informal way to provide input​​ and learn more about the IPC and our programs.  Look for them on our Events Page



Promote your Paddling Events


I would like to announce an enhancement to our website.  Anyone can now create a login-id to the site.  With a login-id, anyone can submit paddling events to our calendar of events.  Any event submitted should be open to the general paddling-public, and not just a specific group or club.  Please make sure to provide the full information about the event, including your contact information to answer any questions.  ​


Help Wanted–Web Master


We are always looking for people who want to get involved with the IPC.  We have an immediate need for a Web-Master.  Our Web-Master will maintain the Web-Site, and provide tech support to the board members using our online resources such as our Facebook Page, Vertical Response for our newsletter, and maintain our Yahoo Group board-email-list.


​The Web Master is not expected to generate the content for the Web, Social Media, newsletter, etc.  The Web Master is expected to help support the board members who are generating the content.


The Web Master is the Chair of our board Web Committee and is welcome to recruit assistant web masters to assist with the effort.


Read a full Volunteer Job Description and volunteer:


Questions:  email Tom Eckels:  president@illinoispaddling.org

IPC Growth and Expansion

From the President’s Desk: Growth and Expansion of the IPC

For many of us, paddling has become more than just a hobby or a sport. It becomes a way of life. We chose where we live so we have access to water! We pick our cars for the roof rack and gear space! Our vacation time is spent around the next paddling adventure or excursion. Rivers up…surfs up? Great—call in sick…time to go paddling!

Does this sound at all familiar? Do you want to see Illinois become a more paddle-friendly state? Improve and add access to paddleable lakes, rivers, and streams? Promote paddling safety? End arbitrary river closures? Provide stewardship to Illinois paddleable waterways? Promote paddlesports competition? See more youth activity in paddling?

Whatever your paddling interests and passions, the IPC could use your help! There are several ways to give back to our paddling lifestyle:


The IPC sets up an informational display at many paddling related events. Staffing these displays is a great way to get involved. You meet lots of great people while sharing your passion for paddling!

Water TrailKeepers provides stewardship for Illinois Paddleable Waterways. It is very rewarding to see a large pile of trash you pulled out of the river, knowing it is being disposed of properly! We have plenty of opportunities to get involved.

Paddling safety initiatives such as Paddlers Patrol and the Paddling Safety Task-force give paddlers an opportunity to promote safety.

Stepping up the level of participation, there are a number of Voice positions open. A voice is a board level position that serves as a liaison between a specific paddling community and the IPC board. Each Member Club appoints a Voice to the IPC board. Traditionally there are voices for specific Paddling Disciplines such as White Water, Sea Kayaking, Flat Water Paddling, Parks & Forest Preserve Districts, and Water TrailKeepers. Additionally there are Regional Voice Positions for NorthEast IL, NorthWest IL, Central IL, and Southern IL.

Or perhaps you have another idea or suggestion for how you want to get involved?

 I will be organizing several coffee-and-conversation events again this off-season. These would be a great opportunity to discuss your involvement in IPC activities. Of course you can also contact me directly.


Tom Eckels

President, Illinois Paddling Council