Paul Miller

Canoe Nut
It is that great Canoe time of the year in Madison, WI.

Canoecopia is set for March 7,8 and 9.

The Great Rivers Chapter will be manning a both compliments of Rutabaga of Madison. Chapter members will be greeting show goers and providing info about the WCHA and all things good about wood, wood/canvas, and stripper canoes.

We will have a few canoes on display and invite all WCHA members to stop by and say Hi. We may still need a bit of help manning the both this year. We will have at least two members present, but those two could use a break once and awhile.

I will be hosting the Second Annual Hoisting of the Steins at my Sister-in-laws home in Verona, WI., just a few miles from the Alliance Center. Stop by the booth for your personal invitation and map.

The following as a link to the Canoecopia web site:

See you all there.

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Free Space

It's very cool that WCHA is given a free space at this event. I'm wondering if anyone has had luck finding a sponsor for similar events where we are charged for booth space.

Last year, Denis and I represented WCHA at two sporting shows in Marquette. One gave us a space for free because of WCHA's non-profit status. We can't do that show this year because Denis will be in Bolivia (visiting his daughter who is a Peace Corps volunteer). The other show won't give us a break... and booth space is very expensive.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has approached some source with deep pockets and a love of wooden boats who'd pay the tab... or if anyone has any ideas re how to raise the money. We have a whole year now, to work on this... but the shows give WCHA a lot of exposure, and provide a focus for the local chapter. I'd like to do both shows next year, if possible.
Kathryn Klos said:
how to raise the money...

The WCHA's board of directors is always looking for good ways to advertise the organization so you may want to submit a proposal for funding assistance if you are not in a hurry, don't need too much money, and expect a good crowd. The show's organizers may also be willing to cut the booth price a bit if you offer some free advertising about the show to the members of the WCHA or if you offer to demonstrate something interesting like rib bending, canoe canvasing, etc.
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Good Ideas...

Great ideas, Benson... last year, Denis and I felt there is a lot of interest in wooden canoes here in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I can imagine a good turnout for any boat-building demos, and possibly a lot of interest in birch bark canoe construction.

An aspect of wooden canoes which may appeal to people in this area-- and to young people at the university-- is the fact that they are "green": a wooden boat can be made usable again and again using "natural" materials, or if left alone, it will return to the earth. I'd like to do a display, showing a beautiful restored canoe and one that is "becoming one" with dirt and grass. I'm hoping there will be an appropriate venue for this sort of thought at the local university... maybe on Earth Day.
The dash to dust.

Kathy, there is a canoe near me returning back to dust. The owner's are using it as a flower bed. Want some photos? I'd go take 'em for ya. I passed it yesterday sitting along the road stem and stern poking out through the snow.
Kathy, as Benson says, the WCHA is willing to pay for chapters to have a booth at appropriate shows (though it is still best to try for the comp'ed space first). Contact Al Bratton for more details about this.

Okay, I'll do that, Dan... I hesitated to ask for funding because WCHA paid for this booth last year, and I didn't think it was fair to ask a second time. It was disheartening that we weren't offered free space because last year our booth brought a bunch of people to the show. Denis was interviewed on TV and I was on the radio, and people who stopped at the booth said they came, "just to see that canoe." Denis mentioned this to the show manager, but to no avail.
Canoecopia Success

Hello all,

The doors have closed on the World's Largest paddle sport and Canoe show and the WCHA was well represented. (although we don't have any pictures yet).

We sold 5 memberships to the WCHA and renewed a great number of others including one member visiting from the UK!! The UK member happens to be the owner of two Strickland canoes and on thought to be Stevenson that has record of being shipped to the UK in the 1870's.

17 folks signed up or renewed their Great Rivers Chapter membership as we passed out over 300 old copies of the Wooden Canoe Magazine, 150 to 200 WCHA application forms, 100 copies of our 2008 Chapter events calendar along with the individual event notices.(all of these notices will be posted on this website in the near future).

We had three canoes and our "stubby" canoe end showing the construction methods of the wood/canvas canoe. We had a member built Prospector, my Willits and a wide board cedar plank and batten William English. Our canoe display drew lots of interest and many comments of interest and amazement.

We had 3 to 6 members in the booth at all times and we needed all of them during Saturday's show with everyone engaged in discussion about canoes and the great purpose of the WCHA.

In the famous words of our leader Jerry Karbon:

Thanks to all who spent time personing the booth and answering questions about boats and the organization. Your expertise and friendliness no doubt convinced a number of show goers not only to joining the organization and the Chapter, but also to participate in some of our events this summer.

We will keep you posted on all of our events this year.

Thanks for looking and we'll post some pictures soon.