Time to Step Up!

Finally, a break in the oppressive temperature and some beautiful paddling weather is upon us. I trust you are taking advantage of this as much as you can!

So, an update on me – my artificial left knee, which has been problematic since it was installed four years ago, has completely fallen apart. My kayaking season is over a little too early…

New and Improved Bill!

However, the good news is that just about the best surgeon in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital System, Dr. Herbert (the guy who trains other VA surgeons on joint replacement) is going to do my knee revision surgery on July 23rd. This means I should be able to participate in pool sessions this fall and get my game back. While my future in kayaking might be a little unclear, I see some promise in Cataraft – rowing a raft through the big stuff (and carrying all the goodies). My long time friend, Steve Pack, is a whitewater rower and I will be picking his brain as I move through this chapter.

What is not changing:

  1. I am still laser focused on YOUR skills! I want to help you grow and learn and enjoy this amazing sport that can be adapted to darn near any disability. You are what keeps me going!
  2. Susquehanna Valley Team River Runner continues to grow and expand and – well – get wet! We’ve done a lot this summer so far and that continues with our OuttaSight paddlers, adaptive kayaking training, and just trying to find smiles wherever we go. YOU are making this happen and I ask that you continue to make it happen.
  3. We have paddlers attending trainings that will enhance their skills and expand their horizons wherever you look. 
    • One of our Vets is training to do an adaptive Class 2 trip on the Lehigh later this summer. If you want to be involved in this trip, please let me know! I can’t safely lead this trip given my current physical issues, and I will be relying on you all to help this young man find a new chapter in his healing. 
    • One of our vets who has stepped up throughout the year despite the steep challenges we’ve handed him is representing the chapter at the National TRR Conference in Boise, ID in just a few weeks. Greg Meehan is headed out to learn and get networked with the TRR national community, but will be bringing some highly advanced skills (rescue, trip leading, and instructor skills) that will advance our chapter to a new level of awesome!
    • Easter Seals of Pennsylvania has asked us to provide Kayak instruction during the Adaptive Watersports Weekend – the stories from last year are mind-blowing. This year might be even more amazing! If you need a pick-me-up, let me know!
    • The first ever ON THE PLANET visual impairment kids/adult OuttaSight clinic in Pennsylvania takes place the weekend of August 24th. This represents a cosmic shift in how the vision impaired and paddle sports communities share experiences. If you want to see what pure joy looks like, let Jenn Eaton know.

None of these things requires Bill to be there to occur – that is the beauty of a well-heeled group of people interested in brining the same healing to as many people as possible. However, since I can’t be there for most of this, the question I am asking you now is, “How can you help bring joy to others?” If you have a disability, are mobility limited, or simply don’t know where you fit, this is your call.

Step up and be counted. Bring the joy of independent recreation to someone you’ve never met.

What say you?

Bill Butler

Chapter Coordinator,
Susquehanna Valley Team River Runner


#SVTRR  #TRR  #TeamRiverRunner

One thought on “Time to Step Up!

  1. Bill- sorry to hear that your knee is in need of repair. Good that you are setting the example of asking for help when things are a bit much to handle. All of us veterans could and should do that. Have you thought about reaching out to your local or state DAV to ask for some help. Maybe someone who doesn’t know about all the great stuff you guys do would step up to the plate? I would be there in a heartbeat if I didn’t live in Europe. I do have a network I can pull from and maybe send your way. Best wishes and continued successes.

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