Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Along with many others, the following people have made this project happen:

Wayne Dickert

Nantahala River of Life
Project Developer: This resource is the brainchild of “Wayner” who has been a paddling instructor for the Nantahala Outdoor Center for many years and in many capacities. He has been teaching canoeing and kayaking for over 25 years and after competing in the 1996 Olympic Whitewater competition served as the Paddling School Director and Nantahala Outdoor Center Ambassador. He has served as the pastor for the Nantahala River of Life ministry for five years, has been appointed as associate pastor in the Bryson City United Methodist Church in western NC and will begin full-time ministry in 2011.

Ben Simms

Outdoor Wisdom Leadership School
Project Mentor: Recognized in Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist circles as a pioneer in Christian Outdoor and Camp Ministry, Ben envisioned a Christ-focused ministry directed to include those populations that would not normally have outdoor experiences. The OWLS program has been designed and runs as a ministry which uses exciting active outdoor challenges and experiences to teach kids, young adults, and families about God’s truths, important life skills, and how they can share their faith with others in a winsome, non-confrontational way. Most of the Paddling Parables section came from Ben’s writing and stories. Ben has also mentored Wayner through the process of setting up this resource.

Wayne Goodwin

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Project Mentor: Doctor Wayne Goodwin has a long history with Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky earning his undergraduate from Asbury College and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Seminary. He has a D.Min. degree and received a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. He returned to Asbury Seminary to teach Pastoral Ministry and Counseling. He served as a United Methodist minister starting in 1962 and developed several resources for the practice of lay training and empowerment. Wayne has been developing servant and shepherd leaders for decades and was the visionary who served as the first Executive Dean at the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Wayne has been the mentor for the finalization and implementation of this resource. For all of his academic accomplishments, one of his greatest pleasures is to enjoy God’s creation with his grandkids by going camping on a sunny day.

Wayner would also like to thank his wife Joanna for putting up with him spending long hours on yet another project. Her love and patience has meant the world to him. Thanks to Jack Porter who taught Wayner how to canoe, introduced him to the world of whitewater and has served as an outdoor, pastoral mentor for many years and inspired this project. Joe Holt has been a wonderful friend and adviser over the years in many ways and spent many long hours and late nights working on editing the videos for online use specifically for this blog. He is also the one that cut the special purchase price of $12.50 for the Kayaker's Toolbox DVD (normally $30).

Also very helpful were the participants at UMC Camp and Retreat, CCCA and CAA conferences who gave helpful feedback on the early stages of the project and came up with the idea of integrating a PDF file (coming soon) that could be downloaded and printed on card stock for program leaders to have something to carry to the river as a reference. Thanks to Leigh Boike for editing yet another batch of Wayner’s write-ups and helping them make sense to everyone else, you rock! Marcus Hulsey has also been very helpful in developing and refining many aspects of the resource and insisted that the scriptures be included in the write-ups online so leaders wouldn’t have to look up every reference. This leads to acknowledging the usefulness of the Logos Bible Software system, without which this project never would have come off the ground, onto the web and into the water.

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