Greenland Camp: Mentorship as a Disciplined Practice in Preparedness


  • Jocelyn Lok-Yee Lee Ryerson University



water sports, paddle sports, skill development, environment, resilience


Sea kayaking may be best understood through the insights and knowledge of people whose ancestors kayaked for survival. Greenland Camp, held over several days in late summer, is a kayaking event that draws paddlers from around the world to reconnect with one another and learn age-old and advanced skills of the Arctic’s Inuit. Greenland Camp is a gathering for paddlers that preserves and passes on to future generations the traditional paddling/rolling skills of Greenland’s experienced seal catchers. Rooted in the need for responsive skill development and observant awareness as well as the indispensable skills needed to hunt and survive in Arctic waters, the Inuit point to a traditional practice that challenges the depth, scope, and limitation of experience of all kayakers. Facilitating mentorship of the disciplined practice of sea kayaking is thus explored to discern how the cultivated practice of hunter-gatherer Inuit communities may positively affect youth resilience to adversity.

Subscribe to JOREL


Barrett, S.E., Solomon, R. P., Singer, J., Portelli, J. P., & Mujuwamariya, D. (2009). The hidden curriculum of a teacher induction program: Ontario's teacher educators' perspective. Canadian Journal of Education, 32(4), 677-702.

Brown, B. (2012). Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. New York, NY: Gotham.

Cunningham, C. (2004). Sea kayaker's more deep trouble. Camden, ME: McGraw-Hill Education.

Giesbrecht, G. G. & Hayward, J. S. (2006). Problems and complications with cold-water rescue. Wild Environ Med, 17(1), 26-30. doi: 10.1580/PR01-05.1

Golden, H. (2006). Kayaks of Greenland: The history and development of the Greenlandic hunting kayak, 1600–2000. Portland, OR: White House Grocery Press.

Heath, J. D. & Arima, E. Y. (2004). Eastern Arctic kayaks: History, design, technique. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press.

Iwasaki, Y., Messina, E. S., & Hopper, T. (2018). The role of leisure in meaning-making and engagement with life. J Posit Psychol, 13(1), 29-35. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2017.1374443

Iwasaki, Y., Coyle, C., & Shank, J.W. (2010). Leisure as a context for active living, recovery, health and life quality for persons with mental illness in a global context, Health Promot Int, 25(4), 483-494. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daq037

Jelicic, H., Bobek, D. L., Phelps, E., Lerner, R. M., & Lerner, J.V. (2007). Using positive youth development to predict contribution and risk behaviors in early adolescence: Findings from the first two waves of the 4-H study of positive youth development. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31(3), 263-273. doi: 10.1177/0165025407076439

Kincheloe, J. L. (2008). Critical pedagogy primer (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Peter Lang Inc.

Lavallee, L. F. & Poole, J. M. (2009). Beyond recovery: Colonization, health and healing for Indigenous People in Canada. Int J Ment Health Ad, 8(2), 271-281. doi: 10.1007/s11469-009-9239-8

Pardy, M., Marleau, J. F., Woodford, A., & Harris, P. (2010). Navigation, sea state & weather: A paddler's manual: Freedom of the seas volume 1. Ucluelet, Canada: Sea Kayak Instruction and Leadership Systems.

Marshall, V. (2015). 5Ws interview with Greenland champ James Roberts. Retrieved from

Roberts, J. (n.d.). Stickin’ it to ‘em: In defense of Greenland paddles. Retrieved from

Steinbright, J. (2002). Qayaqs & canoes: Native ways of knowing. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Ungar, M. (2013). The impact of youth-adult relationships on resilience. International Journal of Youth-Adult Relationships on Resilience, 4(3), 328-336. doi: 10.18357/ijcyfs43201312431

Ungar, M., Brown, M., Liebenberg, L., Cheung, M., & Levine, K. (2008). Distinguishing differences in pathways to resilience among Canadian youth. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 27(1), 1-12. doi: 10.7870/cjcmh-2008-0001






Essays, Practices and Commentaries