about us

leadership instructors

Liquid Adventures' staff is dedicated to providing gentle kayak instruction and expert leadership on the river.

Our students come first, and we aim to create a safe, welcoming environment. Our instructors assess individuals’ goals and abilities to create a supportive learning environment for all. Your personal success and safety are our yardsticks of acheivement, and our philosophy is that your early experiences on the river set the tone for the rest of your paddling career.

Our high volume of repeat students demonstrates the value we place on helping you where you are in the sport, concern for your safety, and having fun.

We hope you join us in this rewarding and addicting sport! Find out what others say about us by reading student comments.

Sarah and Tomleadership

Tom McEwan, Director 
Tom grew up in the D.C. area and is a true pioneer in the sports of whitewater canoeing and kayaking. He was one of the first to explore some of today's most popular rapids on West Virginian, Canadian and Mexican rivers.

Tom has competed internationally on the U.S. National Team and with friends, was the first to run Great Falls on the Potomac River in 1975. Over the years, he has coached many of the nation’s top competitive athletes, including several Olympians, National Champions and U.S. National Team members. But he is most proud of the hundreds of recreational kayakers that he has introduced to the sport.

In 1998, Tom and several friends attempted a National Geographic-sponsored first descent of Tibet’s legendary Tsangpo River. You can read about this expedition in team member Wick Walker's book, "Courting the Diamond Sow," published by National Geographic Adventure Press in 2000.

Sarah Park, Director
Sarah grew up in Zambia, Africa, where she spent most of her childhood playing in and around the Zambezi River. She first sat in a kayak on this river at the age of 8. Since then, in the midst of traveling and living in different countries of the world, she discovered the Washington D.C. area and the Potomac River. This was the beginning of paddling class IV & V whitewater in West Virginia, Canada, Colorado, and Mexico. Sarah can be credited for kayaking numerous first descents in Mexico. When not away leading a trip or competing as one of the top 10 paddlers on the U.S National Whitewater Slalom Circuit she can be found enthusiastically sharing her knowledge of kayaking with groups of students on the Potomac River.

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Tom and Sarah handpick their instructors, all of whom demonstrate a passion for people, teaching, kayaking and the outdoors;  their skills and attitude reflect the spirit of Liquid Adventures. All instructors, at minimum, have American Canoe Association (ACA) Whitewater certification and have undertaken. Most have undertaken Wilderness First Aid, American Red Cross CPR and First Aid courses. Those who lead our trips and teach intermediate courses also have ACA Advanced Whitewater and Advanced Swiftwater certifications. 

We pride ourselves in the caliber of our instructors and are confident to place you in their safe, well-trained hands. In fact, Tom McEwan, one of a handful of ACA Kayak Instructor Trainers in the country, is certified at the ACA’s highest available level and is qualified to certify other developing instructors.

We always like to meet certified instructors who have an interest in joining our team. If you are interested in joining the Liquid Adventures team of instructors, please email an application form and call our office. We’d love to hear from you.

If you are not yet certified but are interested in becoming an instructor, we offer the ACA certification in the spring. This program is ideal for anyone who would like to become an instructor or for those of you who would just like to enhance your individual understanding of skill and technique and to build a foundation of expertise.

2004 instructors:
Christian Berger
Bryon Dorr
Mike Keeney
Eric Levine
AJ McIntyre
Jeff McIntyre
Mark Moore
Joe Mornini
Tom McEwan
Sarah Park
Nathan Nahikian
Kristen Podolak
Tom Smith
Andre Steuer
Suzanna Vanha
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25 Ericsson Rd, Cabin John, MD 20818 • (301) 229-0428 • info@liquidadventures.org
website: Copyright © 2004 by liquid adventures. all rights reserved.
photos: copyright © 2004 by maria stenzel (except where noted). all rights reserved.
website design: Beth Laundon designs