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Employees of the Boaz school system’s central office enjoyed a day of “team building” with kayak challenges on Guntersville Lake.

A day on the water to build the team

The entire central office and all the principals from the Boaz school system loaded up in a bus and went to the lake last Friday. They met Phil Walton of Unphiltered Kayaking in the park near Guntersville Middle School for a day of kayaking and “team building.” “This is our leadership team and we’re trying to do this every year,” said Boaz superintendent Mark Isley. “We did a ropes course last year.” The idea is to get team members out of their normal environment, perhaps out of their comfort zone, to see how they will respond when faced with new challenges.

Dr. Isley said some staff members weren’t real comfortable with water. He was especially proud of how they overcame that fear to paddle the kayaks. In addition to team building, he said the exercise was also a reminder for the staff to take time to have fun occasionally. He said it’s so easy to forget about that when they get caught up in the business of running the schools. “I would recommend exercises like this for all the school offices,” Dr. Isley said. “I’d like to see this idea catch on.” He said the lesson “is about pushing through obstacles when you need to make a decision for the school system.”

Mr. Walton got a hand in leading the class from Jeff Horton of Georgia Mountain, who not only paddles kayaks but also builds them through his side business, Kudzu Craft. Mr. Horton will be traveling to Wallops Island, Virginia, soon to lead a one-week session to teach people how to build their own kayaks through the “Road Scholar” program. Mr. Walton’s business is based in Owens Cross Roads, but he does most of his paddling out of Guntersville. He offers a variety of classes and trips. He said one of the most popular trips is to the bat cave on Guntersville Lake to see the evening emergence of the bats.




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