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Map of Northeastern VAC Trips

The Vermont Adventure Club has its origins in an early spring (1989) trip down the St. John River by future club members Tony Lee and Rick Kozlowski.  To be kind, they had novice (pronounced NO-VEE-CHAY, Italian for “awesome”) whitewater paddling skills – a fact  that was revealed when they struck a rock in Class 1 rapids on the first day, rolled the canoe and dumped all of their non-waterproofed gear.  All but one paddle was lost requiring the bow paddler to use a stick to fend off rocks (until a plastic paddle was found in an eddy several miles downriver).  Days later, Kozlowski and Lee survived two sets of Class III rapids without PFD’s, helmets, skill or much common sense.  Despite the many mistakes, the trip was a riot and a complete success. 

This early trip predated Kozlowski’s move to Vermont (1991) and his friendship with the other members of the VAC.  The next two trips down the St. John (1996 and 1998) were inspired by the 1989 trip and were the genesis of the first trip down the Bonaventure where the VAC was formed (2001).  On the Bonaventure, it was decided by the founding members (Dan Burchard, Dan McFall, Chip Martin and Rick Kozlowski) that the club should have no rules, no charter, no dues and no structure.  The only prerequisite to membership is to participate from time to time in VAC adventures. 

After a one year hiatus in 2002, the VAC has organized at least one trip each year for the last 14 years (except 2020 -- Covid pandemic).  Radiant, Petawawa, Tetons, Dumoine, Huntington Ravine, Crow, Katahdin, Cascades, Missinaibi, and more are all places visited by the VAC in the last 14 years.  A complete trip list is below naming the members and others who participated.

The VAC is a club in name only – it’s only real mission is to get together, share the outdoors, drink a few beers and have a bunch of laughs.

In the words of GW:  Mission Accomplished.

Current Participating Members:  Tony Lee, Rick Kozlowski, Dan McFall, Dan Burchard, Pete Brady, and Graham Shaw.


Year                 Location                                 Members/Participants                                      Activity     

1989                St. John River                         Tony, Rick                                                        WW Canoe

1996                St. John River                         Dan B., Dan M., Szymanski, Rick                   WW Canoe

1998                St. John River                         Dan B., Szymanski, Rick, Lil Dan                   WW Canoe

2001                Bonaventure                           Dan B, Dan M, Chip, Rick                               WW Canoe

2003                Radiant Lake                          Dan B, Dan M, Chip, Rick                               Canoe/Fish

2003                Great Gulf/Mt. Washington   Dan B, Chip, Rick                                             Hike/Camp

2004                Shasta                                     Dan B, George Mahon, Rick                            Mountaineer

2005                Dumoine                                 Dan B, Tony, Pete, Rick                                   WW Canoe

2005                Radiant                                   Dan B, Dan M, Tony, Pete, Koerner, Rick       Canoe/Fish

2006                Mount Rainier                        Graham, Rick                                                    Mountaineer

2007                Petawawa River                     Dan B, Dan M, Tony, Rick                               WW Canoe

2008                Mount Baker                          Graham, Rick                                                    Mountaineer

2009                Bonaventure                           Dan B, Dan M, Pete, Tony, Rick                     WW Canoe

2010                Radiant                                   Dan B, Dan M, Rick                                         Canoe/Fish

2010                Huntington Ravine                 Graham, Rick                                                    Ice Climb

2011                Radiant                                   Dan B, Dan M, Kieran, Rick                            Canoe/Fish

2011                Tetons                                     Rick                                                                  Hike/Camp

2011                Huntington Ravine                 Graham, Rick                                                    Ice Climb

2012                Radiant/Philip Lake               Dan B, Dan M, Pete, Rick                                Canoe/Fish

2012                Radiant                                   Dan B, Rick, Kieran, Brad                               Canoe/Fish

2013                Madison Gulf                         Rick, Graham                                                    Ice Climb/Winter Camp

2013                Radiant                                   Dan B, Dan M, Rick                                         Canoe/Fish

2014                Mount Katahdin                     Graham, Rick                                                    Ice Climb/Winter Camp

2014                Algonquin Loop                     Dan B, Dan M, Pete, Rick, Lil Tone                 Canoe/Fish

2015                Missinaibi River                     Dan B, Dan M, Pete, Rick                                WW Canoe/Fish

2015                Presidential Traverse              Rick, Graham                                                    Backpack/Camp

2016                Huntington Ravine                 Graham, Rick                                                    Ice Climb

2016                Cascade Mountains                Rick, Graham                                                     Mountaineer/Backpack

2016                Mistassibi River                     Dan B, Dan M, Pete, Tony, Rick                      WW Canoe

2017                Winter Presi Traverse            Rick, Graham, Alan                                           Winter Backpack/Camp

2017                Radiant Lake                         Dan B, Dan M, Rick                                          Canoe/Fish -- in the snow

2018                Huntington Ravine                Graham, Rick                                                    Ice Climb

2018                Radiant Lake                         Rick (solo, with Duncan)                                  Canoe/Fish

2018                Manicouagan Reservoir        Pete, Dan B., Dan M., Rick                               Circumnavigation of a 145 mile annular lake

2019                Nova Scotia                           Graham, Dan B., Dan M., Rick, Lil' Pete          Kayaking and sailing in the 100 Wild Islands

2021                Radiant Lake                         Graham, Dan M., Rick                                       Canoe/Fish

2022                Khumbu Valley Nepal           Graham, Rick                                                     Trek/Climb Island Peak (20,310')

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