The ACA Instructor of the Month for September, Allison Cone, earned her first instructor certification in 2001. Since her initial kayaking certification, she has added canoeing and stand up paddleboarding to her credentials and expertise. Allison hosts her paddling classes working for Adventure Outpost, a program of Great Parks of Hamilton County Ohio.
Allison started her career in environmental education. She recommends new instructors investigate experiential learning and how to incorporate it into classes. “The skills and lessons I learned as an educator with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and as a facilitator with the American Youth Foundation have been essential to becoming the paddle instructor I am today,” Allison says about her experience prior to becoming an ACA instructor.
When asked about what she finds rewarding as an ACA instructor, Allison eagerly replies, “I appreciate that I get to be a part of our participants’ paddling success story and get to witness them develop their skills and build confidence throughout the class.”
Due to the pandemic, one of Allison’s favorite activities with Adventure Outpost has been on hiatus for two years. She is looking forward to hosting again a cleanup series initiative with partnering organizations. Taking canoes out onto the lake provides access to much larger items that cannot be accessed from the banks. Over the years, this initiative has retrieved tires, sports balls, straws, shopping carts and various other large random items discarded in her community’s waterways.
Allison’s dedication to sharing her passion for paddlesports and environmental stewardship are admirable, and we applaud her efforts! Congratulations Allison!