Stroke Of Achievement Award - ACA

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Stroke Of Achievement Award

Stroke Of Achievement Award

Presented to one or more ACA Affiliated Clubs each year for superior performance and program development.

2018 - Georgia Canoeing Association (GCA)

Georgia Canoeing Association, Inc. originated in 1968, largely due to the efforts of Bill Crawford and Horace Holden, who felt a club should be formed to provide a common outlet for canoeist, whether novices or experts, as well as safety and paddling instruction. The club has grown from a handful of people to several hundred families and individuals and has expanded to include decked boats as well as canoes.

GCA membership consists mainly of people from Georgia and adjoining states who share the common objectives of exploring, enjoying and preserving the recreational waterways of America, particularly those in the Southeast. We utilize man powered craft and firmly believe in maintaining the wilderness character of our waterways through determined conservation efforts. One of GCA’s most critical endeavors is to promote proficiency and safety on moving water through instruction, publicity and cooperation with other outdoor clubs. The GCA is active throughout the year with scheduled trips from February through November, as well as impromptu trips during the frigid months. Many trips are on moderate whitewater (the Etowah, Toccoa, ect); there are a few float trips (no rapids) and some trips to truly wildwater (sec IV of the Chattooga, Ocoee) which are guaranteed to challenge the most expert paddler. In 1969 the GCA organized the first whitewater slalom race in the Southeast on the Nantahala River in North Carolina over the July 4th weekend. This Southeastern U.S. Canoe and Kayak Championship race has become a major annual event and attracts paddlers from all over the country. IN 2018 it celebrated its 50th anniversary! Finally and of considerable importance is the club’s very active role in ecological and conservation activities and mapping of rivers.

2017 - Tennessee Valley Canoe Club

The Tennessee Valley Canoe Club (TVCC) was found in 1967 and is currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary. TVCC is known across the Southeast for 3 major programs it has developed: Paddle School, the Ocoee Race, and its Safety Program.  In a recent interview with founding member Jean Dolan (101 years old), she stated, “Almost nobody had any experience in being a part of a school. We just knew we needed paddling schools, so everybody winged it. We had planning meetings on what should go on and agreed on certain rules.” Since the first paddle schools in the late ‘60s, TVCC has gone on to develop very successful year-round paddling program that begins with Paddle School, held in early summer each year.  At Paddle School students learn the fundamentals of paddling with classes ranging from beginner to intermediate with very low Instructor-Student ratios.  Paddle School is followed with a summer-long series of weekend training trips led by knowledgeable TVCC Trip Leaders providing a safety-infused environment to test members skills, increase confidence, and gain river experience.  This extension of Paddle School offers opportunities to members at all skill levels from Class II to Class IV to learn and develop new skills, hone and maintain current abilities, and participate in self-paced, organized training programs that will take you from novice to expert and anywhere in between.  Paddle School now hosts over 150 students and over 400 participants total (including instructors, support boaters and volunteers).  Almost all of the instructors at Paddle School are ACA certified instructors. The Ocoee Race was started in 2008 after an idea by two members Emily Marsh Smoot and Brian Goodwin that it would be fun to race down the river and see who could do it the fastest.  Since then it has grown to include over 15 categories of boaters expanding from Men and Women’s Elite Longboat to include fun categories like Tandem Parent/Child.  Last year, the race had 151 start times made up of 119 racers. The race has a very successful after party with all proceeds [$1500 in 2016, and a $1000 match from TVCC, for a total of $2500] benefiting the Team River Runner Chattanooga, helping disabled American service veterans get out on the river and enjoy paddle sports.  TVCC has developed a truly stellar safety program, regionally recognized for its outstanding quality and value.

2016 - Nantahala Racing Club

Founded in 1989, the Nantahala Racing Club (NRC) is a non-profit organization that was originally conceived to provide a support platform for canoe and kayak athletes training for the Olympics. However, today the NRC is committed to engaging youth and families in whitewater sports. Specializing in slalom, freestyle, and downriver competition, NRC develops and supports athletes of all ages and ability levels through a variety of training resources and events. By using whitewater-based exploration and competition the NRC encourages connections with the outdoors, promotes continuous self-improvement and empowers youth participants to expand their horizons. The NRC is made up of a collaboration of members who are whitewater athletes, volunteers and enthusiasts. NRC members believe in the intrinsic value of outdoor sport. The NRC believes that excellence is worth pursuing, and they work as a team to develop and grow paddlesports in the United States. One of their most successful programs is the Nantahala Kids Club. The NKC is a six-week program designed to get kids active and engaged in the outdoors through introduction to paddlesports. The focus is on learning basic whitewater safety skills, and building a supportive community of strong, confident, healthy kids. Participants are encouraged to advance at their own pace, while coaches provide individualized instruction and lead group games and exercises.

2015 - Cross Currents Sea Kayaking

In 2015, Cross Currents Sea Kayaking (Baltimore, MD) designed and implemented an innovative approach to sea kayaking instruction that can and should be considered a model for paddle sports. We believe that this model – called “Unconscious Competence” – constitutes a significant achievement in program development that holds promise for nation-wide programming. As instructors who were involved in the model’s implementation, we have seen first-hand that it has had a tremendous beneficial impact on the skills, knowledge and confidence of the paddlers who participated in the program in 2015.  The model’s goal is to move similarly-situated intermediate paddlers towards unconscious competence with respect to personal skills at the ACA L3 level. The basic design incorporates: 1) careful client selection; 2) a series of 12 sessions delivered to the same group of paddlers over a three-month period; 3) a planned progression of skill acquisition and reinforcement; 4) a pledge by all participants to practice the skills routinely outside of the class setting; 5) the application of those skills in increasingly challenging environments; 6) development of group cohesion to provide a supporting learning environment; 7) coaching delivered by a team of ACA L2, L3, L4 and L5 certified instructors and 8) a pre-post comparison of skills and a formal assessment at the end of the process. 

2015 - Foothills Paddling Club

The Foothills Paddling Club based out of Greenville, South Carolina has had a wonderful past twelve months. A substantial growth in paddlesport instruction in South Carolina has occurred due to the excitement surrounding their Rapid Progression Clinics.  Rapid Progression introduces first timers to the sport of whitewater kayaking through high quality instruction from ACA instructors, a strong community of members in Foothills Paddling Club, an affordable price, and the excitement of leaders like Mark Miller and Ben Peters. South Carolina has a lot of momentum now.  The whitewater community created by Foothills Paddling Club has provided a fun and safe environment for all ages to learn and enjoy the sport of whitewater kayaking.  Through community-building events like Chattooga Fest, a social network of 1,000+ followers, and significant support for local ACA instructors to help them out, Foothills Paddling Club is keeping our state’s paddlers safe and educated.  The Foothills Paddling Club has events all around the southeast U.S. as well as supporting local events like the annual Millrace Massacre and Iceman Championships in Columbia, SC.  If you see FPC at the river, I promise that you’ll end up having a smile on your face after meeting them.

2014 - Bronx River Alliance

The Bronx River Alliance is committed to practicing and upholding the values of inclusion, collaboration, environmental justice, responsiveness, communication, ecological restoration, innovation, respect, integrity, and public access. The Alliance believes that its mission is best served by seeking diverse partners, communicating freely, honestly and with respect for the accomplishments of others, and working collaboratively to get things done. Its strength lies in the participation and independence of the communities along the river, which are so intimately connected to its past and—most critically—its future. The Alliance serves a diverse community in the Bronx including primarily working class, low-income and immigrant neighborhoods. They work with over 40 local schools, youth and community organizations to engage residents in the development of the Bronx River Greenway and in the river’s restoration.

2013 - Bend Paddle Trail Alliance

The Bend Paddle Trail Alliance (BPTA) is an ACA Affiliated Club that is multi-faceted, including being a driving force behind the 2013 National Paddlesports Conference. BPTA recently established the Deschutes Paddle Trail, a navigable paddle trail within Deschutes County that has enhanced river and lake recreation and appreciation for a wide variety of recreational water enthusiasts while promoting water safety, education, and stewardship. Whether you want to sea-kayak the beautiful High Cascade Lakes with sweeping mountain views, paddle a gentle section of the Lower Deschutes River among the otters, beavers and eagles, or whitewater-raft an exciting stretch of river just minutes from Downtown Bend, the Deschutes Paddle Trail has something for all recreational water enthusiasts. The Deschutes Paddle Trail showcases the geographical diversity of Central Oregon while providing access to and information about nine of the High Cascade Lakes as well as stretches of the Little Deschutes and Deschutes Rivers within Deschutes County. Meandering at times, frequently tranquil and occasionally astonishingly powerful, the Deschutes Paddle Trail is an awesome display of nature. As a nonprofit organization, the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance is devoted to the preservation of the natural beauty of the Deschutes Paddle Trail. Recently the organization has created and published, with the support of local partners, comprehensive guides to the entire Deschutes Paddle Trail. The guides provide information on local wildlife, river safety and proper stewardship. The BPTA is currently working on creating a whitewater play park at the Colorado Street Dam in Bend, OR.

2012 - Lowcountry Paddlers

Members of the Lowcountry Paddlers share a common interest in paddling the coastal waters, rivers, creeks, swamps, and lakes of the South Carolina lowcountry. Experience levels vary from beginner to expert while boats range from sit-on-tops to expedition sea kayaks. They plan numerous trips throughout the year with the latest schedule posted on the Club Paddles page. Members of the club also plan Show-n-Go paddles, these gatherings are not official club events, but rather impromptu get-togethers.

2011 - Illinois Paddling Council

The Illinois Paddling Council (IPC) was organized in 1963 and is a not-for-profit association of paddlers and paddling organizations in Illinois. The Illinois Paddling council is dedicated to promoting the safe enjoyment of all phases of canoeing and kayaking in Illinois, to assure access to the state’s waters and to protect and preserve the natural resources within the state.

2010 - Northwest Indiana Paddling Association

The Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA) was formally founded on January 18, 2009 as a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the region’s paddling resources and opportunities, providing environmental stewardship of the region’s waterways, education, and to be a link between the region’s paddlers. Helping to Promote Canoeing & Kayaking in Northwest Indiana. Increasing Recreational Paddling Opportunities throughout the Region. Supporting Watershed Ecological Conservation and Restoration Efforts. Increasing Public Access and Helping to Enhance Our Water Trails. Finding New Friends Interested in Canoeing, Kayaking, and the Outdoors. Having Tons of Fun Paddling our Wonderful Waterways!!!

2009 - Canoe Club of Greater Harrisburg

The Canoe Club of Greater Harrisburg is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of novice through experienced paddlers ages 8 and up, from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area that has been paddling as a club since 1976. Our 400 plus members organize and schedule river trips, of all levels of classifications, throughout the year along with various other events including a annual weekend camping trip at the Youghiogheny river in Ohiopyle, in Western Pennsylvania. The club schedules canoe and kayak safety and skill training courses to all skill levels of members throughout the year.

2008 - St. Louis Canoe & Kayak Club

The club paddles large rivers, small streams, and local lakes in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. While some paddlers are accomplished, we welcome all kayaking and canoeing skill levels. We offer day and overnight trips as well as safety clinics and fun on the water.

2007 - Hawaii Island Paddlesport Association

Hawaii Island Paddlesports Association had a 15 year run putting on full seasons of solo outrigger canoe events, the association now focuses on managing the Honokohau facility and putting on “one-off” special canoe races. We no longer organize races and are focused on the canoe storage facility that includes a halau to hold events and for post race gatherings at Honokohau Harbor in North Kona.

2006 - North Atlantic Canoe & Kayak Club

Based on Long Island, New York, NACK serves paddling interests throughout the Northeastern United States. We believe that a strong commitment to training and assessment fosters personal growth. We encourage all members to safely explore the limits of their capabilities in order to best enjoy their chosen aspect of paddling. Together we seek adventure in paddling.

2005 - Philadelphia Canoe Club

Philadelphia Canoe Club (PCC) has been in existence since 1905, and is a dedicated group of canoeists and kayakers. All of the club trips, training, and events are open to the public, and do not require membership. The club promotes paddling, and paddlesports in the Philadelphia area, training new paddlers, and leading trips all over the US, year round. Come out and paddle with us! We’d love to have you along!

2005 - Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers

Our kayaking club and it’s members are located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, USA. Our primary goal is to help people enjoy the sport of sea kayaking in a fun & safe manner. Members enjoy over 50 Organized Paddle Trips each year, free kayak skills training, monthly “paddle picnics”, a monthly newsletter, and monthly meetings featuring information on kayaking and related topics by speakers from across the area…and a great social network of Sea Kayakers !

2005 - Arkansas Canoe Club

The Arkansas Canoe Club is a recreational organization consisting of over 600 member households representing seven chapters in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. ACC Members love to paddle the rivers, streams, bayous and lakes of The Natural State and beyond. Regardless of whether you are new to canoeing, kayaking or rafting or if you are a veteran, you will be among friends in the Arkansas Canoe Club. We are dedicated to participating in and promoting the sport of paddling by holding paddling schools and clinics, whitewater rescue courses, river cleanups and being active in conservation and river access issues..but most of all WE HAVE A LOT OF FUN!!

2004 - Cherry Capital PAC

Formerly known as the Cherry Capital Paddle America Club, the Traverse Area Paddle Club (re-named in 2009) is for kayakers and canoeists paddling in northwestern lower Michigan. The club organizes events for all levels of experience, including traveling on inland lakes, the Great Lakes, and easy and difficult rivers, as well as community service activities to clean up the region’s waterways.

2003 - Carolina Canoe Club

We invite you to join us in the Carolina Canoe Club a group of people who are interested in many phases of paddlesport: whitewater, quietwater, touring and camping. Club members teach skills to people just starting in the exciting outdoor sport and share their knowledge of the many nearby waterways of the Carolinas and the southeastern United States. Best of all, Carolina Canoe Club members enjoy getting close to nature at a pace that varies from leisurely paddling to churning wild water.

2002 - Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association

The Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association is a diverse group of over 400 paddlers who share a passion for kayaking. Our paddling trips are organized by our members and are posted on our on-line message board ‘Paddler’s Express’. Members with all levels of skill and experience, create richly varied kayaking trips that take advantage of the wonderfully diverse waters that our area has to offer. JSSKA membership provides opportunities for group paddling through informal skills sessions, club sponsored picnics, trips and events. JSSKA members also enjoy the benefit of discounts with selected ACA instructors and outdoor retailers. Our current membership includes kayakers from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

2002 - Mohawk Canoe Club

The Mohawk Canoe Club located in New Jersey is an organization for paddlers, addressing their needs and promoting the benefits of canoeing and kayaking. Activities include paddling trips, instructional classes, social gatherings, river cleanups, camping, and other outdoor activities. Our trip schedule has over 150 trips per year, ranging from easy flat water to challenging whitewater.

2001 - Dayton Canoe Club

Being located on four rivers, none of sufficient size for navigation, yet large enough to make canoeing on them a sport to be enjoyed in all its phases, Dayton had among its population many canoe enthusiasts, not a few of whom had for a long time dreamed of a real canoe club. ” stated a pamphlet given at the opening of the Dayton Canoe Club.  “Late in the fall of 1912 a canoe club was talked of and the Dayton Canoe Club was organized with but fourteen members.”

2000 - Philadelphia Canoe Club

Philadelphia Canoe Club (PCC) has been in existence since 1905, and is a dedicated group of canoeists and kayakers. All of the club trips, training, and events are open to the public, and do not require membership. The club promotes paddling, and paddlesports in the Philadelphia area, training new paddlers, and leading trips all over the US, year round. Come out and paddle with us! We’d love to have you along!

1999 - Prescott Club

1999 - Delaware Valley Division

We’re an easygoing group that loves to paddle all types of water. Our Wednesday ‘Hump Day Paddles’ are a great way for those new to the group or new to paddling to come out and meet the group on easy flatwater. We also plan a variety of camping and kayaking trips during the warmer months, and even cold water paddles year round for those with proper gear. Come on out and join us!

1998 - Dixie Division

The Dixie Division of the ACA serves the Southeast United States including: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky by providing access to information about paddlesport events, trainings, & meetings. The Dixie Division also promotes water access, conservation, safety, education, and paddlesport competition throughout the region through volunteer work, donations, and grass-roots activism.

1998 - Austin Paddling Club

The Austin Paddling Club (APC) is a non-profit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) status. The Austin Paddling Club offers canoe, kayak, inflatable, and other human-powered paddle sport as lifetime activities through education, recreation, competition, and conservation. APC activities and programs are open to all individuals. It also offers several membership categories.

1997 - Ohio Penn Division

Encompassing Ohio and Western Pennsylvania the ACA Ohio-Penn Division offers a vast array of support for the local paddling community by striving to offer programs to all paddling enthusiasts. We hope you can join us on the water! Welcome to the Ohio-Penn!

1997 - Carolina Canoe Club

We invite you to join us in the Carolina Canoe Club a group of people who are interested in many phases of paddlesport: whitewater, quietwater, touring and camping. Club members teach skills to people just starting in the exciting outdoor sport and share their knowledge of the many nearby waterways of the Carolinas and the southeastern United States. Best of all, Carolina Canoe Club members enjoy getting close to nature at a pace that varies from leisurely paddling to churning wild water.

1996 - Northwest Division

The Division and State Associations and Paddle America Clubs in the Northwest are there to grow and support the membership and the mission of the ACA by providing communication, events and being ambassadors for the worldwide paddling community.

1996 - National Canoe Safety Patrol

The NCSP was founded more than 33 yrs. ago for the purpose of encouraging and promoting boating safety, including but not limited to the following: To assist river management agencies, race organizers and other safety and rescue organizations by offering river rescue training orientation to their personnel. To provide a shore and boat based safety presence in cooperation with river management agencies, race organizers and other safety and rescue organizations. To provide rescue and recovery assistance upon request of, and in cooperation with, river management agencies and other safety and rescue organizations.

1995 - Bluegrass Wildwater Association

Formed in 1976 and now a 200+ member club of human-powered watercraft enthusiasts, the BWA is based in the Lexington, KY area. We have kayakers and canoeists of all ages and ability levels. The Bluegrass Wildwater Association (BWA) encourages the enjoyment, preservation and exploration of American whitewater waterways. The organization’s objectives are to protect the wilderness character of these waterways through conservation of water, wildlife, forests and parks. To promote safety and proficiency in all aspects of wildwater activities and to enhance appreciation for the recreational value of wilderness waterways and wildwater sports. To chart and preserve wilderness waterways in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The BWA is also the proud host of the world famous National Paddling Film Festival.

1994 - Midwest Division

Volunteers from this ACA Division were responsible for Chicago’s Paddle in the Park.  In addition, the members in the Midwest Division support the ACA’s mission throughout the region.

1994 - Washington Canoe Club

The Washington Canoe Club is located below Georgetown on the Potomac River. WCC was founded in 1904 by paddlers from Potomac Boat Club, which is located 100 meters down stream. WCC has placed athletes on almost every Canoe/Kayak Olympic Team since 1924, when Flatwater Sprint Canoeing was introduced as a demonstration sport. The club is presently designated a “Center of Excellence” by the United States Canoe and Kayak Team (US CKT), the national governing body for the sport of Olympic flatwater racing, and Olympians and Olympic hopefuls train at the club.