Regional Update + Recertification Course in NY - ACA

Jun 10, 2024

Regional Update + Recertification Course in NY

Yonkers_Regional Update

An ACA Level 1 and 2 Regional Instructor Update weekend took place on June 1 and 2 at Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club in Yonkers, NY.  Five ACA Instructor Trainers traveled from Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Carolina to support approximately 35 river kayaking, canoeing, SUP, and touring kayak instructors. This event merged multiple paddlecraft and student-centered instruction strategies employing basic paddling concepts to facilitate learning across all the disciplines. There was focus on activities and games to facilitate learning and to build creative ways to assess skills while playing.

Multiple debriefing sessions revealed that many participants found liberation with paddling a craft they may not have previously mastered, and they welcomed the opportunity to make mistakes without judgement. Challenges such as sinking one end of a canoe to make a pivot turn, using a SUP to drain water from a canoe, and “all-in” rescues with no talking were entertaining to do and watch! Working outside of a preferred discipline helps instructors to break down skills into consumable bites to enhance teaching and learning. Everyone walked away from this event charged up with enthusiasm and new paddling friends.

When asked, “How did this experience compare to your expectations?” Here is what participants had to say:

“This update made me excited about being an instructor again. I’m looking forward to working with the new members in our club. I can’t wait to use my new tools I’ve learned.”


“Different than expected, and in a very positive way. I appreciated the creative, outside-the-box programming and exercises, which not only required demonstration of technical skills, but also heightened awareness of interpersonal dynamics and teaching methodologies.”


“Vastly exceeded, I had met the ITs on Friday night at the club and heard them discuss that they were going to do a multi craft experience. I ASSUMED that each IT would take 1 discipline and it would be run like a normal update. I went home and told my wife; they want me to Canoe and SUP; I am going to fail and I am one of the old kayakers that every club knows. I did not want to be embarrassed. However, the approach blew me away.”


“It was even better! I loved how it got us thinking about ways of learning and intuition versus instinct. I did think there would be more campers there, but I loved working with folks across craft! It helped me think about students who have not paddled a canoe but have paddled a kayak, and what skills they may have that are adaptable.”


“Met my expectations and more…. The group was wonderfully cooperative and engaging.”


“I found the multiple craft cross training to be a unique educational experience. I was never on an SUP before but was coached by my fellow instructor candidate to a successful standing position. The value of the activity was that everyone had something to teach AND something to learn.”