I teach paddlesports and water safety courses as an affiliated instructor of Canoe Kayak and Paddle Company of Vienna, VA. Courses are based on American Canoe Association curriculum and may include skills courses, skills assessments and flatwater and river kayak (including whitewater) ACA instructor certification courses. For a limited number of individuals at any one time, I also offer development as an ACA flatwater through whitewater kayaking (L1-L4) Instructor Trainer. I enjoy teaching padldesports and try to focus on meeting students’ expressed needs rather than establishing a set schedule of limited itinerary. If you are interested in training, please contact me and we’ll work to meet your goals, even if I can suggest opportunities with other instructors who may offer a more effective solution for your needs.
ACA education is categorized by discipline such as river kayak or safety and rescue and by type of activity venue, typically by increasing level of difficulty, with level 1 being flatwater and in the case of rivers, with level 5 being advanced whitewater (up to class IV whitewater).
I do not generally provide boats or equipment for courses. Students should provide their own equipment.
Skills Courses-These are the paddling courses one normally sees. They are meant to introduce and practice new skills on the water or to advance and hone additional skills and knowledge. I teach in 4 separate disciplines including river and coastal kayak, canoe and river safety and rescue. Courses can be taught as standard ACA curriculum or can be custom molded to the students’ needs, interests and timeframe.
Assessments- Assessment courses are intended to provide an objective benchmark for a paddler’s skills. These courses require a paddler to demonstrate specific stroke and maneuver skills and rescues to the instructor at a variety of endpoint levels. Successful completion of an assessment course results in an Assessment certificate from the American Canoe Association as a Level 1, 2, 3…etc. kayaker (up to level 5), canoer (level 1-tandem) or river rescuer (up to level 3) in the appropriate discipline. Specialized assessments are also available for River Kayak Day-trip Leader (a 2-day assessment popular with river guides) and for Kayak Camping (river or coastal).
Instructor Certification Courses– I offer courses in Introduction to Kayaking (Level 1) and River Kayaking up through Whitewater Kayaking Instructor (Levels 2-4) certification as an American Canoe Association Instructor (a few words here on the value of that certification). A very limited number of Instructor Certification courses in any given level are offered in response to demands for education by potential candidates.
Instructor Update Courses– Instructor updates are required for all ACA instructors at least once every four-year certification cycle. These can take place at any time during your certification cycle, but I urge instructors to get their updates when they can rather than waiting until the last year in order to insure that an update class will be available to them. Not all Instructor Trainers may offer updates in any given year and updates can sometimes be difficult to find for a given level/given discipline/given area.
Instructor Trainer Mentoring– Experienced ACA instructors may opt to carry their paddling and educational credentials to the next level and apply for certification as Instructor Trainers (IT) who can then teach and certify instructors themselves. Unlike instructor certification, IT development is not just a course, but rather a process of mentoring with an Instructor Trainer Educator (ITE) through the process of co-teaching an instructor workshop and then (at least) lead-teaching a second instructor workshop under the supervision of the ITE. The Instructor Trainer candidate may then make an application for certification to the ACA Safety Education and Instruction Council’s Standards Committee, documenting their credentials, proven performance and dedication to excellence in representing ACA. My goal in mentoring IT candidates is to lead them through this process to help them build experience, knowledge and credentials that make their application to the Standards Committee one with unquestionable merit.