Light in the tunnel: Is this a watershed moment for teaching access?

Last week I saw a post by an old friend and colleague, Paul Sanford, who is the National Director of Recreation Policy for The Wilderness Society in Washington, DC. Paul and I were acquainted several years ago when I served on the Board of Directors of the American Canoe Association. His post caught my eye because of its importance to … Read More

ACA announces new pro-deals for L4 and L5 instructors

The American Canoe Association announced new pro-deals this week for current ACA level 4 and level 5 instructors including new ones from industry-leading manufacturers. Many thanks!!! to these companies for recognizing the leadership role that ACA instructors have in introducing thousands and thousands of new paddlers to our outdoor sports every year and the degree to which instructors already go to … Read More

Learning Styles

paddlers in a course

My colleague on ACA’s River Kayak Committee, Janet Cowie, Director of Instruction Paddlesports (update 1/17/15 new advancement for Janet-Congratulations!) at Zoar Outdoor recently forwarded me this short article which discusses the concept of “learning styles” in the context of different methods of teaching knowledge/skills to students. In short, I read the article to imply that widely held beliefs that students fall into discreet “learning … Read More

Words Matter: Arm v. Shoulder

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A kayak instructor course is equal parts art and science. We spend a considerable amount of time in the classes talking about building a “toolbox” and having many different ways to get a subject across. Words and methods that instantly hit home for one student may not for another. I find myself spending a lot of time on the water … Read More

Thoughts from the ACA Swiftwater Rescue Symposium

Last weekend’s inaugural ACA Swiftwater Rescue conference offered a lot of useful information and skills, presented by many of the top names in the biz including Charlie Walbridge, Les Bechdel, Slim Ray, Jim Coffey, Mike Mather, Walter Felton, Justin Padgett and more. It was easy to keep building one’s rescue “toolbox” of practical skills and techniques. Much of the information … Read More