ACA is encouraging instructors to submit articles to the ACA Journal of Paddlesport Education as a means to help improve your sport, get your ideas out into the community of your peers and encourage the evolution of paddlesport education. These articles don’t need to be a tome proposing any single “best way” to do something (but feel free to share if you know something like that!). You can present a new way of looking at an old topic, an observation you’ve made on teaching or learning or an opinion or question about the state of paddlesport education.
Let others see the professional that you are in our sports. Additional information about the JPE and the online submission process can be found here: http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=JPE.
The U.S. Coast Guard has released the 2011 National Recreational Boating Survey (pdf). These reports highlight recreational boating uses in the United States and provide some good insight for instructors on national trends in the paddlesports.
The following report was submitted to ACA’s Safety Education and Instruction Council (SEIC) in advance of the March 15, 2013 SEIC meeting scheduled in Fredericksburg, VA.
ACA River Kayak Committee
March, 2013 Report
The River Kayak Committee welcomes two new members for 2013: Chris Wing from North Carolina and Jeff Laxier from California. Mary DeRiemer and Phil DeRiemer have resigned as At-Large members albeit Mary is remaining as an Affiliate member. Mark Moore, previously a Division Representative, was appointed an At-Large member for 2013. Doug Davis was reappointed as Dixie Division Representative. Dave Herpy was reappointed Ohio-Penn Division Representative. Bruce Lessels was appointed as New England Division Representative. Continue reading
Wilson Creek. Photo courtesy Wade Kinker
The River Kayak Committee welcomes 2013 and a couple of new members including Chris Wing from North Carolina and Jeff Laxier from California. We’d also like to recognize the participation and service of Anne Sontheimer, Phil DeRiemer and Mary DeRiemer who are leaving the Committee as At-Large members (albeit Mary is continuing as an Affiliate member so we’ll still have her valuable guidance). Congratulations to those who have been appointed At-Large and Divisional Representatives for the year as well as all of the Committee’s returning officers. See the 2013 roster here.
In a 2013 kickoff email, the Committee has outlined targets for the upcoming year’s discussions, much of it including SEIC-wide projects that will affect not only the River Kayak curriculum, but also that of other disciplines. We’ll try to keep updates of activities posted here on this site throughout the year.
- River Kayak curriculum reviews during 2012 left the “hanging chad” of nomenclature for the various draw strokes. There was considerable discussion about what to call the various draws and associated maneuvers (i.e. variously, slicing draw, sculling draw, draw to the hip, sideslip, draw-on-the-move, static draw, dynamic draw, etc.). The Committee would like to establish a workgroup to establish whether changes are necessary and if so, harmonize and standardize this language among our curriculum documents (skills, assessment, certification courses).
- During 2012, the SEIC Standards Committee (on which the RKC Chair participates for RK considerations) proposed changes to time prerequisites (two years) prior to becoming certified as an L5 instructor, IT or ITE. The Standards Committee sees a lot of requests for waivers of these policies. In lieu of a time-requirement, the committee believed the result would be better served by a change to a teaching requirement as a prerequisite. The following language was proposed by the Standards Committee at the November 2012 SEIC meeting but was tabled in favor of allowing disciplines comment and input. The River Kayak Committee will discuss these proposals and report back to the Standards Committee on our conclusions.
Instructor Trainer candidates are required to report at least six classes in the four years prior to beginning their candidacy. Three or more of these classes must be at the level of IT certification being pursued. Although instructors may assist an IT teaching an ICW, assisting will not be credited towards the IT process unless 6 courses have been reported. Level 5 instructor candidates must report at least 3 level-4 courses before taking a level-5 ICW. This policy does not apply to disciplines that allow instructor candidates to become level-5 instructors at their initial certification. Instructor Trainer Educator candidates must teach and report at least two ICWs, one update and one skills or assessment course at or above their desired ITE level. All course must be reported before the ITE application is submitted.
- Develop classroom credentialing. This is a topic assigned disciplines by SEIC and refers to a need to develop a category of “Instructor” (or some other term) who would be capable of providing a classroom-only curriculum on paddlesports, but no on-water instruction. The River Kayak Committee will be working with other discipline committees to evaluate and develop this topic. It’s likely that the outcome of this will not be development of a discipline-specialist, but rather a generalist who can deliver content on all paddlesports, something like SmartStart curriculum. The product will need to identify both curriculum and “credentialing” criteria.
- Generate more online resources as tools for instructors. There is a tremendous amount of electronic information being made public that can serve both instructors and the paddling public. The River Kayak Committee will look at identifying a mechanism for RKC to be able to identify and serve as a clearing house for (or even to directly develop) this type of information as well as proposing a mechanism to carry this activity forward even after our current members are no longer on the committee (i.e. a legacy product that can be easily maintained and built upon).
- Generating effective coaching material. This is a workgroup being led by the new SEIC co-chair Todd Johnstone-Wright. Mike Aronoff has already agreed to serve on it and other RKC members may also join in. The purpose is to address more refined materials related to the ideas of “coaching” and developing candidates and paddlers and possibly to better develop materials that prepare instructors to conduct assessments.
ACA’s River Kayak Committee is a volunteer-run organization consisting of ACA certified River Kayak instructors, ITs and ITEs. Voting At-Large and Divisional Representatives are appointed annually to represent regional RK instructor interests. The Committee however welcomes participation by any ACA member as Affiliate members of the Committee. Affiliates will be included in official correspondence of the Committee. The Committee also welcomes the informal input of any ACA River or L1 Kayak instructor. Your ideas, suggestions and comments help add to the strength, value and validity of the work of the Committee. Contact email@example.com with any comment you may have or feel free to comment directly to the blog here.
Taking a look at the distribution of L1 Kayak and River Kayak Instructors around the United States. Some interesting distributions are depicted. There is certainly some relationship to location, activity and number of IT/ITE and in the case of Ohio, involvement with mandatory boater safety education. Though IT and ITE are not included in this list, keep in mind that the 65+ of those can and do also teach basic students at many of these levels.
Are there areas/levels where more instructors (and/or IT/ITE) are needed? L1 is certainly a growing market for paddlesports instruction in the country with recreational kayaking one of the fastest paddlesports growth areas. ALL ACA kayak instructors are certified to teach L1.
This data was gleaned from the current list of kayak instructors published by ACA here:
SEIC Secretary Charlie Duffy has distributed the minutes of the November 1, 2012 SEIC meeting in Folly Beach, SC which took place before this year’s annual paddlesports conference. A .pdf of the minutes is available here: http://www.acariverkayak.org/files/SEICMtgMinutes11-01-12Final.doc.pdf
The River Kayak Committee was very busy in late summer and early fall of this year with a complete review and edit of River Kayak curriculum. Following extensive discussion and editing, the committee held its annual business meeting via conference call on August 28, 2012 and voted to take all the curriculum edits forward for approval by ACA’s Safety Education and Instruction Council and the ACA Board of Directors. See the approved minutes of this meeting here.
At the same time, the committee voted to take an amended River Kayak Committee charter forward for approval. Besides a few typographical changes, the amendment increased the allowable maximum number of voting members of the committee, a move we believed would increase the potential for River Kayak Instructors to participate on the Committee and help shape the future of River Kayak Education. The River Kayak Committee may now have as many as 13 voting members, raising the potential voting quorum of the committee to a minimum of 4 members (i.e. 30% of the total voting members.) Text of the newly approved charter can be viewed here. We invite any ACA member to join the River Kayak Committee as an Affiliate member and invite any River Kayak instructor who would like to actively serve as a member of the committee to contact one of us. We invite participation from our discipline. Likewise, be sure to let us know of any ideas, concerns or questions you have.
River Kayak curriculum edits were, in large part, editorial and typographical in nature and tried to harmonize language and concepts among all levels, as appropriate. A few substantive changes are worth noting:
- Introduced a “River Kayak Instructor Update Sample Outline”
- Made consistent a statement on the use of personal judgement in skills curriculum at all levels
- Modified “Kayak Rolling Endorsement” to explicitly disallow the endorsement for L1 instructors with the logic that L1 curriculum excludes the use of sprayskirts and the endorsement is therefore not appropriate.
- L1 assessment: changed self-rescue language to “swim self and boat to shore for 50 feet”
- L1 venue language was changed and made consistent across all L1 courses (including that of other disciplines, through a proposal from the Introduction to Paddling Committee). The new venue is: “calm, flat water, protected from wind, waves and outside boat traffic, with no apparent current, within swimming distance of shore.“
- L2 skills course: added discussion of sprayskirt
- L5 skills assessment: rewritten to include additional criteria
- L5 instructor criteria: changed prerequisite of 2 years as L4 instructor to minimum of 2 L4 courses taught/reported. Added criterion of perform rolls on both sides in class conditions.
- Though the River Kayak Committee recommended changes to the maximum allowable instructor:student ratio, the SEIC voted to table that recommendation pending an opportunity for other committees to consider this change at L5. (Please see and vote on the poll on the RKC home page and sidebar)
- The SEIC Standards Committee passed two proposals, one dealing with waiver procedures for IT/ITE candidates and the other clarifying instructor, IT and ITE certification and maintenance procedures. The SEIC Executive Committee will be working with the SEI office to update the SEIC policy manual addressing these changes. Watch for changes in the SEIC policy manual on the ACA site here.
At the end of the SEIC meeting, the following work products for SEIC before the next SEIC meeting were generally outlined:
- Generating agreement on time requirements for IT, ITE, and Level 5 as well as ratios. Target Date: March meeting. This is tasked to the discipline committees.
- Develop classroom credentialing. This is tasked to the discipline committees.
- Generate more online resources as tools for instructors. Target Date: March meeting. Requires everyone’s involvement.
- Generating effective coaching material. Target Date: March meeting. This is tasked to Todd Wright.
- Generate an ACA/BSA FAQ. Target Date: March meeting. This is tasked to Chris Stec & Keith Christopher (BSA Liaison).
- Continue course refinement. This is tasked to the discipline committees.
- Work on a DIF plan. Target Date: March meeting. This task should be assigned to the Vice Chair Todd Wright to coordinate.
- Continue work on metrics the SEIC would like to see. Target Date: March meeting. This task should be assigned to the Executive Committee.
The ACA Board of Directors passed the SEIC-approved proposals two days later during the November, 2012 Board of Directors Meeting in Folly Beach.
The ACA River Kayak Committee will be meeting at 4:30 PM Eastern, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 before ACA’s annual National Paddlesports Conference in room “Shipwatch B” at “The Tides” hotel in Folly Beach (Charleston), SC.
The Committee recently held its formal annual meeting by conference call on August 28th. Minutes of that meeting will be made available on this site once the Committee has approved the draft minutes.
Join us in Charleston for the Committee meeting or send us your comments or suggestions beforehand to raise in the meeting!
The ACA Dixie Division Chair, Nathan Depenbrock has appointed Doug Davis, owner of Louisville, Kentucky’s River City Canoe and Kayak as the ACA Dixie Division’s representative to the River Kayak Committee. Doug is an ACA canoe, kayak and swiftwater rescue instructor and a member of the ACA Board of Directors. We welcome Doug to the committee.
The River Kayak Committee welcomes David Herpy, Outdoor Adventure Coordinator for Kent State University as the ACA Ohio-Penn Division’s appointment to the committee.