Get certified as an ACA Kayak Instructor!

GRN is offering two opportunities for new Instructor Candidates to certify as an ACA Kayak Instructor in 2024:

  • August 2-4 with Instructor Trainer Francheska Hebden + 2 required Zoom nights
    Level 2 River Kayaking Instructor Certification Course (IDW/ICE) + PSF-Kayak Instructor Endorsement
  • Sept 7-10 with Instructor Trainer Jake Vitak + 3 required Zoom nights
    Level 1 Kayak Instructor Certification Course (IDW/ICE) + PSF-Kayak Instructor Endorsement + Paddlesports Angler Instructor Endorsement
Both classes include Instructor Development Workshop and Instructor Certification Exam (IDW/ICE)

Are you interested in becoming a certified kayaking instructor who can teach paddlers on lakes and class I rivers? 

ACA Instructor Criteria: To learn more about what to expect in this class and which skills are required to become a certified ACA instructor at each level of certification, please refer to the below documentation from the American Canoe Association.  Level 1 certification allows an instructor to teach on lakes. Level 2 certification allows an instructor to teach on lakes and class I rivers. In the Level 2 certification class an instructor candidate can earn up to the Level 2 certification, depending on performance. In the Level 1 certification class an instructor candidate can earn up to Level 1 certification, depending on performance in class. Certification is not guaranteed.

  1. Check out the ACA Level 2 River Kayaking Instructor Criteria.
  2. Check out the ACA Level 1 Kayaking Instructor Criteria.

This class allows candidates who successfully earn an instructor credential to complete to also earn a Paddlesport Safety Facilitator Instructor Endorsement for Kayak, which allows endorsed ACA instructors to deliver the Paddlesport Safety Facilitator professional certification to your students.

–> For more information on the Paddlesport Safety Facilitator Instructor Endorsement, 

1. Paddlesports Safety Facilitator – General Module

2. Paddlesports Safety Facilitator – Kayak Module

At the September 7-10 Instructor class, candidates will also have the opportunity to earn the Paddlesports Angler Instructor Endorsement.

–> For more information on the Paddlesports Angler Instructor Endorsement, CLICK HERE.

ACA Instructor Certification Course Details:
Level 2 River Kayaking + PSF-Kayak Instructor Endorsement

Instructor IDW/ICE Class Dates: August 2-4, 2024
There will be additional required Zoom sessions held on the following dates.
Attendance at all Zoom and in person sessions is mandatory to complete certification.

  • July 24 6:30 pm – 9 pm Eastern
  • August 14 6:30 pm – 9 pm Eastern

Location:
Day 1: Lake Allatoona, Kellogg Creek Day Use Area, 2077 Kellogg Creek Road, Acworth GA

Day 2-3: Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area, Metro Hooch, Atlanta, GA

Cost: $375 per person for tuition

Time: Class will convene promptly at 9 a.m. each morning and will require attendance all day.  At Instructor Trainer’s discretion, will include working meals and evening sessions. There will be two additional required Zoom sessions on July 24 and August 14.

Additional Considerations: There are a few additional costs required by the national certifying body that are not included in the tuition for this class that candidates should consider.

  • All candidates pursuing ACA instructor certification are required to be members of the American Canoe Association ($40).
    Individual Membership – ACA | Canoe – Kayak – SUP – Raft – Rescue (americancanoe.org)

  • Candidates who successfully complete the ACA certification will be required to get certified in First Aid and CPR before beginning your own classes as an instructor. This is not required before you get certified as an instructor, but it will make your life considerably easier if you have already taken care of this before your instructor class begins.
  • Candidates who successfully complete the ACA certification will be required to pay additional Instructor dues to the ACA Safety, Education and Instruction Council (SEIC) ($30).
  • You are responsible for your own housing, meals and transport during this class. We have camping options at Payne Campground available to you during registration.

Required Equipment:

  • Bring your own kayak, life jacket and paddle.
    For optimal performance and maximum versatility of your instructor credentials, we recommend a 9-10′ sit inside recreational or whitewater kayak. Up to 12′ sit inside or sit on top kayaks are also eligible but you may have difficulties with some of the moves required (longer boats are not as agile for these required moves) or limitations on who you are allowed to teach once you are certified (instructors who get certified in sit inside kayaks may teach either SIK or SOT students. Instructors who get certified in SOT kayaks are only certified to teach students in SOT kayaks.)
  • Bring a camp chair, lunch, plenty of water, a strap for your glasses, closed toe shoes that attach at the ankles, and dress for immersion every day.

Other useful gear to bring:

Drybag, throw rope, tow rope, locking carabiners, paddle float, stirrup/webbing, sunscreen, bug repellent, first aid kit. 

According to the national certifying body, Instructor Candidates must meet the following eligibility conditions: Essential Eligibility Criteria – ACA (americancanoe.org)

ACA Instructor Certification Course Details:
Level 1 Kayak + PSF-Kayak & PAIE Instructor Endorsements

Instructor IDW/ICE Class Dates: In person Instruction September 7-10, 2024

Location: Indian Springs State Park

There will be additional required Zoom sessions held on the following dates.
Attendance at all Zoom and in person sessions is mandatory to complete certification.

  • Aug 25 from 6-8 pm Eastern,
  • Aug 26 from 6-8 pm Eastern (Fishing)
  • Sept 15 from 6-7 pm Eastern

Cost:

  • $375 per person for tuition for new Instructor Candidates
  • A limited number of slots for Paddlesports Angler Instructor Endorsement only are available for already certified ACA Kayak instructors at a cost of $150.
  • Optional camping and housing at Indian Springs State Park is available during registration or you can make your own reservation at the State Park here.

Time: In person classes on Sept 7-10 will convene promptly at 8:30 a.m. each morning and will require attendance all day.  At Instructor Trainer’s discretion, will include working meals and evening sessions. Also includes a required pre-class Zoom session on Aug 25 from 6-8 pm Eastern, a Zoom session on Fishing on August 26 from 6-8 pm Eastern (required for fishing endorsement), and a required post class Zoom session on September 15 from 6-7 pm Eastern. 

Additional Considerations: There are a few additional costs required by the national certifying body that are not included in the tuition for this class that candidates should consider.

  • All candidates pursuing ACA instructor certification are required to be members of the American Canoe Association ($40).
    Individual Membership – ACA | Canoe – Kayak – SUP – Raft – Rescue (americancanoe.org)

  • Candidates who successfully complete the ACA certification will be required to get certified in First Aid and CPR before beginning your own classes as an instructor. This is not required before you get certified as an instructor but you will make your life considerably easier if you get this taken care of before your Instructor class begins.
  • Candidates who successfully complete the ACA certification will be required to pay additional Instructor dues to the ACA Safety, Education and Instruction Council (SEIC) ($30).
  • You are responsible for your own housing, meals and transport during this class.

Required Equipment:

  • Bring your own kayak, life jacket and paddle.
    For optimal performance and maximum versatility of your instructor credentials, we recommend using a 9-14′ sit inside recreational kayak for the first three days of this course (instructors who get certified in sit inside kayaks may teach either SIK or SOT students. Instructors who get certified in SOT kayaks are only certified to teach students in SOT kayaks.). For the final day of class when we are working on the Paddlesports Angler Instructor Endorsement, you are encouraged to bring your favorite fishing kayak of either design.
  • Bring your Georgia fishing license and a basic fishing gear setup for fishing on a lake.
  • Bring a camp chair, lunch, plenty of water and snacks, a strap for your glasses, closed toe shoes that attach at the ankles, and dress for immersion every day.

Other useful gear to bring:

Drybag, tow rope, locking carabiners, paddle float, stirrup/webbing, sunscreen, bug repellent, first aid kit. 

According to the national certifying body, Instructor Candidates must meet the following eligibility conditions: Essential Eligibility Criteria – ACA (americancanoe.org)

Take the Summer Prep Course – “Beaver Crew”

Willing to Work for It!

Cost: $375

If you would like some coaching to get ready for the ACA Kayaking Instructor Exam, this is the program for you! This is usually most appealing to experienced flatwater paddlers who do not have whitewater experience or folks who are getting certified to be an instructor as part of their professional responsibilities across many outdoor recreation fields for whom paddling is not your primary sport.

Join currently certified ACA Kayaking instructors on scheduled Fridays in May – September to prepare for the instructor certification class in August/September. The expectation is that instructor candidates who enroll in this program will attend at least 4 of these Friday sessions but are welcome to attend as many as your schedule allows. In order to be fully prepared for the Instructor course you need to attend at least one lake class, at least one river class and at least 2 additional prep sessions so you can be exposed to the recommended teaching methodology and have a chance to practice.

Instructor candidates will be expected to provide their own kayak and gear during coaching sessions, preferably the same kayak they plan to use in the instructor course. Instructor Candidates will be responsible for their own expenses related to this training such as parking or gear rental.

Folks who sign up for Beaver Crew will get to participate in Early Registration for the August and September ACA Instructor Certification classes. 

Registration for Beaver Crew will open April 1, 2023 and no registrants will be accepted after June 1.  Limited to 15 students.

Dates and Locations:

  • BEAVER CREW/OTTER ACHIEVERS APPLICATION Q&A: February 27 at 6 pm Eastern via Zoom
  • BEAVER CREW ORIENTATION (Required) via Zoom: April 9 at 7 pm Eastern via Zoom
  • LAKE DAYS:
    • Friday, May 3, September 6 at Lake Allatoona, Kellogg Creek Day Use Area, 2077 Kellogg Creek Road, Acworth, GA
    • Friday, July 19 at Lake Allatoona, Old Hwy 41 #2 Day Use Area, 6693 North Main Street, Acworth, GA
  • RIVER DAYS:
    • Friday, June 7, July 12, July 26, August 16
      Lower Chestatee River Takeout, (across the street from the Dollar General at this address 5019 S. Chestatee Street, Dahlonega, GA 30533)

Apply for a New Instructor Scholarship!

We are accepting applications February 19 through March 15, 2023.  We are so grateful to our sponsors who donate to this program to help Georgia River Network increase access to safety and paddling skills training in Georgia with the goal of increasing diversity among the certified paddlesports instructors in Georgia. There are three distinct scholarship opportunities available:

Blue Heron Scholarship for ACA Instructor Tuition for New Instructor Candidates
Soaring to Greatness!

  • Value: $375
  • The Blue Heron Scholarship is a formal scholarship which covers the cost of tuition for the instructor certification class weekend. Instructor Candidates are independently responsible to cover their required ACA membership dues, SEIC dues, first aid and CPR certification, and any personal expenses during the certification weekend like room and board, gear rental or parking.
  • The Blue Heron Scholarship is intended for candidates who are able to demonstrate that as a certified ACA River Kayaking instructor they will help to increase diversity in paddlesports education in Georgia.  Acceptance of this scholarship includes a commitment to enroll and participate in the GRN instructor class as well as a volunteer commitment to help teach at least 1 Georgia River Network class in 2025.

Beaver Crew Scholarship for New Instructor Candidate Coaching Sessions
Willing to Work for It!

  • Value: $375
  • The Beaver Crew scholarship is an informal scholarship to provide coaching from a currently certified ACA Level 2 River Kayaking instructor over the spring and summer leading up to the August/September instructor class.  Acceptance of this scholarship includes a volunteer commitment to assist at at least 1 Georgia River Network class in 2024-2025.
  • Scholarship recipients will be expected to provide their own kayak and gear during coaching sessions, preferably the same kayak they plan to use in the instructor course. Instructor Candidates will be responsible for their own expenses related to this training such as parking or gear rental.

*Candidates may apply for both the Blue Heron and the Beaver Crew Scholarships as long as they are willing to commit to the combined volunteer time commitment.

TO APPLY:

Fill out the application form with no more than 1,500 characters about why you would be a good candidate for the Beaver Crew scholarship. Deadline March 15, 2024 at 5 pm Eastern.

GRN Blue Heron/Beaver Crew New Instructor Scholarship Application 2024

 

ANNOUNCING: Otter Achievers Scholarship for Already Certified ACA Kayak Instructors

This new training and scholarship opportunity allows already certified ACA Kayak instructors to receive entry level training in SUP and/or Canoe as well as receive a formal Level 1 skills assessment and Paddlesports Safety Facilitator Instructor Endorsement for SUP and/or Canoe.  Candidates will get to choose during their application whether they are interested in SUP, Canoe or Both. There are 10 slots available in each.

We are accepting scholarship applications February 1 through March 15, 2024.  

Otter-Achievers Scholarship for Already Certified ACA Kayak Instructors
Adding multi-craft capabilties to your instructional roster

  • Value: $250-$500
  • The Otter-Achievers scholarship is an informal scholarship to provide already certified Kayak instructors with additional multi-craft skills to offer entry level instruction in SUP and Canoe. This scholarship includes funding to cover Level 1 skills training for SUP and/or Canoe, a Level 1 skills assessment from certified ACA SUP and/or certified ACA Canoe Instructors, and an opportunity to earn the Paddlesports Safety Facilitator Instructor Endorsement for  SUP and/or Canoe.
  • SUPs and Canoes will be provided during training. Candidates are expected to bring their own PFD.
  • Candidates for this scholarship must be ACA members in good standing, already certified Kayak instructors with up-to-date CPR and First Aid certifications.
  • Candidates will have the opportunity to select SUP, Canoe, or Both during the scholarship application process.
  • DATES AND LOCATIONS:
    • BEAVER CREW/OTTER ACHIEVERS APPLICATION Q&A: February 27 at 6 pm Eastern via Zoom
    • OTTER ACHIEVERS ORIENTATION (Required): March 21 at 7 pm Eastern via Zoom
    • SUP training will be held April 8-9, 9 am to 4 pm
      Lake Lanier at Shady Grove Campground,
      7800 Allyn Lane Memorial Way, Cumming, GA 30041
    • Canoe training will be held April 27-28
      Lake Lanier at Shady Grove Campground,
      7800 Allyn Lane Memorial Way, Cumming, GA 30041
    • Instructor Endorsement classes will be held via Zoom with Instructor Trainer Jeff Atkins on Sept 10 and Sept 11 from 6 to 9 pm Eastern. Candidates will choose one of these dates to attend.
  • Acceptance of this scholarship is confirmation of your intention to participate in these training and certification dates.
  • Acceptance of this scholarship includes a volunteer commitment to assist at at least 1 Georgia River Network training in 2025 to help with SUP, Canoe and/or PSF training.

TO APPLY:

Fill out the application form with no more than 1,500 characters about why you would be a good candidate for the Otter-Achievers scholarship. Deadline March 15, 2024 at 5 pm Eastern.

GRN Otter-Achievers Scholarship Application 2024

 

Questions:

If you have questions about any of the GRN Scholarships, please contact Andrea White at Andrea@garivers.org.

SUPPORTING GEORGIA RIVER NETWORK

Georgia River Network is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1998 to serve as the voice of Georgia’s rivers. GRN works to empower everyone to connect with, and advocate for economically vital and clean flowing rivers in Georgia. Your class fees will contribute to this effort statewide.

 

Paddle Georgia 2022

a project of
Georgia River Network

Paddle Georgia 2021

126 South Milledge Avenue, Suite E3, Athens, Georgia 30605 | (706) 549-4508 (phone) | info@garivers.org