The paddlesports world will come together to provide a wealth of knowledge for the ACA National Paddlesports Conference in Bend, OR this September. From coast to coast and north to south, a wide range of experts will be in attendance sharing their knowledge.
Some of the presentations to be offered this year (more updated monthly):
Rusty Cooper - Academic Style Rubrics in Assessment Courses
As an outdoor educator for many years, I have often run
across the proverbial "stumbling block” of assessment in various outdoor skills
for participants, as well as in training future outdoor educators and
leaders. What I mean by this, is that so
many times, we set criterion for those we are teaching without giving clearly
defined expectations of acceptable criterion.
For example, in an ACA instructor certification workshop, we ask candidates
to "Demonstrate knowledge of teaching theory”, or to effectively "demonstrate
the forward stroke with good form”. But
how many times have students come into our classes wondering—"what does this
The outdoor education and outdoor recreation fields are
growing by leaps and bounds. In order
for American Canoe Association Instructors,
Trainers, and Educators to stay relevant in a field that has such powerful
momentum and speed, we must come in line with what the industry expects of us
As a newly appointed Level 4 Kayak Instructor Trainer, I was
striving for a tool that I could send to my instructor candidates as a method
of "front-loading” the experience to prevent those often ambiguous questions
they come into the course with. After
some deliberation and reflection upon my own studies in Outdoor Education, the
best answer I could come up with was to develop an academic style rubric for
Rusty Cooper, M. Ed. is an ACA Level 4 River
Kayak Instructor Trainer, Level 5 River Kayak Instructor and Coordinator of
Auburn Outdoors at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
Ben Lawry - Biomechanics of Paddling
Move beyond just putting your paddle in the water and pulling on it, to having your body work in a fluid, graceful, and efficient manner. This class focuses on body efficiency vs. paddle efficiency.
Ben has been paddling for over 35 years, and teaching/guiding for over 20. He has taught paddling on five continents and competed on three. Presently he works as head instructor and owner of Kayak Camp with his wife, Elizabeth. Ben presented at both the US WW symposium and the National ACA Conference in 2010. He has led trips and traveled extensively in South America, South Africa, Europe and North America. Ben splits his time now teaching paddling and working with stores. His teaching also takes him to symposiums, shows and paddling rendezvous all over the United States. As a brand ambassador, he is involved with kayak design in sea, light touring and racing kayaks. All of which has led to an in-depth knowledge of instruction/guiding practices and procedures, strong commitment to quality service, as well as excellent organizational and problem solving skills. He enjoys competing in sprint, sea kayak, slalom, rodeo, marathon canoe and kayak, outrigger, surf ski and wildwater events.
Jeremy Oyen - 2 Presentations
Best Practices for Inclusive Programming:
You have just found out that one of your students /
participants in an upcoming class has a disability…Now what do you do!?
In this session on the best practices for inclusive
paddlesport, we will discuss different aspects to answer that key question and
a few others:
- Legal: What are your legal obligations under the Americans
with Disabilities Act?
- Registration: How can I address issues like this before the fact?
- Equipment: How do I know what I can and can’t do?
- Training: What training options are out there?
Practical Session on Adaptive Paddling:
Join us for an opportunity to explore paddlesport outfitting
at it’s best! The ACA Adaptive Paddling program provides opportunities for
instructors to learn how to properly outfit equipment for people of all
abilities. During this on-water session, we will have examples of equipment
outfitting that have been used for individuals with significant mobility and other disability related
issues. The goal is to have you give the outfitting a try to get a
better understanding of what is covered in an Adaptive Paddling Workshop and to
show you how you can use simple tools, foam, tape or aftermarket products to
engage a whole new student population.
Jeremy Oyen has been working in the Outdoor Education and Recreation field for 24 years at the local, regional and national levels. He is currently the Outdoor Programs and Outreach National Curriculum and Training Coordinator for REI. REI Outdoor Programs reached 170,000 people nationwide in 2011 through in-store and field classes. Prior to being with REI Jeremy served as the ACA's Safety Education, Instruction and Outreach Director (2006-2011) and ran Cleveland Metroparks Institute of the Great Outdoors (2001-2006). Jeremy currently holds many ACA instructor/trainer/educator certifications and is an ITE in Adaptive Paddling & L3 Coastal Kayaking / an IT in L2 Essentials of SUP, L4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking, L3 River Canoe / an Instructor in L3 River Kayaking.
Tim Mattson - 2 presentations
Greenland Style Paddling - A Journey to the Roots of Kayaking
The Inuit people of Greenland kayaked to hunt
and hunted to eat. Consequently, they
had to paddle … even in gale force winds and rough seas … and became some of
the finest paddlers in history. In this
presentation, we will explore the history of kayaking in the Arctic with
emphasis on the Inuit of Greenland. In
addition to the history of this rugged culture, we will describe the equipment
and the paddling technique associated with Greenland-style paddling. Studying Greenland style kayaking is
fascinating. There are all those unusual
rolls, of course, but the basic strokes and their emphasis on using the whole
paddle, ergonomics, and fluid smooth motions are valuable as well. And by studying these techniques and applying
them to our own paddling, we become better kayakers.
Kayak Navigation for Normal People
As kayakers, we like to travel out to sea, reach exciting locations, and then make it back again. The art of navigation helps you plan such journeys and then manage them underway so you always know where you are. Many of us love to make navigation as complicated as possible; it makes us feel superior. In this talk, however, I will show you that it doesn't need to be so complicated. Any kayaker with a bit of practice can master the core techniques of kayak navigation. When done right (i.e. without a GPS brain-crutch) it is fun and adds a whole new element to play with as we kayak.
Tim Mattson is a "born again” paddler, sea kayak instructor (ACA level 5), and an instructor trainer (ACA level 3). He has paddled in exciting places around the world including Australia, Scandinavia, Baja, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. To support his kayaking obsession, Tim works as a professional scientist (Ph.D. theoretical Chemistry) with a background in molecular physics and computer science. He has published four books, over 75 scientific articles, and is a highly sought after speaker at scientific conferences.
Ty Tuff -
better at Developing Artificial Rescue Scenarios"
our go-to rescue scenarios are actually terrible teaching tools. Unknowingly, most of us design artificial
scenarios for our classes based on scenarios we’ve personally experience rather
than focusing on the student’s needs. Instead
of following this antiquated model, let’s develop and spread a new one. Come join me and we’ll collectively develop a
series of awesome scenarios together. In this classroom workshop we will work
together to build scenarios that carry a wide appeal and focus heavily on
student learning. I encourage you to
bring something to take notes so you can go home and share with everyone. You
do not need extensive rescue knowledge or experience to have fun and learn
something in this class.
Ty Tuff is a scientist with a passion for
whitewater. He's paid his way through
graduate school, in part, as an Instructor Trainer for both whitewater kayaking
and advanced swiftwater rescue courses since 2003. His lessons focus on
contemporary, data-driven techniques that target students with a variety of
learning styles while embracing modern equipment and boating techniques. In combining the practices of modern teaching
science with aggressive skill development he send students away as well-rounded
instructors with a well-developed ability to both practice and teach their
discipline at a very high level. For Ty,
"whitewater” primarily means "creeking” so he tends to specialize in small group
safety and low-volume maneuvering. This
usually results in a strong focus on individual and small group dynamics rather
than large groups or professional rescue crews.
Marcel Bieg - Adventure Education, Paddlesports and Everyday Life: Making the Connection
Many misconceptions surround the industry of Adventure Education. Most
revolve around the belief that Adventure Education is nothing more than the
teaching of hard skills based in an outdoor adventure setting. This baseline
misconception often leads to many assumptions surrounding the legitimacy of
adventure education and the practitioners therein. This presentation will look
at and discuss the theories of adventure education specifically focusing on
demystifying the true purpose of adventure education. The presentation will
offer tools to assist instructors in making the transference between what is
taught during class and the student’s everyday life. Specific, nonspecific and
metaphoric transfer principles will be presented to assist in this experience
to life connection.
As instructors of adventure education our goal is not to
show people how to recreate; but instead to strengthen the tools to living more
full, healthy and happy lives. This is the true purpose of adventure education.
Marcel Bieg earned his Bachelor
of Arts in Wilderness Studies from Alaska Pacific University in 1996. He
received his Masters of Science in Experiential Education from Minnesota State
University, Mankato in 2006. Marcel is currently the Director of the Outdoor
Leadership, Education and Recreation Program at San Juan College in Farmington,
New Mexico. Marcel has made a career in the experiential education field,
beginning as a Raft Guide and Kayak instructor in 1994. Mr. Bieg has earned
several Instructor certifications through nationally and internationally
recognized organizations including the American Mountain Guide Association, the
Association of Avalanche Research and Education, Leave No Trace and the
Association of Challenge Course Technologies. In Paddle Sports, Marcel has
worked with the American Canoe Association since 2003 and is a certified
instructor Trainer in Whitewater Kayak and Whitewater Raft. Marcel is actively
pursuing Instructor Trainer status in both Coastal and Kayak and Swift Water
Raphael Kuner - Modern Skills for an Old School Tool!
flip-charts and whiteboards while teaching is very common. But to be honest, most of us never thought about about how to
use them in a modern and proper way. Most of the illustrations and drawings are
more confusing than helpful.
flip-chart is easy to use and there is no plug or projector which seemingly
always have technical problems. Using a flip chart or whiteboard, you can be
highly flexible, you can be spontaneous and you can prepare yourself.
Whiteboards are durable, waterproof and magnetic. Raphael will show you, how to
use different types of boards, markers, magnetic tools and much more. He will explain
how to make a drawing clear and understandable, and how to interact with your board AND your audience. Be a flip-chart-wizard - the board is your stage!
Kuner is a mulch-discipline Instructor and Instructor Trainer from Germany. He
runs one of the two European ACA pro-schools and is the current vice-chair of
Europe. He is an passionate user of flip-charts and whiteboards.
Julie Chick & Tillamook Estuaries Partnership - Tillamook County Water Trail Project
The Tillamook County Water Trail (TCWT), led by the Tillamook Estuaries
Partnership (TEP), a 501 (c) (3), is a countywide water trail system. Tillamook
County borders the Pacific Ocean on the north coast of Oregon and has abundant rivers,
sloughs, and bays optimal for non-motorized recreational water use. The TEP has
created a webpage and guidebooks, including maps, tailored specifically to
paddlers, rafters, drift boaters, etc. As a non-contiguous trail, the TCWT
represents each of the five unique estuary systems and their navigable
Jose Gonzales - SUP Racing for the Recreational Athlete
This workshop is for the novice to experienced paddler
looking to do his/her first SUP ocean race. Participants will learn about
the different types of ocean racing opportunities in the USA and
internationally; followed by the different types of courses, race strategy and
logistics. The workshop will end with a fitness-centered overview on
necessary training for the recreational athlete.
Gonzalez, is a SUP L2 Instructor trainer and a Sea Kayaking L1
instructor. He has been teaching and managing outdoor programs for over
20 years. He has competed in multiple SUP races including the HanoHano
and Battle of the Paddle race. He considers himself a recreational
athlete mostly doing functional training and fitness in the outdoors in order
to qualify for the Molokai 2 Oahu race.