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What's New from Your ACA?: Instruction

Adaptive Rafting

Friday, November 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Stec
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Written by Marcel Bieg - ACA Western States Outreach Director and Rafting Instructor Trainer

 

"This past April I was slated to lead my first Adaptive Paddling Workshop (APW) in the hopes of earning my Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer Certification. For several years my mentor Joe Moore, the owner of Adaptive Expeditions had discussed the idea of integrating rafts into an APW. Given my rafting background we felt that this was the right time to run a Raft Specific course. The class went extremely well and out of the 6 APWs I had co-taught on my path to becoming an IT, this one will always stand out.
 
Given the nature of an APW; upon completion, ACA instructors earn their endorsement and take the knowledge back to their schools and organization while adaptive students only get on the water again if they happen to attend a program that offers such an opportunity. Additionally, it is rare for the students to get on the water with the instructor they worked with in their APW much less under the observation of the IT.
 
At the end of this APW however the students were adamant about setting up a trip on the water. Not only would this be great for the students, but it would also afford the APW and instructors more validity to show that the adaptations could work in a real-world environment. Unfortunately, as with most outdoor professionals, it becomes extremely busy after April and impossible to connect with these students. Finally, after a long and hectic summer, schedules slowed enough to plan an outing.
 
The goal of the ACA Adaptive program is to help empower people through paddlesports, not by riding along but rather by taking an active role in paddling, or in the case of rafts, guiding. Two of our students were able to come out and it was awesome to see them running their boats through rapids and across lakes. Not only did they have a blast, but they also took this empowering experience home with them to help overcome other challenges in their future.
 
Now that we have done this once we are planning the next outing in the hopes of getting more students out and onto the water, running their own raft and hopefully someday taking their friends out with them."

 

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Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.

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