I was very pleased to assist Josh Hall, an experienced paddlesports instructor, with an American Canoe Association Instructor Certification Workshop (ACA ICW) at Lake Sebago last weekend. We had four participants, and all earned an instructor award.
This was a Level 2 ICW: two days of practice with a third day of assessment, learning how to present information and organize activities to teach various paddling skills and knowledge. We had a great team, with three members of the Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club, and one from the Sebago Canoe Club.
Josh Hall is an Instructor Trainer Educator who teaches paddlesports at a county park system in South Carolina. I’ve worked with him before in Maine and Connecticut, and when I decided to start down the path to become an Instructor Trainer, his was the first name that came to mind. I learned a lot watching him teach how to teach, diving deep into the nuance of ACA criteria and developing a critical eye for the level 2 instructor requirements.
The weekend was hot and the lake was cool; we had no issues getting folks willing to be wet for rescue practice. On a couple of days, we had enough wind to give folks a bit of challenge in both maintaining direction and picking a spot to teach in.
A lot of sessions required teamwork; sometimes paired up, sometimes working as a group to split up complex topics and share the workload. Everyone learned from each other – including me! I saw some ways to do things differently than I had learned, which was great. Having alternative ways to accomplish a task is a great backup for that time when the usual way doesn’t work.
This was one of my “big events” for the summer and I’m so glad it went well. Four days at a lake in Harriman State Park was a good reprieve from civilization; spending time in a kayak is always good; paddling with fellow enthusiasts makes all of that better.
Hopefully, we’ll do this again.