Poudre Paddlers Canoe and Kayak Club Fort Collins Loveland Windsor Colorado

Instruction Coordinator Position Description   

Instruction Coordinator – facilitates the Clubs official paddle classes for the year.

In winter ask the membership what classes they’d be interested in. Then contact the possible instructors to have a meeting (Feb/March) to discuss the coming year’s offerings. The Club has both ACA-certified and non-certified instructors. For an ACA-sanctioned class—with liability insurance—a certified instructor must be present. We establish who will teach what and when, sometimes with alternate dates to allow for varying water flows and weather.

In March/April, check the ACA website (ACAnet.org) and go through the current logistics: class outlines, procedures for reporting classes and securing insurance, then be sure instructors know how to follow the steps.

In the All-Club meeting, classes are offered and explained to the membership. Ideally, students would sign up this far ahead to aid our planning, but we typically get calls even the day before a class is offered. This is bothersome, and makes it very hard to register a class with ACA. A set deadline is recommended, paid in advance, to allow planning. Instructors set minimum and maximum numbers of students. We’ve taught to as few as two boats. Classes are currently offered only to Club members, though we may work with RMCC of Denver. Be sure students have pfd’s and know how to swim!

Here are our customary, annual classes: April –Basic Canoeing, or Flatwater. May – Moving Water, or River, Basics. These classes have fees, currently $15 per person and $10 each for non-ACA members for insurance. Flatwater is a one-day class and Moving is a two-day class, with at least a day on lake water to improve basic strokes, then at least half the second day on Class I or II- river, depending on the abilities of the students. If the river is at a dangerous level, we may postpone that part! We may offer the basics classes for both solo and tandem canoes, or we may teach solo and tandem as separate classes. They follow ACA course guidelines. May/June – free class in water safety. This meets an evening in a classroom, then an afternoon on easy river water.

Other classes have been offered, if we have talented teaching offered, and sometimes well-attended. These are usually free: Reading River Water, Free-Style Canoeing, Intro to White Water, Poling, Tripping, and others. A good feature Dave Karan instituted was to arrange instruction by experts for the instructors, the cost shared among the participants.

Other Club events involve teaching, like the Club Rodeo lately held in August and pool sessions for bracing/rolling in winter. Much instruction occurs as mentoring when we have Club days on the river, or on lakes. These are not sanctioned, and must not be offered as instruction because of liability issues.

To encourage ACA certification of instructors, the Club offers an incentive: for each day of teaching to the Club, the instructors get a $25 stipend to use for ACA certification, which currently costs $400, and re-certification, which costs $200. Currently, that is the only allowable use of the stipend. The maximum amount allowed is currently $200 per four-year period, for certification or re-certification tuition only (no expenses, etc.). The stipend is paid only when the instructor attends the training. Instructors keep their own records of when they have taught, though it’s good to let the coordinator know each year. Officers agreed to this in July, 1999.

The instructors have the responsibility to register a class with ACA to have the class sanctioned and insured, and to report the class to ACA after it is taught.

Instructors have been paid a small fee, $65/day, I think (check with treasurer) to cover expenses and equipment.

We offer some training in Poudre Canyon. Importantly, we don’t have license to do so when we are charging fees. We adjust the language in our class agendas accordingly, maybe offering a river portion as a free “extra.”


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