This weekend (03.29 &30.14) I had an opportunity to participate in the ACA Guide Certification course led by one of your staff guides, Steve Braden.
The course exceeded my expectations on many levels. I am an experienced expedition paddler of 30 years with numerous multi-week expeditions under my hull. Yet, the ACA curriculum for this course was full of useful information that reminded me of many aspects of paddling that I had forgotten and introduced me to new techniques, terms and procedures that had been developed over the years.
Though the information was interesting and added to my paddling and instruction knowledge, the instructor most impressed me. Steve was professional and extremely knowledgeable. His many years of kayaking and outdoor education were very evident through his broad knowledge of not only the curriculum but the history and development of each aspect of the course. His demeanor and presentation was to-the-point, clear, concise and he emphasized elements that he has discovered through his teaching experience that tend to be the most problematic for less-experienced paddlers. When errors were made by those of in the class his critiques were well reasoned and clearly explained and in a manner that was gentle on the ego. The learning environment that Steve created allowed those of us in the course to take the critiques as positive and constructive toward our goal: to be the best kayak guide possible.Overall, the course was informative and fun. I feel that any kayaker who is interested in developing leadership, communication and instructional skills should take this very worthwhile course. Regardless if the kayaker plans to be a guide or not, the paddling and communication skills developed through this ACA Guide Certification curriculum will help each paddler to practice and promote safety for themself and with those whom the paddler encounters on the water.
Our next guide/instructor training session is an L3 Instructor Development Workshop in May. 3 places open.