ACA Instructor Certification — Scholarship Program
Rapids Riders has a long standing tradition of offering a Canoe and Kayak paddling education program every spring called "Canoe U". This program is completely organized, staffed and taught by volunteers. Part of this tradition involves former students volunteering as helper boaters in future years. Frequently, the helpers eventually become teachers themselves - leading the latest crop of students in learning the art and science of whitewater paddling.
We so value this tradition that Rapids Riders offers a Scholarship Program to assist aspiring teachers with obtaining their ACA Instructor certification.
How does this work? While there are no strict requirements for entering the program, there is a suggested path.
Ideally, a prospective candidate will have achieved a skill-set where they can (and have) acted as a trusted assistant to an instructor during Canoe U classes. But we do welcome any experienced paddler who has the desire to volunteer as a teacher. Scholarship candidates need to meet ACA Essential Eligibility Criteria and be able to exhibit the paddling proficiency required to succeed.
If you are interested contact any club officer and ask to be considered as a scholarship candidate. An approved candidate will select and enroll in the ACA Instructor Certification Workshop of their choice.
What does the scholarship pay for? It covers the cost of the workshop. We do not pay for items such as lodging, meals and transportation to the teaching venue. An Instructor Development Workshop and Certification Exam typically costs $500 and up, and lasts five or more days. So this scholarship is obviously of great value in getting certified.
What does Rapids Riders ask in return? We ask that you volunteer teach as a canoe or kayak lead or assistant instructor for at least two years of Canoe U. Is this a hard and fast rule? No. People's lives head in different and sometimes unpredictable directions. But we trust that you will at least make an honest attempt to honor your obligation.
It doesn't end there. As long as you continue to teach at Canoe U the club will continue to pay for the workshops you need to keep a certification current. But wait, there´s more! From time to time we invite leading professionals and instructors from other internationally known Whitewater schools to hold seminars. These are free to Rapids Riders ACA certified instructors.
The most rewarding benefit to you is being able to lead your own class in Whitewater instruction and continue the tradition of teachers before you.