Monday, November 30, 2009
Restructuring to our Strengths
ACA Announces New Leadership
The Board of Directors of the American Canoe Association has appointed Chief Financial Officer, Wade Blackwood, as the fifth Executive Director of the ACA.
Founded in 1880, the ACA is a member-based nonprofit organization that promotes fun and responsible canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. The ACA actively advocates paddlesports education as well as recreational access to and stewardship of America’s vast water trails. ACA is also dedicated to providing people of all abilities the opportunity to paddle on America’s waterways. Under Blackwood’s leadership and with the support of regional and local volunteers, the entire ACA national staff will continue to diligently represent the interests of over 50 million people in the U.S. who kayak, canoe and raft annually.
Blackwood is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras and earned an MBA from William and Mary’s Mason School of Business.
“These are challenging times for nonprofit organizations and we are excited to have someone with such a strong financial background as Wade Blackwood step in as acting Executive Director. Wade and the ACA team are eager to continue the 130 year ACA tradition of making the world a better place to paddle." – Board President, Dr. Kirk Havens
In addition, long time ACA volunteer, life member, instructor trainer educator, and current staff member Christopher Stec has been named as the ACA’s Chief Operating Officer. Stec joins senior staff Paul Sanford, General Counsel and Director of Stewardship and Public Policy; Melissa Upp, Director of Information Technology; Anne Vetterlein, Membership Director; and Jeremy Oyen, Director of Safety Education and Instruction.
“We have dedicated, passionate and talented employees, volunteers, and members who all have something valuable to offer, and I intend to harness their passion into products and services that will help make the world a better place to paddle. As the ACA’s Executive Director, I will ensure that in the midst of this challenging economic climate we will seek creative opportunities to sustainably grow the organization.”
To learn more about how the ACA makes a positive impact on paddlesports education, stewardship, recreation and competition across the country, please visit: www.americancanoe.org
American Canoe Association
1340 Central Park Blvd. Suite 210
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Board President Kirk Havens commented, “We appreciate Marty's service to the ACA over the last two years. His work on the ACA mission was very helpful and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
The ACA will continue to provide value to the 50 million American’s who canoe, kayak, and raft in the core areas of paddlesports education, stewardship, recreation and competition.
We wish Marty and his family all the best and look forward to seeing them out on the water.
The ACA National Office Staff
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Was it canoeing on the lake at Boy Scout camp?
- Was it learning to whitewater kayak through your college outing club?
- Was it a family rafting trip one summer?
- Did you join a club to tour a section of your local creek via kayak?
Monday, November 23, 2009
The ACA is requesting that all paddlers take a minute to complete it.
NSBC plans to offer three levels of gift certificate awards based on drawings of survey participants.
- First prize - $1,000 gift certificate
- Second prize - $500 gift card
- Third prize - $200 gift card.
Thanks for you time and your continued support of boating safety.
The National Safe Boating Council
Friday, November 20, 2009
"I couldn't believe this was in the heart of Richmond. That set the hook pretty deep."
The couple moved to Richmond in 1984 and plan to remain after Kaine leaves office in January.
Kaine and Holton spoke of their attraction to the James and to nature in general during a 3½-mile paddling trip Saturday that included some mild, but cold, white water.
Their party of 16 gathered shortly before 9 a.m. at Riverside Outfitters near Pony Pasture Rapids in South Richmond. The air temperature was about 40, the water temperature about 50.
See you on the river!
Kirk Havens, President
American Canoe Association
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Chuck has been running Cold Water Workshops for sea kayakers in the northeast US and is the author of the brochure Cold Water Boating, Cold Shock and Hypothermia
His website is www.enter.net/~skimmer/coldwater
This prestigious award was presented by Al Johnson, Recreational Boating Safety Commander, U.S. Coast Guard New England District; NY State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Brian Kempf; and Rose-Anne Woodward, Education specialist, NY State Parks, Marine Services Unit .
Monday, November 16, 2009
Please follow this link to the proposed legislation:
Staff informed the ACA that action will take place by the end of the month. Note that the SENATE BILL S.974 is now before a HOUSE committee because it passed the Senate. There is also a HOUSE BILL that relates to Kayaks but is less comprehensive. That bill passed the HOUSE at about the same time, and is now before a Senate committee - http://www.mass.gov/legis/comm/s29.htmm/s29.htm. The ACA has not prepared comments on this yet as this bill is less inclusive, but comment may be warranted and is currently under consideration.
If you are interested in taking action / commenting on this matter, please use the link above to the MA Committee on House Steering, Policy and Scheduling. Having letters from individuals associated with clubs and other outdoor organizations may be beneficial.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to respond to one of the individuals below:
Martin Bartels – ACA Executive Director
Paul Sanford – ACA Director of Stewardship & Public Policy / Legal Counsel
Jeremy Oyen – ACA Director of Safety Education and Instruction
Friday, November 13, 2009
As you know, the ACA has an entire department, Safety Education & Instruction, dedicated to providing paddlesports education and safety resources to entities across the country.
However, even the most prepared paddler might encounter hardships...an unintended swim, a broken limb, or a bump on the head.
The ACA is now offering an exclusive member benefit, Outdoor Recreation Insurance (ORI).
This is a Personal Accident Insurance policy specifically designed and underwritten for snow, mountain and paddle enthusiasts.
For complete information, and ACA member specific enrollment options, please visit: www.americancanoe.org/ori
If you have any questions, please just let me know.
American Canoe Association
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Earlier this week, ACA staff attended the Paddlesports Industry Association (PIA) annual conference in Kentucky. After meeting with PIA staff and their Board of Directors, the final stages of a renewed partnership are shaping up and will hopefully be announced in early 2010.
Since both of our organizations provide valuable services to canoeists, kayakers, and rafters across the country, it's logical that we continue to improve our working relationship for the betterment of all who paddle a boat away from shore.
The ACA would like to extend a special thanks to PIA Executive Director Ed Council for his visionary leadership and his continued commitment to improving paddlesports for all. The paddling community is fortunate to have someone of Ed's caliber steering us in a productive direction.
If you have a partnership idea or initiative, please contact any of the ACA Staff.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The ACA has teamed up with the Paddlesports Industry Association, the Shimoda Group, Recreation Engineering & Planning, and Northwest Hydraulic Consultants to design a conference for those who build, maintain, manage, promote, and use whitewater courses and parks. From the whitewater superparks to a river feature downtown, this is the premier event for learning about this aspect of whitewater paddling.
The Conference Steering Committee is calling for abstract submissions. If you are interested in presenting at the WCP Conference the submission deadline is November 30th.
For other ACA related events across the country in 2010, visit the ACA Event Calendar.
Friday, November 6, 2009
In case you missed it last month, the next ACA National Paddlesports Conference will be in western North Carolina in the fall of 2010.
Highlights from this years conference, including some incredible adaptive paddling innovations, are now online: www.americancanoe.org/NationalPaddlesportsConference
Stay tuned, there's more to come from YOUR ACA...
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Safety Education & Instruction Department
Thursday, November 5, 2009
ACA Recognizes Elmer Eddy & the Stewards of the White Oak River Basin for Outstanding Work in Waterways Conservation
Celebrating 130 years as a nonprofit, member-supported canoeing and kayaking organization, the American Canoe Association this week awarded Elmer Eddy & the Stewards of the White Oak River Basin with its annual “Green Paddle Award for Waterway Conservation.”
Nominated by ACA members, the award recognizes the individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to paddlesports by protecting America’s waterways.
The Stewards of the White Oak River Basin are a group of paddlers in the coastal region of North Carolina. Led by the hardy octogenarian Elmer Eddy, the Stewards have a simple philosophy: Always try to leave the rivers and bays that they paddle cleaner than when they arrived. The Stewards pick up trash and remove invasive plants whenever and wherever they paddle.
In 2008, the Stewards decided to do some public education to complement their trash removal efforts. They applied for an ACA Club-Fostered Stewardship grant to purchase anti-littering signs for their volunteers to post throughout the watershed. The ACA awarded them a grant to assist with their efforts. The signs tell the public that people are taking care of the waterways, and discourage them from littering.
“The American Canoe Association is proud to support more than 140 Paddle America Clubs around the nation,” said Martin A. Bartels, Executive Director of the ACA. “Our Club-Fostered Stewardship Grants, sponsored by longtime partner L.L. Bean, gives us the opportunity to support important environmental work at the grassroots level.
“Over the past four years, the ACA and LL Bean have funded more than $40,000 worth of stewardship efforts—from water trail construction to river clean-ups—and the work of the Stewards of the White Oak River Basin is a great example of the commitment and dedication of our large network of volunteers.”
The ACA National Office Staff
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
ACA Recognizes Canoe Club with ‘Stroke of Achievement’ Award
Celebrating 130 years as a nonprofit, member-supported canoeing and kayaking organization, the American Canoe Association this week recognized the remarkable work of the Canoe Club of Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, awarding it ACA’s “Stroke of Achievement.”
Nominated by ACA members and paddlesport event participants, the award is presented to one ACA-affiliated club each year for superior performance and program development, considering elements such as volunteerism, organization, outreach, and alignment with ACA’s motto of “Education, Recreation, Stewardship and Competition.”
Since 1976, the Canoe Club of Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has a long and successful tradition as one of the top paddlesport clubs in the region. Their breadth of programming and commitment to all aspects of paddlesports is exemplary.
Based out of the greater Harrisburg area, the CCGH has an active core of dedicated volunteers, a superb instruction program, and a trip program for beginners and intermediates. The club accommodates both canoes and kayaks, from peaceful lake trips to significant whitewater excursions.
The club additionally sponsors several annual membership events, which draw a considerable number of participants. In addition, they helped the ACA significantly with the Paddle Safe—Paddle Smart program hosted in their area.
“The American Canoe Association has an exceptional resource in its more than 140 Paddle America™ Clubs,” said Martin A. Bartels, Executive Director of the ACA. “In its 33 years, the Canoe Club of Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has set an amazing standard that truly exemplifies the ACA spirit.
Such clubs not only encourage and empower people who want to explore the outdoors, they also increase paddler safety by exposing them to highly trained instructors, and draw attention to the need to protect our recreational waterways.”
The ACA National Office Staff
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
ACA Recognizes Open Canoe Slalom Nationals & North American Championships
Celebrating 130 years as a nonprofit, member-supported canoeing and kayaking organization, the American Canoe Association this week recognized the remarkable success of the Open Canoe Slalom Nationals & North American Championships, hosted by the Wausau Kayak/Canoe Corporation earlier this year.
Nominated by ACA members and paddlesport event participants, the award recognizes the top ACA-sanctioned event in the country, considering elements such as participation, event organization, professionalism, competitive aspects, and alignment with ACA’s motto of “Education, Recreation, Stewardship and Competition.”
The ACA Open Canoe Slalom Nationals & North American Championships hosted by the Wausau Kayak/Canoe Corporation truly exemplified how a diverse group of volunteers, along with the support of a community, can host an international ACA-sanctioned event. Participants came from across the U.S., as well as Canada.
There was a two day pre-event clinic, two days of practice water releases, and three full days of competition. The race also promoted youth development. Junior Olympic athletes attended, as well as several youth who raced in the Jr/Sr races. The support for these classes at this event was significant and firmly illustrated their commitment towards the future of paddlesports.
The organization and professionalism of the three Race Directors and the Wausau Kayak/Canoe Corporation staff and volunteers was exemplary throughout the entire event.
“The American Canoe Association is proud to sanction literally thousands of paddling events around the country each year,” said Martin A. Bartels, Executive Director of the ACA. “So it’s no small achievement to develop a competitive event that hits so many high marks. The leadership exemplified by the race directors, staff and volunteers with the Wausau Kayak/Canoe Corporation is a great example for other communities and clubs who want to take advantage of their recreational waterways.
Such events not only encourage and empower people who want to explore the outdoors, they also increases paddler safety by exposing them to highly trained instructors, and draw attention to the need to protect our recreational waterways.”
Monday, November 2, 2009
ACA Names Tom Lindblade ‘Instructor of the Year’
Celebrating its 130th year as a nonprofit, member-supported canoeing and kayaking organization, the American Canoe Association this week recognized the contributions of Tom Lindblade in awarding him its annual “Excellence in Instruction” award.
Nominated by fellow instructors and ACA members, the award recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of paddlesport instruction.
“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand,” is the mantra invoked by Tom Lindblade, who has spent his entire professional career in experiential education. His passion for teaching paddle sports, especially canoeing, has been a major focus of that career.
Mr. Lindblade has been a counselor and experiential educator for over 40 years. He has led experiential adventure field study programs that have taken students to 51 countries and many wilderness areas of North America; many of these programs involved paddlesports.
An outstanding mentor of many ACA-Certified Instructors, he makes people want to learn good canoeing form and methods (important both for their enjoyment and in keeping them safe on the water); he draws people into the learning process, and makes them feel empowered by the process.
“The American Canoe Association is proud to support the work of more than 4,500 instructors around the world,” said Martin A. Bartels, Executive Director of the ACA. “We are incredibly grateful for the extraordinary examples of leadership set by people like Tom Lindblade. His work not only encourages and empowers people who want to explore the outdoors, it increases paddler safety and draws attention to the need to protect our recreational waterways.”
The ACA National Office Staff