Thursday, January 31, 2013

Conservation Newsroom

The Conservation Newsroom is the newest section on the Stewardship webpage.  Click on the link to check out the new articles relating to NOAA Marine Debris Program, the White River being designated as the second National Blueway, and the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Report.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Make your voice heard

Through an ACA membership, paddlers of every stripe have a voice regarding issues that affect the paddle and boardsport community.  

Every day the ACA fields a phone call, receives an email, or attends a meeting relating to public policy that has the potential to affect all paddlers.  

The ACA acts as the primary advocate for paddlers at the local, state and federal level on a variety of public policy issues from lifejacket wear to participating in a committee to develop a national Recreational Boating Safety Strategic Plan.  

The ACA will continue its work to affect public policy in the best interest of all paddlesport enthusiasts whether or not they’re members of the ACA.  However, your membership fees help the ACA influence stewardship issues and public policy that affect you and your paddling experience.

Join the ACA or renew your membership today!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Custom ACA Notecards & Envelopes

Custom blank ACA notecards & envelopes

The custom ACA blank notecards and envelopes are colorful, fun and functional.  They make great thank you cards for those post-holiday thank you's you still haven't written.

Forget to buy a gift for someone?  Receive a gift unexpectedly and feel the need to reciprocate?  They're perfect gifts for Clubs, Affiliates and Instructors who often communicate with members and students on a regular basis.  

Stop procrastinating and stock up now, we have a limited supply!  Don't forget to login to your account to use your ACA membership discount.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Alabama Race Series - Locust Fork Invitational

The Alabama Cup Racing Association has announced the Alabama Cup Racing Series.  The first of these three races, the Locust Fork Invitational, will take place on February 2 and 3.  The Alabama Cup Racing Association is continuing their "Bring a new racer and get your second race FREE" this year.  The race is spectator friendly and features walking trails right beside the course.  The race will also feature a raffle, silent auction, food, live entertainment, awards banquet, environmental education and more.

To learn more or to register please visit

Friday, January 25, 2013

L.L. Bean Club Fostered Stewardship Grant

 Send in your Application!

Click Here to access the L.L. Bean Club Fostered Stewardship Grant Application.  L.L. Bean is pleased to continue their support of the American Canoe Association.  C.F.S. grants are available for projects that utilize volunteers in efforts to protect, maintain and restore recreational waterways, to provide for or improve public access or to enhance safe navigation. Click here for more information

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Forida Canoe Symposium

The 2013 dates for the Florida Canoe Symposium are now set.  The symposium will take place March 15-18 in Yulee, FL at Florida State College.  Sessions over the four days will cover topics such as canoeing basics, technical tuning and canoeing for kayakers.  There will also be a giant slalom competition and interpretive freestyle exhibition and much more.  

To learn more or register visit

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Membership benefit - Find a Paddling Club!

Spending time on the water is enhanced when you have friends along.

ACA Paddle America Clubs (PACs) provide positive, fun experiences for people while they enjoy and help protect recreational waterways.  

Top 5 reasons for joining a PAC:

  • PAC members pay discounted ACA membership fees.
  • PACs host numerous events for all levels of paddlers.  
  • You'll find out about new places to paddle & make new friends.  
  • Participate in PAC river/lake/beach clean-ups and help with stewardship.
  • Lots of opportunities to improve your paddling skills.
Consider learning more about a paddling club in your region.  Visit the ACA website to find a PAC near you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

South America Intern announced

A native of Bogota, Colombia, Ruby will be working with ACA members throughout the countries of South America to establish an ACA Paddlesports Conference there in 2013.

Learn more about Ruby...

Monday, January 21, 2013

East Coast Paddlesports & Outdoor Festival

The popular East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival is expanding to include a variety of outdoor activities! The event, now called the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival, will be on April 19-21 at James Island County Park, and will feature a multitude of popular outside activities in addition to paddling.

Continuing as one of the premier paddlesports events on the Atlantic Coast, the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival will feature other recreation-related activities in addition to its showcase of kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding. The festival will bring together enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels with world-renowned instructors and equipment manufacturers. Watch a slack line demonstration and try it out yourself. Learn about Leave No Trace ethics and ways you can be a good steward to the environment while camping or spending time outdoors. Hear about the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission's adaptive recreation programs tailored to individuals with disabilities. Try out mountain biking, archery, skateboarding and disc golf. Scale the park’s portable climbing wall or high ropes course. The event will also feature awe-inspiring demonstrations by the Gibbon Slack Line Team.

After getting your fill of outdoor excitement, attendees will be able to enjoy tasty fare from food vendors on site at the park, as well as beverages including beer. Stay tuned to their website for more information and an event schedule.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Virgil Chambers - ACA Member

Virgil Chambers

Virgil Chambers is a lifetime ACA member and has been the Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council since 1996.

Virgil has been at the forefront of educating boaters of all types, from canoes and kayaks to sail and motorized, for several decades.  His contributions to the recreational boating community are nothing short of legendary.

A multi-discipline ACA Instructor, canoe and kayak with the adaptive paddling endorsement, Virgil had contributed to the ACA is a variety of ways over the years and we look forward to seeing him back in his canoe, kayak or raft in the near future.

Thank you for all you've done for boating and we wish you all the best in the next nine months at the helm of the NSBC.

Learn more: NSBC Executive Director Search

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ACA Poster

ACA Poster

Ever wonder what the ACA does? 

Education, Recreation, Competition, Stewardship... and FUN!  Get an ACA Poster and hang it where you and your friends will see it everyday to remind yourself of the many reasons why the ACA is an important part of the paddling community.

Don't forget to login to your account to receive your membership discount!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Election Results

The ACA is pleased to announce that the membership voted to elect the following individuals to serve two year terms on the ACA Board of Directors:
  • Bill Banholzer - Seneca, SC
  • Gordon Dayton - Woodbridge, CT
  • Sam Fowlkes - Sylva, NC
  • Anne Maleady - Sandwich, MA
  • Bill Micks - Fredericksburg, VA
  • Judge Charles Strauss - Chatham, VA
  • Tom Pitt - Albion, MI (Competition Council)
  • Steve Hutton - Charleston, SC (SEIC)

The following two members were also elected to serve as Trustee's of Sugar Island:
  • Mike Leith - Falls Church, VA
  • John Nowicky - West Milford, NJ

To learn more about the governance of your association or to become involved, please click here.


Bill Banholzer - Seneca, SC

I'm currently celebrating my 50th. year as a ACA member. I joined the organization as a flat water racing paddler in 1962. I was a member of the Yonkers Canoe Club and was Fleet Captain during the 1960's. I spent many years traveling to races from Yonkers to Philadelphia, to Washington, DC, and also traveled to races in Canada. I also participated in events at National Boat shows during the time that the ACA represented the Paddling Group for the US Olympics. My Canada travels introduced me to ACA's Sugar Island. Over the last thirty, years or more, I have invested my time and efforts in developing programs for the Sugar Island Camp. I was Chairman of the Sugar Island Trustees for six years when the ACA Board of Directors was developed, as a new way of running the organization. At that time I attended and was seated at the new Board of Director's meetings and participated when the Properties Committee was established. In 1994, I started a Paddle America Club - the Sugar Island Canoe Club - of which I am still President and I am currently the representative between the Sugar Island Trustees and the ACA Board of Directors, attending the ACA meetings. Finally, I am now involved with developing a proposed Business Plan for Sugar Island and I am working closely with Wade Blackwood to accomplish this plan.

Gordon Dayton - Woodbridge, CT

Gordon Dayton, Ph.D. has served on the ACA Board since 2008. He joined the board to bring a perspective on paddling clubs to the National decision making process. He currently heads the Board Recreation Committee, serves on the Board Bylaws and Finance Committees and holds an appointment to the ACA SEI Council as Clubs Liaison. Gordon is a founding Director of North Atlantic Canoe and Kayak, an Incorporated (Not-For-Profit), skills-based ACA-PAC club on Long Island, NY where he currently serves as Senior Advisor. He is also active at the ACA Atlantic Division where he heads Coastal Kayak and Canoe committees. Gordon is also an active ACA Instructor in Coastal Kayak (L4), River Kayak (L2), Touring Canoe (L2) and River Canoe (L2). He instructs commercially with Changing Tides PaddleCraft, a New Haven, CT based company owned by his wife, Elizabeth O'Connor-Dayton. Gordon has a BS in Geology and past experience in Speleology, exploring and mapping caves and cave rescue. He is an honorary Life Member of the Nittany Grotto of the National Speleological Society. Dr Dayton, a graduate of PSU has a separate 30-year career in Electronics R&D during which he has managed or directed R&D and Engineering teams at 4 major US companies. Prior to that he was a Professor of Solid State Science at Penn State University where he also directed the NSF Center for Dielectric Studies. He currently works as a Principle Consultant for Foster Rush, is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and serves on the Organizing Committee for the EIA Capacitor and Resistor Technology Symposium. His business career along with his experience with NFP Corporations and other outdoor organizations along with his current activities in paddling instruction allow him to bring valuable perspective to guiding the ACA in its growth and development.

Sam Fowlkes - Sylva, NC

Sam has been involved in paddlesport for 35 years. His connection with the American Canoe Association began in 1977 when he certified as an ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor while working at the Nantahala Outdoor Center as a guide and instructor. He has been an ACA Whitewater Canoe Instructor Trainer since 1981. He is presently an Instructor Trainer Educator in Swiftwater Rescue and Whitewater Canoe for the ACA. For the last 10 years his focus has been on swiftwater rescue instruction and instructor training. Sam's interests lie in making rescue techniques adaptable and relevant to paddlers. Sam has also been on the teaching faculty of Western Carolina University for the past eleven years schooling students in water-based sports education. Sam's other ACA leadership positions include: 12 years as Dixie Division Divisional Instruction Facilitator, 4 years as SEIC Vice Chair (1996-2000). He served as Chair of the Safety, Education and Instruction Council from 2004-2007 and is a 5-year member of the Board of Directors of the ACA. In addition to receiving the Excellence in Instruction Award in 2005, he was a recipient of the ACA Joe Pena Volunteer of the YearAward in 2002. Sam is also a Rescue 3 International Instructor Trainer, a WMI WFR and a NC EMT-B. Sam gives special attention to providing a multi-level educational experience. Providing professional level training for colleges, universities, agencies, outfitters, summer camps and clubs for 30 years.

Anne Maleady - Sandwich, MA

Just out of high school Anne purchased a used fiberglass kayak and started floating around on New England ponds, rivers, and shore. It was the start of a life long connection with watersports. My rafting resume includes the Green (multiple sections), the Colorado, San Juan, Dolores, Chamas, Animas. My kayaking has taken me to the Texas coast, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, California and Washington. 33 years of outdoor retail has helped me introduce hundreds of people to my favortie activity. During my career Anne has developed and sponsored multiple on-water events in Texas, California, and in the Northeast states. In 2006 she brought her passion for watersports to the ACA Board of Directors. Its mission of education, stewardship, and programs for paddlers resonates strongly with her personal interests. She continues to serve on the ACA Board providing support and expertise in events and personnel. Her current water goals are to pursue ACA certification in instruction.

Bill Micks - Fredericksburg, VA

Since the 1950's, the Rappahannock River has floated Micks' boat. Fredericksburg's first river outfitter, river safety advocate and conservationist looks back over a lifetime on the Rappahannock. Bill Micks took his first paddling trip on the Rappahannock River with the Boy Scouts in 1958. It was a life-changing moment, says Micks, who lived up the hill from the river at the time, off College Avenue. His boyhood paddling trips with George Brumble, a local veterinarian and Scout leader, led to a lifelong love of the Rappahannock, decades of service to Friends of the Rappahannock, and a business that has catered to river-lovers for 40 years. The two-day paddling and camping trip "stuck with me," says Micks, 64, a retired school teacher and co-owner of the Virginia Outdoor Center on Fall Hill Avenue. Soon, he was a physical education teacher and coach in Stafford County--his day job for the next 31 years. But he couldn't shake a connection with the river. "When I got out of college, that was what I wanted to do," he says. In the summer of 1972, he borrowed $1,000, bought three Grumman canoes, paddles, life jackets and started teaching American Red Cross canoeing classes."I kept that equipment in the backyard on Powhatan Street," he recalls. At the time, a local boat dealer was selling canoes, but no one was renting them. Micks saw a business opportunity, forming Rappahannock Canoe Rentals. "The spinoff from that was [that] I thought people might be interested in river trips," he says. So he began offering them that year, becoming the area's first outfitter.The following season, he bought another couple of canoes, and the business slowly began to grow. He ran the business after his school day, on evenings and weekends. In 1975, Micks incorporated the company, and married his wife, Denise, a teacher and Spotsylvania County native. Bill has been associated withthe Great Rappahannock Whitewter Canoe Race (GRWCR)since it began 32 years ago. Kirk Havens, past president of the American Canoe Association and director of the Coastal Watersheds Program at the College of William & Mary, hasn't missed one. The race typically raises about $1,000 a year for local swift water rescue programs. "Bill is probably the primary reason that our entire clan of Havens paddlers come back to the Rappahannock River every year," Havens said. "It became a family reunion for us, largely due to the generous, welcoming nature of Bill Micks." And Micks had a role in bringing the ACA, the nation's largest paddling organization, from Springfield to Fredericksburg in 2008, Havens said. The organization "had a number of different suitors" all over the country. When it considered locating in the city, one of its first contacts was Micks. The organization sponsors some of the competitions that are part of the race here, and sanctions competitions and educational and safety programs around the country. "He had a relationship with [city officials] and the community, and that here was a place that should be the home of the ACA."Havens added, "Our first impression of Fredericksburg was Bill Micks, and the city couldn't have done any better." Date published: 7/8/2012 By Rusty Dennen of the FreeLanceStar.

Judge Charles Strauss - Chatham, VA

Judge Strauss is a current member of the board of directors for the ACA. he is a former member of the Mid-Atlantic Paddlers Association, paddling/racing C-2 and C-1 flat water, Dragon boat and Outrigger canoe. He raced in the Molokai in 1988 and 1990. Currently he is a recreational canoeist and a member of the Dan River Basin Association. he is interested in recreational canoeing and kayaking flat water and white water and the adaptive paddling program. He is currently a Circuit Court Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Virginia living with his wife on a small farm east of Chatham, Va.

National Activity Council Representatives to the Board of Directors:

Competition Council:
Tom Pitt - Albion, MI

Safety Education & Instruction Council (SEIC):

Steve Hutton - Charleston, SC

Steve is an Instructor Trainer Educator for the American Canoe Association, and a multi-term Vice-Chair of the ACA's Safety Education and Instruction Council. He currently serves as the Director of Recreation for the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission and has been teaching paddling of all disciplines since 1988.

Sugar Island Trustees:

Mike Leith - Falls Church, VA
John Nowicky - West Milford, NJ

My experience serving as a Trustee of Sugar Island has been constructive and positive. Although there are many tasks, issues and initiatives that are still outstanding, I feel, with my continued service, that these tasks can be addressed and completed seamlessly. At the same time, I can make positive contributions in moving Sugar Island forward. 2008-Present: Trustee of Sugar Island; 2012 – Served as Chairman of Maintenance Committee responsible for:Evaluating the immediate and future maintenance needs of Sugar Island, Organizing and creating a workable task plan to meet the defined maintenance needs, Researching the cost of the projects, and ordering needed materials, Organizing work weekends as well as work days during the annual encampment to meet the maintenance tasks, Leading the work parties during these work weekends and work days and advising as necessary. 2012 Served on the Sugar Island Rules and Regulations Committee: Reviewed and evaluated the current rules of Sugar Island to understand present rules, and make recommendations as to needed updates in regard to present day Sugar Island needs and lifestyle. 1987 – Present: ACA Member and Active member of Sugar Island. Employment: 2005 – Present - Technology Teacher, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Monroe NY. Education: 2009 - Master of Science Degree: Administration/Building Leadership. Long Island University, Orangeburg, New York. 2004 - Bachelor of Science Degree: Technology Education, State University of New York Oswego, Oswego, New York

Friday, January 11, 2013

Member Discount - ACA Pro Schools

ACA Pro Schools are some of the best organizations across the country to find top quality ACA certified instruction.  

As a member benefit, current ACA members receive discounts on certain Pro School instructional programs.  There are 11 ACA Pro Schools across the country.  Find a Pro School near you and provide your ACA Membership number during course registration to receive your discount.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January Edition of the Journal of Paddlesport Education is Released

The January 2013 Edition of the Journal of Paddlesport Education is now available.

Highlights in this edition include:
  • SUP Survey Report Released
  • Dressing for Winter Paddling
  • New Stewardship Coordinator
  • Kokatat-ACA Instructor of the Month
  • ACA Members Only Excursions
  • How to Become an ACA Instructor
  • Winter Boating Laws
  • Rescue Games
  • Upcoming Outreach Events
  • and More!
Read now on Issuu or in a downloadable PDF

To learn more about the Journal of Paddlesport Education visit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rescue for River Runners Rescue Games

The first annual Rescue Games will be held in Sarapiqui Costa Rica Jan. 26 to Feb. 2 2013.

The concept behind this advanced training week is to allow teams of 4 to "Strut Their Stuff" and "Compete and Compare" their river rescue skills against other teams from around the world.

Each team is permitted to carry a minimal amount of equipment per person (4 caribiners, 3 pulleys, 2 prussiks, and one piece of tubular webbing) PLUS one specialized piece of equipment of their choice per team/day.

Daily competitions will consist of skills, drills and scenarios that will be judged on expertise, efficiency and expedience.

Evenings will consist of video review of the days events with expert analysis from the R3 Judging Team.

The Event winners will receive a $1000 cash prize to be donated to their registered "Rescue Organization of Choice." Currently registered organizations include:


American Whitewater (AW)

The Higgins and Langley Awards/Foundation

The Drowning Support Network

American Heart Association (AHA)

Visit for more information.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Call for Presenters - 2013 ACA NPC

The ACA is heading to Bend, OR for the 2013 National Paddlesports Conference & SUP Summit September 27-29.  

We are announcing our call for presenters for the 2013 conference and summit.  

This your chance to share your expertise with your colleagues and other paddlesport enthusiasts.  The ACA National Conference & SUP Summit is a unique gathering of all aspects of the paddlesport community and the ACA, whether it be education, stewardship, competition or recreation you can find it all at this event.  

The ACA is seeking individuals and organizations to present high quality educational sessions that bridge a range of paddlesports topics (canoe - kayak - SUP - raft - rescue).  These session can be:
  • Conference Educational Session (classroom)
  • Skills Courses  (on water)
  • Instructor Certification Courses
  • Instructor Updates
  • Instructor Trainer Updates
  • Pre and Post Conference/Summit Courses
Learn more and submit you presentation proposals at

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Stewardship Coordinator

The ACA would like to welcome Greg Rolf to the full time staff as the new Stewardship Coordinator.

Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Greg obtained his degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration with an emphasis in adventure recreation and camp administration from Western Illinois University, in Macomb.

He is excited to bring his passion for preserving the natural environment to the ACA.

Learn more about Greg...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tomorrow is the Last Day...

ACA Election - Vote by Friday

To vote for your ACA Board of Directors, Council appointments, and Sugar Island Trustees.

You may complete the voting online or download and mail in a ballot.

All ballots must be electronically received by January 4, 2013 or postmarked by January 4, 2013 and received by January 11, 2013.

Vote here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

SUP Survey Report - Released


SUP Survey Report 2012: Lifejackets - Leashes - Legislation

Interested in the mentality of Stand Up Paddleboarding across the entire SUP community?

The following topics were addressed:
  • Lifejacket wear
  • Leash wear
  • Legislation pertaining to SUPs

Report overview:

  • 1,149 written responses received
  • 13 pages of graphs and charts
  • 94 total pages of data

Read the ACA SUP Survey Report

Thank you to the 584 individuals who completed the survey.  Your feedback and insights will help in continuing to shape the SUP community nationwide.  Mahalo