New Scout Troop Canoe help.

I have recently volunteered to be a canoe coordinator for my son’s Troop. We have 18 17’ aluminum canoes and I of course know nothing and I am learning fast. I am taking over the program from a parent that was station elsewhere and I need to get my bearing sort to speak. I have to get (eventually) USCA or ACA certified and I am having trouble getting anyone to return my calls or emails. So I was hoping that someone here could point me to an (personal) instructor in the Puget Sound area that can get me the basics of canoeing.

I tried all the local clubs and eventually called REI. They all say “we kayak here” but I still see more canoes on car tops than the former, but still no dice on personal instruction or how to properly plan day trips. Soon I will need to get my boys in the water and comfortable, which will be bad if I am not either.

Thank you for any help

Here’s a start: a list of certified ACA canoe instructors and their contact information.

@Dan1539 said:
“…So I was hoping that someone here could point me to an (personal) instructor in the Puget Sound area that can get me the basics of canoeing.”
Thank you for any help

Here is a link to a directory for ACA certified instructors.
Dan, it is terrific, in every way, that you are doing this. You’re going to be fine - you’ll love it. So will the Scouts. Congratulations.
Mark L.

You may need to find someone who is BCU certified, as their certification requires canoe and kayak training, where ACA breaks it out to be separate. Not as many people canoe in the PNW as kayak.

Some options - which may be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction:
Body Boat Blade in the San Juans are BCU certified.

Rob Avery of Active Paddles on Bainbridge Island is also BCU.

Body Boat Blade may be a good start. I’ve seen Leon freestyle dance a Prospector. In Portland, check out Alder Creek:

If those aluminum canoes have not been in the water for a while, you might want to get them out and test them for water tightness. Old aluminum boats sometimes develop leaky rivets. They can be repaired but it is best to know about it before you get them out on the water full of kids.

You may want to check state agencies (Fish & Wildlife or State Parks) for free instruction. Here in Florida, under the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, a program called the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network has kayaks, canoes, some stand-up paddleboards, archery, complete fishing sets available free of charge to organizations who are working with children and youth. It comes with a volunteer, certified instructor and the equipment is delivered to where the teaching occurs. They can be accessed only if someone in the organization has the proper safety or recreational sport certification, but some certified volunteers are available in regions to teach and access the equipment. ( My husband and I have the ACA Level I Kayak Instructors certification and are on the list of volunteers available to teach. We have just this week been contacted by a local Boys Scout troop.) These centers always need trained volunteers, so if there are any Florida paddlers who are interested in being accredited to teach children to canoe or kayak (or SUP) and accessing these boats for that purpose, contact your regional Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network office You will have to pay for your ACA certification training – $250 for canoe or kayak ($500 for both). If there doesn’t seem to be a program in your state, you might want to see if there is Project Wild program in one of your state agencies. This is a federally funded program to teach teachers K-12 to expose children to the natural world with a hands-on curriculum. The coordinator of this program may know of volunteer canoe instructors or if a similar program is available in the state of Washington and hidden in some obscure agency. In Florida, Project Wild is housed in the Florida Wildlife Conservation organization; in our region it shares facilities with the FYCCN educational center.

The Boy Scouts offer “Safety Afloat” training:
Make sure you take that, and train the Scouts in Canoe Safety. Your District Scouting Office should also provide guidance for safe canoeing.

Hermit Tim