My name is Jacquelyn Baker and I work with Michigan DNR Parks & Recreation Division. We have a program called Recreation 101, and I’m hoping to get some Kayaking 101 lessons going at the State Parks in my district.
I’m looking to get in touch with avid kayakers to lead free, introductory Kayaking lessons at the State Parks, specifically our two parks in the thumb: Sleeper State Park and Port Crescent State Park, as well as Lakeport State Park. To give you an idea of how the Recreation 101 program works, visit www.michigan.gov/rec101.
If you or someone you know would be interested in leading novice kayakers on a hands-on demo of the sport, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (989) 313-1472. Thanks and happy kayaking!
The ACA list
Have you reached out to the certified instructors
via the ACA list for Michigan ?
Many of them can be seen here
Also contact email@example.com -
They have a Port Austin Kayak Rendezvous
at Vets Waterfront Park Fri, August 3,
12am – Mon, August 6, 12am
ECP Monthly Meeting
Thu, August 9, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Monthly on the second Thursday
2270 Tittabawassee Road
Saginaw Charter Township, MI 48604
Can also try the folks at
Tip of The Thumb Heritage Water Trail
Aso BCU -
Known outfitters in your state like Black Parrot Paddling (http://www.blackparrotpaddling.com/) will know of both ACA and BCU certified instructors etc in the state.
You have ample resources to find people in Michigan by calling businesses that already exist in your state. Also emailing this.
I’m interested in how this would work.
These free classes with certified instructors. Would the instructors be paid by the state? Or would they be volunteering for the state. Who would cover the insurance for the free classes?
I know with our club we have the students cover the cost of the ACA insurance and we have a lot of classes where folks just pay $5 for the insurance.
Likely the OPer has more homework
But they won’t get that info until they at least talk to a certified instructor.
Port Austin Kayak Symposium
Happens somewhere around there, quite a few kayak instructors show up.
The event is put together by Riverside Kayak Connection, from Wyandotte, MI - http://www.riversidekayak.com/
I am quite sure they would love to hear from you
lead free instruction?
last i checked, professional means getting paid and an aca/bcu accredited instructor makes his/her money in summer.
love of the sport, water and teaching shouldn't get in the way of a love of paying rent/mtg, eating, etc.
I commend you
for developing kayak instruction in your parks. I wish all state parks did this! I teach kid’s paddle camps for a Virginia Park. Feel free to contact me for ideas when you are ready to start.
Pete (ACA Instructor)
never said professional
It sounds like they’re looking for capable folks that are eager to share. As long as they cover any liability issues and maybe have someone more professional check out the “amateur” instructors I think this is reasonable. It’s hard to find enough professionals in some areas and yes they do need the money to live so it’s often just more practical for very first intro groups to just have someone with experience show them the basics and keep them safe.
Not all instructors are professionals
I know quite a few who are certified ACA instructors and rarely get paid for their time. Our club offers a lot of free classes from certified instructors but it is only free if you are a paid member of the club and an ACA member. Otherwise it is $20 a year for the club plus $5 per class for ACA insurance coverage.
I’d be willing to bet that most certified instructors in our area do not make their living from paddling instruction.
Support your local outfitter
Instruction is one of the ways they stay in business…
Making a living instructing
So what’s the difference between a kayak instructor and a large pizza? The pizza can feed a family of 4.
I did contact Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail awhile back and unfortunately they had no one available to provide instruction, but I’ll try searching through ACA. Thanks for the suggestions!
The local shop is actually providing the kayaks for any programs we plan, but they’re unable to spare any staff for instruction. That way they still get the publicity for their business. I’m just hoping to find someone to teach the class.
Rec 101 Instructors
"These free classes with certified instructors. Would the instructors be paid by the state? Or would they be volunteering for the state. Who would cover the insurance for the free classes?
I know with our club we have the students cover the cost of the ACA insurance and we have a lot of classes where folks just pay $5 for the insurance."
Our Recreation 101 program depends on clubs, organizations, businesses, and individuals who donate their time and expertise (and in some cases, equipment) to promote and teach others about recreational opportunities. Liability insurance is required, and would likely be covered by the equipment provider (in this case, a local kayaking shop).
Rec 101 Instructors
"last i checked, professional means getting paid and an aca/bcu accredited instructor makes his/her money in summer.
love of the sport, water and teaching shouldn’t get in the way of a love of paying rent/mtg, eating, etc."
I do appreciate your concern. The idea of the Recreation 101 program is to form a mutually beneficial relationship between the State Parks and local businesses, organizations, clubs, and individuals. Many of our instructors participate because of the promotion that it brings to their business. Some of them do it simply because they love the activity and want to get others involved. The participating instructors would have their logo (if they have one) featured on our website, flyers, and may be mentioned in press releases. We promote through local radio, newspapers, TV stations, etc, so that gives a bit more incentive since it’s helping to get their name out there.
Thank you for your post! I have heard of the Kayak Symposium, and although this year I came into the season too late to coordinate with that event, I’m hoping that next year we can work with them and provide some Kayaking 101.
East Coast Paddlers
I didn’t notice your suggestion of contacting East Coast Paddlers, but now that I see it, I’ll definitely be getting in touch with them as well! Thanks again!
Thanks for the comment!
You’re right, the idea is to give people a very basic understanding of the activity (history, anatomy of the equipment, paddling techniques, etc). We also offer Rec 202 programs which can include a fee, and which cover more in-depth information. That’s typically after our instructors have held Recreation 101 program(s) and would like to further their course offerings at the state parks, and it’s also where our instructors can obtain monetary compensation for their time and expertise.
Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll be looking into those resources!