Unity College hosted program

American Canoe Association offers instructor certification workshop June 6-8

By Staff | Apr 28, 2014

Unity — A comprehensive, three-day canoe instructor certification will be held Friday through Sunday, June 6-8 on the campus of Unity College, 90 Quaker Hill Road.

The American Canoe Association Level 1-2 Canoe Instructor Certification Workshop will meet on the college campus in Koons Hall 203.

A 2014 grant from the American Canoe Association (ACA) reduces the cost per participant to $200, which includes ACA membership, manual, lodging and meals. To register visit the Outdoor Leader Trainers of America webpage at oltoa.com, click on “How to register” and follow the instructions on the website. Participants are required to complete a registration form and medical form, and return each to OLTOA with payment.

“This is an uncommonly exceptional deal,” said Kate Gilbert, Unity College events manager. “Thanks to the generous grant by the ACA, the cost has been reduced from a much more common comprehensive fee of $650. This is a special opportunity to save over $400 on the cost for participation in an ACA Instructor Certification Workshop.”

Gilbert said the ACA and US Coast Guard are working together with Unity College, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Outdoor Leader Trainers of America to bring this opportunity to Maine.

The goals of this workshop are to help student instructors learn how to enhance their on water teaching techniques, offer effective feedback and improve their group management skills. Participants will learn how to teach ACA canoe workshops and receive the information they need to achieve certification in the ACA. Successful candidates will receive ACA certification as a Level 1 or Level 2 canoe instructor upon completion of the workshop.

The criteria for an ACA Level 1 canoe Instructor is available on the ACA registration page americancanoe.org/?page=Instructor_Criteria. The web page also describes the skills that will be developed during the workshop.

Participants can expect a rigorous experience.

Instructor Bob Myron has more than 30 years of experience in outdoor recreation, including over 20 years as an outdoor educator. His past experiences include owning and operating his own retail/guide business in northern Maine, serving as lead paddlesport instructor for L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools, and teaching courses in colleges and universities.

“One has to effectively demonstrate the skills listed on the ACA website in order to be certified,” Myron said. “Participation alone does not guarantee certification, but there is an outstanding support system in place to ensure that all participants achieve their personal best.”

Myron has taken special interest in everything that might enhance his abilities as a teacher, and has adapted those skills and theories into outdoor education programs. Recognizing that it can be difficult for outdoor leaders to find adequate training and resources, he became convinced of the need for Outdoor Leadership Education and OLTOA was born.

“We started with the belief that resources for outdoor leaders should be accessible, offered in a supportive and positive learning environment, kept up-to-date on industry practices, and include instruction in teaching and leadership skills, in addition to ‘hard skills’,” Myron said. “We also wanted to create a place to find those 'a- ha!' tips for both common and uncommon questions.”

In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including its focus on sustainability science, the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change. Other groundbreaking “green” innovations include the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world, and its first-in-the-nation decision to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education.

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