ACA L2/L3 River Canoe Instructor Workshop

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  • ICW - L2 River Canoe ICW
     April 12, 2024 - April 14, 2024
     09:00 - 18:00
  • ICW - both L2/L3 option
     April 15, 2024
     09:00 - 18:00



ACA LogoJoin Jeff Oxenford and RiverCoast for an Instructor Certification Workshop for ACA Level 2: River Canoe Instructor Certification Workshop (3 day/24 hour minimum) with an L3 option (minimum additional 8 hour day).

Course Description:  This course is to prepare candidates to certify as ACA Instructors in Level 2 or Level 3 Canoeing with an emphasis on rivers.  Although we teach from a fun and continuous learning approach, ACA Instructor Candidates must meet the Instructor Criteria and Assessments to certify (either during this workshop or subsequent check-off).

Instructor Trainer: Led by ITE Jeff Oxenford and assisted by ACA L3 Instructor Lynne Andrus.  Jeff is an ACA Level 4 Whitewater Open Canoe Instructor Trainer and L2 ACA River Canoe Instructor Trainer Educator. He has been paddling and teaching canoeing for 40 years. He has worked with all levels of paddlers from recreational to racers, adults, and children.

What to Expect.  The first two days will focus on strokes and maneuvers, safety and rescue, and teaching. The first day will be in tandem canoes on flatwater. The second day will start with you teaching back what you’ve learned Day 1 and then shift into solo canoes on flatwater. Days 3 –4 we will move to a moving water/ whitewater site.  We will have an evening classroom session where we will review videos and cover additional classroom topics.

Each day you will be assigned teaching topics to deliver to the group. These assignments help you assimilate paddling information so that you are prepared to teach, plus they are a big part of our development and exam. These are rewarding but long days, so arriving rested is recommended.

Course Location:  We begin each day at the San Marcos River Retreat at 444 Pecan Park Drive San Marcos, TX 78666.  Note that you can stay in San Marcos accommodations or make independent arrangement to camp onsite.

Course Venue: This primarily on-the-water course will be on the San Marcos River or nearby lake. Level 3 will be at Rio Vista play park on the San Marcos or other Class II river rapids.  Please see above links for venue critieria.

Overall Health:  Participants should be in good physical health and should be in condition to paddle for long hours.   Class days are long yet invigorating.  Please acknowledge and comply with the ACA Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC).

Weather.  Texas’ weather in April is generally pleasant but can be hot, cold, wet, or dry.  San Marcos spring-fed river is about 72 degree year round.  However, other rivers and lakes can be much cooler.  (As always, be prepared for cold, rainy weather). You will be asked to get in the water most days, so be prepared.

Costs:  Please see below for course fee and to register.  In addition, students provide their own meals and transportation during class. Participants are expected to provide their own boat and gear, unless they make special arrangements in advance.  Contact Lynne at the contact info below for limited but quality canoe and gear rental.

Meals: You will be responsible for all of your own meals.  Please pack a lunch for each day plus any snacks you need to get you through the day and after the river. We often eat lunch on the river, so pack your food in a small dry bag please do so.  Also, don’t forget a water bottle.

What to bring with you?

  • Personal clothing (you will be in the water swimming, so bring clothing to get wet and stay warm). Drysuits are strongly encouraged! Wet suits at a minimum.
  • Canoe (properly outfitted for L2 and L3 conditions).
  • PFD, paddles, helmet
  • Flotation
  • Whistle
  • Water
  • Food – Lunch and snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Folding chair
  • Notepad

To Certify.  Certification requires instructors to:

  • Be able to independently complete all skills, activities, and rescues listed in the appropriate ACA Certification Course Outline and Instructor Criteria documents
  • Be able to effectively communicate, including effective verbal communication
  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently
  • You must be certified in First Aid and CPR
  • You must be 18 years of age
  • Be or become a voting member of the ACA
  • Must become an member of the SEIC

To have the best chance in receiving certification, candidates should arrive proficient in most of the skills on the course outlines before attending. Throughout the certification process, candidates will be instructed and evaluated in the areas below:

  • Technical Knowledge – General knowledge of the ACA, canoeing and the river environment.
  • Paddling Skills – Technical proficiency, including personal paddling skills and comfort in a variety of moving water conditions.
  • Teaching Ability – Good physical modeling, the ability to break down maneuvers and skills into their components, clear, concise, organized and thorough presentations aimed at the beginner paddler, people skills and general professionalism
  • Safety Awareness and Technical Rescue Skills- Due to the fact that water safety is one of the ACA primary goals this section is weighted very heavily.

Please bear in mind that just because you have paid your class fees and attended the class, you are not guaranteed certification. You do have one year after the class to work on any skills and be retested by me or another instructor trainer.


  1. Join ACA online Membership ($40 for ACA individual membership and $30 for instructor membership in the Safety Education Instruction Committee, SEIC).  Bring ACA number to class. Review the instruction section of the ACA website, including course registration and reporting, educational resources, and insurance information.
  2. Review Course Outline and Instructor Criteria documents for L1 and L2 Canoeing.  See links to Instructor Criteria and additional documents below.
  3. ACA Instructors Manual: Student must purchase – Required by ACA.  $15 from
  4. Paddling equipment. Bring a boat and equipment you will use for teaching. Equipment is not generally provided.  Contact Lynne (contact information below) for rental options.
  5. CPR/First Aid Certification. You must have current CPR and First Aid certification to be an instructor. Proof of certification will be asked for at the first class. If you cannot obtain certification in time for the class, you will receive a continuation. You will then have up to one year to correct this deficiency to receive your certification.

ACA Documents:  All documents accessed via tabs on ACA’s Course Curriculum webpage.

Instructor Criteria

Sample Skills


Instructor Resources and Policies

Course Waivers: Please review in advance the ACA/RiverCoast waiver as all paddlesports can be risky.  Please contact Lynne (see info below) if you have any questions or clarifications or trouble accessing any links or other information that you may need.  Please feel free to contact your legal counsel in advance before signing this waiver.

Course Dates:  L2 Instructor Candidates (ICs) will meet/paddle all day Friday – Saturday – Sunday on April 12 – 13 -14, 2024.  In addition, L3 ICs will also be assessed on Monday, April 15.  We will meet no later than 9am on Friday and plan to conclude by 6 pm each day.

Contact:  Questions or clarifications?  Feel free to contact Lynne Andrus at or at [email protected], 512-917-0939 (cell/text) or voice message 512-292-9968 (office).  Registration accepted via the secure PayPal (or your credit card through PayPal) below.



Venue Website:

444 Pecan Park Drive, San Marcos, Texas, 78666, United States