Girls at Play Instructor Course with ACA Certification


Girls at Play is teaming up with the American Canoe Association to offer whitewater kayaking Level 1 through 4 instructor certifications.  Not only will you learn from Anna Levesque, one of the best whitewater kayak instructors in the world, but you’ll also receive the highly recognized industry standard ACA certification and all of the benefits that come with it!   You don’t have to want teach kayaking to take these courses.  Anna believes that taking an instructor course is the best way for intermediate boaters to improve their skills and here’s why:

Up until Anna’s first ACA instructor course she had never taken any formal kayak instruction.  She had learned from friends and had achieved a certain level of success paddling the New and the Gauley Rivers.  In fact, she thought that she was a bad-ass because she could run big stuff and do some cool tricks.  She wanted to take the course to earn extra money teaching kayaking at the rafting company she was working for.  When her ACA instructor told the group that they were going to be spending the first two and a half days on flatwater she thought that was really lame.  Why so much flatwater when they were accomplished boaters?

Her tune changed after the first flatwater session when she realized that she had so much to learn about stroke technique that would make her a much better paddler.  And when they moved to the moving water section of the course and she was challenged to make precise eddy turns, peel outs and ferries she realized that maybe she wasn’t as much of a bad ass as she thought she was.  The technique that Anna learned in her ACA instructor course changed her paddling and helped her to become one of the best female paddlers and instructors in the world.  In her own words:  “The Girls at Play/ACA Instructor Course will improve your skills and deepen your knowledge whether you want to teach kayaking or not.  Instructor courses are the best way for intermediate boaters to improve their skills.  It worked for me and it will work for you too.”

Girls at Play’s teaching philosophy is unique and that also makes this course unique.  In addition to the important teaching and paddling skills required by the ACA, you’ll also learn specific techniques for teaching women developed by Anna.  And you’ll be able to tap into Anna’s knowledge as a yoga teacher for stretching and warm-up strategies to keep yourself and your students paddling for many years to come.

Men are welcome to join!  In fact, Anna encourages men who want better insight on how to teach women to sign up.  The first course being offered will be co-taught with Robin Pope, an experienced and skilled male ACA ITE.

The class will be separated into two weekend clinics a month apart.  The time between courses gives the students a chance to process and practice what they are learning thus improving pass rates.  The first weekend will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and end around 4 p.m. on Sunday.  The second weekend will start Friday morning and run until Sunday around 4 p.m.  You must complete both weekends to receive ACA and Girls at Play certifications.

If you already have an up-to-date ACA Certification and are interested in learning techniques for teaching women there will be a  separate weekend instructor workshop to become certified in GAP philosophy and techniques for teaching women.  Dates TBA.

Dates & Location for Girls at Play/ACA Instructor Course:

Weekend 1: September 23 – 25, 2011:  Sylva, NC

Weekend 2: October 28 – 30, 2011: Asheville, NC

Cost: $650.00 for both weekends.  Includes instruction and certification.  Does not include any meals, lodging, transportation, required reading, ACA Membership or registration with the SEI Committee.

Requirements: You must be a member of ACA to take this course.  You will only receive certification if you demonstrate proficiency in the skills required and pass the course.   Then you must register with the ACA SEI Committee.  More information about this can be found at this link:

You must have your own gear and be a proficient paddler on class II-III.  This course will have the ability to certify Levels 1 through 4.  If you are traveling for the course and need to rent gear Girls at Play does have boats and gear for rent.  Contact us to find out more.

To book your spot call 916.580.9352 or Contact Us. We need a minimum of 4 students to run the course and will cap it at a maximum of 10.

Required Reading List:

ACA Instructor Manual — can be purchased at the ACA website

Girls at Play Instructor Manual — can be purchased in the Girls at Play webstore


Cancellation Policy:  A 50% deposit is required to book your spot.  The balance is due 30 days prior to the course start date.  15% of the deposit is non-refundable.  Once paid in full you can cancel between 29 and 14 days before the trip and receive a 50% refund.  If you cancel within 13 – 0 days before the course the payment is non-refundable.  At that time credit for a future or different program may be offered.

If you’re interested in becoming an ACA instructor but are a little about your skills, check out our Whitewater Instructional DVD with Anna Levesque, or look into a clinic or day of personal instruction in North Carolina!