ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor Development Workshop

American Canoe Association (ACA)  Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor is the entry level for instructing in the coastal environment. Instructors teach essential paddle strokes and rescues in a dynamic environment they use as part of their lesson. Level 3 conditions are 10-15 knot winds, 1-2′ seas, 1-2′ breaking waves, 1-2 knots of current. The ACA instructor certification process is broken up into two core components: the Instructor Development Workshop (IDW), and the Instructor Certification Exam (ICE). The IDW presents Instructor Candidates the skills and knowledge that are required to become an instructor. At the end of the course, each candidate receives feedback to prepare them for the ICE. A period of time between the IDW & ICE allows the candidate to work on this feedback and facilitates their growth as an instructor by allowing further development and refinement of their teaching and paddling skills. Participation in both workshops is necessary to complete the ACA instructor certification.

The ICE allows the candidate to demonstrate their competency as an instructor as outlined during the IDW. Candidate’s performance in the ICE directly determines their level of certification.  We are working on scheduling a Level 3 ICE for 2018.

During the IDW portion you receive the training necessary to effectively and efficiently teach sea kayaking. This includes classroom sessions on how people learn, on teaching methods and effective feedback.  All participants are assigned topics to teach on & off water. Staff instruction in paddle strokes and rescues help participants develop their modeling skills while also covering on water teaching methodology, group management, etc.

ACA Level 2 Coastal Kayak Instructor Development Workshop


  • Full ACA membership and membership in the ACA’s Safety Education Instruction Committee (SEIC).
  • To be an ACA instructor you must be 18 years of age.
  • Successfully completed the ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment or ACA Level 3 Trip Leader Assessment
  • First Aid and age appropriate CPR.

Cost:  $390 Per Person

Full ACA membership is $40 and SEIC is $25 additional.  You will receive links to pay & join as part of the course materials sent ahead of time.

Participants are responsible for their own travel, food, and lodging during the course.

Registration:  Requires pre-registration by April 23, 2018.  

Minimum Age:  18 years old. 

Number of Students:  Limited to 10 students.

Cancellation Policy:  Fees are refundable up to 30 days prior.

Required Gear: 

  • Sea Kayak with Bulkheads and Deck Lines
  • Paddle
  • Life Jacket
  • Spray-skirt
  • Paddle Float
  • Bilge Pump
  • Tow Rope
  • Whistle
  • Helmet
  • Hand Held Compass
  • Wet Suit or Dry Suit
  • Water Shoes (No Bare Feet or Flip Flops)


2800 State Park Road
Monroe, Michigan 48162

Sam Crowley

Sam Crowley is an ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Instructor Trainer Educator, an ACA Adaptive Paddling Endorsement and Wilderness First Responder. He’s been paddling since 1991 and instructing since 1996. He’s instructed over 100 instructor workshops but is primarily a paddler with many Lake Superior trips in addition to Haida Gwaii in BC, Finland/Sweden and an Ireland circumnavigation. 

For more information on Sam: 

John Tatro Bio Photo

John Tatro

John Tatro's enthusiasm for kayaking is just another facet of his love of the outdoors.  A native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, he grew up surrounded by water and took to it at an early age.  John started with multi-day & whitewater canoe trips, and raced in both solo and tandem events. He also enjoys backpacking, and has hiked Isle Royle, parts of the Appalachian Trail, and the North Country Trail. When on quiet back country rivers he can be found fly fishing and relaxing around a campsite.  He is a self-diagnosed paddling addict and gear hound, and his love of the outdoors and kayaking is contagious.  John especially enjoys paddling in open water and surf.

John is a certified ACA-certified Level 4 Sea Kayak Instructor and a BCU 4-Star paddl