Opportunities for paddle sports education are numerous throughout the Midwest, mainly through two different organizations or their affiliates (i.e., local paddling groups), Paddlesports North America (PNA) and the American Canoe Association (ACA). Both groups provide reliable instruction suitable for those who have never paddled, to the more advanced. Skills and instructor courses are offered by hundreds of trained instructors, across a wide spectrum of paddling, safety, and rescue disciplines. Course requirements vary considerable between these two groups. In addition to PNA and ACA, the United States Canoe Association (USCA) offers a one-day instructor certification course focused on the basics of canoeing.
Below are relevant links to PNA, ACA, and USCA instructors and course offerings. Note that new courses are added to each organization’s calendars during the year. Also, some instructors may not be teaching classes currently.
American Canoe Association:
- Instructors: http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=Find_Instructors
- Course Calendar: http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=FindCourses
Paddlesports North America:
- Coach/Instructors: http://www.paddlesportsnorthamerica.org/coaches#midwest
- Course Calendar: http://www.paddlesportsnorthamerica.org/calendar
United States Canoe Association:
- Instructors: http://www.uscanoe.com/Content%20Images%20and%20Docs/Instructors_and_Instructor_Certification/USCAInstructorsCanoeNewsList_current-by-State.pdf
The IPC offers scholarship through the Sara Hartman Fund for individuals achieving certain levels of instructor certification from both the ACA and PNA: http://www.illinoispaddling.info/heartland-fund/
Additional water related educational resources can be found from the following:
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/boating/Pages/default.aspx
- United States Power Squadrons: https://www.usps.org/
- American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/swimming/water-safety/water-safety-instructor-certification