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Florida Paddlesports Program

Family kayaking on the river

The Florida Paddlesports Program trains volunteer guides so they can lead groups of kayakers in a safe and fun manner, especially families with children.

Since 2014, more than 180 people have completed the course and several of these trained volunteers are leading trips for the public in Florida's state parks and elsewhere.

The program also provides basic instruction for state park employees to help them lead paddling trips for the public.

The program has five main goals:

  1. Increase appreciation for nature by making outdoor recreation enjoyable.
  2. Empower people by sharing basic paddling instruction.
  3. Increase fitness.
  4. Increase paddling safety.
  5. Create conservation stewards of the future.

The paddlesports training, generally offered in the spring and fall, involves 26 hours of intense instruction with expert American Canoe Association (ACA) instructors who coach attendees through the rigorous ACA Essentials of Kayak Touring Trip Leader course. This course focuses on technical proficiency, trip planning, leadership skills, risk assessment and group management, an excellent fit for creating future generations of safe paddlers and trip leaders.

This article in the Florida Master Naturalist Program newsletter by volunteer instructor Kim Munshower provides a good overview of the program.

Interested in sharing your passion for paddling Florida’s outstanding waterways with future paddlers? Contact The next Paddlesports Training is May 13-16, 2024 at Lake Louisa State Park near Clermont.

Last Modified:
January 30, 2024 - 3:57pm

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