Kayak Instruction Excellence – Kayak Whitewater – Sea/Coastal Kayak Instructor and Staff Training

Letters of Recommendation

To Whom it May Concern:

It is without any reservation that I support Andree Hurley’s application to become and instructor trainer educator with the ACA.

Twice, Andree has flown out to Hong Kong to coach my colleagues and I so we may become better coastal kayaking leaders. I recommend her for four principal reasons:

1. Her facilitation style is one that enables the course participants to arrive at the answers to their own questions themselves. This builds ownership in the education process, self-confidence, and desire to learn more.

2. She possesses considerable scope and depth of practical ability, theoretical knowledge, and meta-skills (eg. judgment – about people, risk, etc…)

3. Her passion for kayaking and kayak instruction education is apparently limitless and definitely infectious.

4. She has high standards will ensure that only those people that deserve to be ITs will become ITs. At the same time, she has the ability to give performance feedback that is easy to digest and is able to offer counsel on how to build one’s skills. She is a good ambassador for the ACA.

Simon Beames, Director of outdoor programming, International
School
, Hong Kong. Outward bound instructor.

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This note is to recommend Andre Hurley as an Instructor Trainer Educator for the ACA.

I am an ACA Sea Kayak Instructor that has had the opportunity to assist Andree in numerous IDWs and ICEs over the last 3 to 4 years. Her courses are always safe, well run and provide a very positive learning experience for the candidate instructors. She continually shows an exceptional ability to assess and adapt to student needs. Her confidence and knowledge of how to shift between command to delegation modes results in well-coordinated course progression and instruction.

By constantly challenging myself and other assistants with new topics and techniques, Andree has proved to be an excellent mentor and someone who can “think outside the box” when necessary. From my experience, she is already an excellent role model for future Instructor Trainers.

BCU coach and ACA instructor.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I am an ACA certified coastal sea kayak instructor and was a full-time senior instructor at the Northwest Outdoor Center in Seattle from 1995 to2000. I first met Andree Hurley in 1999 as a student in her Instructor Development Workshop.

I had already taken a number of outdoor educator and leadership courses and thought I knew what to expect at the IDW, but I was immediately impressed by Andree’s open, confident and respectful demeanor, which never failed her during what turned out to be a far more demanding and rewarding course than I anticipated. I was struck by her ability to both take charge or to delegate to keep to a tight schedule, to allow dissenting opinions among students and instructors to be expressed and discussed in a non-judgmental atmosphere, and to deliver honest and extremely thorough training for professional kayak instructors in what is–in this region at least–a heavily male-dominated sport.

Andree has asked me to assist her in teaching a number of classes since that time, and I have been even more impressed working with her as a colleague than I was as a student. Leading these classes requires a great deal of energy and organization but, more than anything, they demand a strong ability to both teach technical skills in stressful circumstances and a willingness to learn from those circumstances. During our work together, Andree has always been able to easily adapt to the needs of her students, to be a supportive and effective instructor, and has repeatedly shown her resourcefulness and unfailing personal courage in the face of unpredictable situations on open water.

I came to Andree and the ACA with the simple intention of honing my paddling skills rather than from a desire to get certified. I quickly realized, however, that I had a lot more to learn after seeing Andree’s dedication to the sport and to the ACA, and her intense desire to produce proficient kayakers and conscientious instructors. Taking her courses, and now helpingto teach them, has allowed me to become both.

Ted Olinger, Instructor, Northwest Outdoor Center

 

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To whom it may concern:

I am the kayak coordinator for our 300 member paddling. I am Whitewater certified for both flat water and moving water through the American Canoe Association.

As of May of 2001 I am also certified for Coastal Kayak through the ACA.I am forty-one years old and have been whitewater paddling since approximately 1984. I teach a flat water and moving water class once each year for our club and help teach a class each quarter for the university.

I received the Coastal Kayak certification in Port Townsend, Washington, where I was instructed and tested by Andree Hurley. I found the class administered by Ms. Hurley to be extremely well run and a positive learning environment. The Instructor Development Workshop was presented as just that, a place where one works with instructors to improve or in some cases create skills necessary to teach the ACA methodology. At all times the instruction was well coordinated, well presented and above all, positive. My experience in Port Townsend was totally positive.

If Ms. Hurley is interested in pursuing an instructor trainer rating for white water kayak I personally believe you would be doing the sport, the future kayak instructors, and your organization a great service by letting her show you the great teaching skills I observed this past May.

David White, Certified coastal kayak and whitewater instructor

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To whom it may concern:

 

I owned and operated an outdoor retail store and guide service in Bellingham, WA from 1981 to 2000. In the last three years of operation, our services included sea kayak rentals, instruction and guiding. I have also guided sea kayak trips for the Whatcom County Parks since 1990. I became interested in further training and possible certification for kayak instruction in the spring of 2000. After researching via the web and personal contacts, I signed up for an IDW with Andree Hurley.

Although the cost of the course was higher with Andree, she convinced me that I would receive the quality and professionalism that a fair price could provide. I was not disappointed.

I have been a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) National Nordic Demonstration Team for 10 years, and currently work as a full time alpine, nordic, and snowboard instructor with the Stevens Pass Snowsports Center in Washington state. I also travel to teach at nordic race camps and telemark and backcountry ski workshops throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many ski clubs and ski schools hire me to train their instructors and I have attended many training clinics put on by others.

Judged against this background, Andree is an exceptional trainer. What stood out was how she managed to draw very little attention to herself while still transferring a considerable amount of knowledge and experience to the participants. She did this by providing the environment, facilities, and resources to enable us to learn through direct experience of the material.

A lot of people talk about experiential learning and good teaching, but many fail to model it in workshops. Andree, and her assistants, set the stage and then got out of the way. Everyone in the group, from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels, jumped in and participated. Experienced people learned a lot, and those with less experience came away knowing what they didn’t know without being belittled. Throughout the course, safety was prioritized and maintained.

As I understood the material, the ACA way is the experiential way. That is what I experienced in the IDW that Andree conducted in the rainy, cold and wet spring of 2000.

Steve Hindman, Owner, Great Adventure, director Stevens Pass Ski School

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I learned about Andree Hurley`s intention to become an Instructor Trainer Educator.

I was very pleased with the announcement for several reasons.

I was a novice in sea kayaking and had a chance to take her IDW and ICE courses, when she was becoming Instructor Trainer with Tim Bates.

The course has been the bible to me and (acknowledging ACA for this great training) all the knowledge acquired by me has been challenged in the water and also in paddlewise communications and exchange of paddling skills and experience with other paddlers in Mexico and in the East, Gulf of Mexico and West Coast.

The courses taken were so properly planned that we were not exposed to knowledge, we acquired the knowledge, we were not exposed to skills, we acquired the skill basics and with lots of practice have come to a point that we feel comfortable with them.

She has the skills, didactical depth and knowledge to be able to educate others how to teach, and also to review how other trainers teach future instructors.

She has proven good liking of the sport, and I am amazed at how much she has progressed since the last time I saw her on the water. This last January I saw her leaning our Performa boat to almost 85 degrees, and turn it on the spot with very little strokes and do the braces and sweep strokes with a style that looks like a ballet.

I am sure the ACA would be very proud to have Andree as an instructor trainer educator, and I would definitely would like to upgrade my level with Andree as instructor.

Thanks a lot Andree and keep working at it.

Rafael Mier Maza, Mexico (who used his Phd. in physics to create a kayak manufacturing business!)

 

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To whom it may concern,

Please let this letter introduce you to Andree Hurley. Andree has spent several seasons of the last fifteen guiding and working with my river rafting company, RiverRider.com We are the largest river rafting company in the NW. She has been an excellent guide working Class 2through Class 5 rivers. She has been the co-trip-leader/head boatman on the Nooksack River a technical and difficult class 4 trip.

In addition to guiding Andree has been involved in meal planning and food purchasing as well as the food preparation and serving at the river. Our company does mostly a “paddle-raft” type of trip and Andree is very capable and extremely safety conscious. Although we rarely run oar rafts Andree has been rowing for years and is skilled in that style of rafting as well. I have personally been on many trips through the river stretches we run and can vouch for her abilities.

She became involved as an instructor in river guiding and kayaking and regularly taught classes for my company’s guides as well as other private and government individuals. Her knowledge of and focus on technique, skills and safety make her a first pick when our courses are under way.

Additionally, trip dynamics and logistics, equipment knowledge, loading and transporting, and repairs are other important areas in which she has had an important role. I am sure that Andree will be a valuable asset to your organization and if you have any questions please give me a call at509-668-RAFT.

Jim Behla, Owner, River Riders.

I am writing in support for Andrée Hurley obtaining an Instructor Trainer Certification for whitewater. I have been an ACA member and whitewater instructor since 1995. Over the next several years, I co-instructed with Andrée on several whitewater courses.

In 1997, after Andrée became an IT for Coastal Kayaking, I obtained my instructor certification in Coastal Kayaking from her. Since then I have had the privilege of assisting Andrée in two IDW’s and one ICE for Coastal Kayaking. In addition, during the past five years, I have paddled recreationally with Andrée on multiple whitewater trips.

The reasons why I think Andrée should be a Whitewater IT are twofold. First, I know from my experiences paddling with her that Andrée possesses the skills necessary to competently negotiate class IV whitewater. Secondly, she is a great IT.

Andrée’s Coastal Kayaking certification program is top notch. Her course progressions are right on with a pace that is fast enough to keep students on their toes, but slow enough as not to ware them down too quickly. When giving feedback, it is always constructive, never destructive. She uses co-instructors effectively, keeping the delivery of course material fresh. But above all, she is very safety conscious, never pushing the group into harm’s way for the sake of testing abilities. In summary, Andrée manages her courses very well.

In closing, I feel that Andrée has the paddling skill, on-water experience and management ability necessary to make a great Whitewater IT. She is an asset to the paddling industry and the ACA. Please give Andrée your highest consideration when making your decision.

Brad Miller, Owner, Coastal Outdoor Center

Kayak Instruction Excellence (KIX)

Phone: (206) 669-1622

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