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American Canoe Association Pro Paddle School

Venture Outdoors is Pennsylvania’s first American Canoe Association’s (ACA) Pro Paddle School. This milestone is a major move for Venture Outdoors in its mission to inspire, educate, and equip by removing barriers to outdoor experiences.  

The American Canoe Association (ACA) was founded in 1880 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national nonprofit organization that serves the broader paddling public. ACA Schools provide educational programs, support stewardship initiatives, and offer competition opportunities to athletes of all abilities. 

Planned programs for the new Pro School include basic kayak skills, as well as advanced safety & rescue certification. This year, the organization will focus efforts on providing skill builder courses, ACA paddle certification pilot programs and building a cadre of instructors that represents an inclusive paddle program.  The organization will open ACA paddle certification to the general public in 2024 including an eventual mobile fleet to serve communities across the Commonwealth. 

“Venture Outdoors’ core mission is to remove barriers to outdoor experiences and that includes certification and training that lend to career development. Our goal in becoming an ACA Pro Paddle School is to further inclusion and belonging in paddlesport throughout Pennsylvania.  I’m also honored to have been elected as Pennsylvania’s ACA State Director and will work through this volunteer position to advance equitable access to paddlesport through education, advocacy and stewardship.”   

– Valerie (Hill) Beichner
President & CEO Venture Outdoors
Pennsylvania State Director ACA

“We are excited about the launch of the ACA Pro Paddle school at Venture Outdoors. Paddlesports provide immense benefits to physical and mental well-being as well as economic opportunity for individuals and communities. We look forward to helping Pennsylvanians experience those benefits on the Commonwealth’s extensive waterways.” 

Luke Borowy
Director of Paddlesport
Venture Outdoors

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