Have you looked at the KCCNY trip schedule and wondered why there were so few trips posted? That’s because we rely on volunteers to post trips. So many of you paddle the rivers and look for KCCNY trips to join, but few of you volunteer to be the Trip Coordinator. Without those volunteers there would be no trips. KCCNY serves a need in the paddling community to provide a strong support group for folks just joining the sport, new to the area, or without a close circle of friends to run ad hoc trips. We bond together, make new friends and help each other going down the river. How did you get started in the sport? Think about giving back to others just getting started or moving up to a new class of river.
The responsibilities of the official trip coordinator are minimal and do not include responsibility for safely leading others down the river. Our official trip rules specifically state that everyone is responsible for themselves. You don’t have to be an expert paddler, or a swiftwater safety instructor to be a trip coordinator. It does help if you are familiar with the river that you are coordinating but it is not necessary.
So what the responsibilities?
Our key concern is maintaining our insurance coverage through the American Canoe Association. We follow the ACA guidelines.
These are common sense safety guidelines, such as signing waivers, wearing PFDs and helmets, carrying throw ropes etc. They are all things that you should be doing anyway.
Get everyone to the river, check for waivers and ACA event fees, run the river, notify the ACA at the close of the event. That’s it in a nutshell. KCCNY even allows 3 guest trips so they don’t need to be members and if they sign the waiver and aren’t in fact ACA members they aren’t insured by the ACA (but the rest of the group is).
As a trip coordinator you have the right to refuse to allow a person to join the trip if you feel that they cannot paddle it safely. We ask that the trip coordinators not to post the time and meeting place in the trip description so that anyone who wants to join has to contact you and you can screen them.
If every active club member can organize at least one trip per year, we would have a full trip schedule. There are Lehigh and Mongaup releases every other weekend, Deerfield, Hudson and Lower Yough release all summer, Stonycreek every other weekend, the Lackawaxen every Friday all summer and a variety of other rivers in the Northeast to pick from at all levels of difficulty. Sometimes, it even rains and we have another set of rivers to pick from with natural flow. We would love to have people add some new rivers to our schedule.