Information for Trip Coordinators

Trip Coordinator Responsibilities and Procedures

Thank you for helping our club by acting as a trip coordinator. This summary of our procedures is intended as a guide to help you and the others with you enjoy the event.

To schedule a trip, members can email the Activities Chair with the information that appears on the trip schedule before 2 pm Friday for the following weekend and beyond including: body of water, location, class, ability, date, coordinator contact information, a short description and your ACA#.

CLASS 3 AND ABOVE (As rated by American Whitewater):

Events that occur on whitewater rivers rated Class III and above must have the river be listed on If the river section is not, coordinators must submit a detailed safety plan as required by the ACA Risk Management Guidelines at at least 14 days prior to the event or with written approval from the ACA insurance coordinator.

For class 3 and above sections not on this list, coordinators must submit a detailed safety plan as required by the ACA Risk Management Guidelines at at least 14 days prior to the event or with written approval from the ACA insurance coordinator. Class 3 and above river sections can be added to our approved rivers page by submitting to the safety chair the pertinent information including waterway, classification, nearest city and state, minimum and maximum levels, street address of put-ins and take-outs, nearest clinics or hospitals including their address for medical emergencies, evacuation plan including how to contact emergency personal. once the revised paddling plan has been approved by the aca it will be added to the location page.

Before the trip begins

Assess the skill level and preparedness of participants. Any participant that the coordinator feels is not suited for the trip shall not be permitted to participate. This may include, but is not limited to, assessment of skill level, appropriate clothing and equipment and its condition, and suspected use of alcohol or illegal drugs. Any paddler whose conduct is, in the opinion of the trip coordinator, potentially hazardous to him or herself or to the group will be asked to leave the group. If cell phone coverage or access is not available during the majority of the trip, a responsible party should know your plan, whom to contact and when in the event of a significant delay.

KCCNY understands that volunteer coordinators must make a decision based on the overall group safety and with limited information on abilities and risks. Other than adhering to KCCNY’s anti-discrimination policy, the decision is entirely up to the coordinator. If a potential participant doesn’t agree with the decision, have them reach out to the safety or activities chair or any board member.

The trip coordinator has the authority to adjust the specifics of the trip, including the river (and the section of the river) to be paddled, to account for conditions existing at the time of the event, such as weather, water levels, or the specific make-up of the group (i.e. number of paddlers, ability levels, etc.). Any changes are to be noted on the trip report filed with the ACA.

KCCNY club trips are characterized by all the paddlers contributing what knowledge and experience they possess towards the group's fun and safety on the river. A trip coordinator is merely a club member who has volunteered to arrange the meeting of interested members to paddle at a particular place and time. While coordinators often have specific knowledge of the river in question, this is not part of their responsibility. Once on the river, coordinators have no burdens as guide or trip leader.

Contact participants

Participants need to know the meeting location and shuttling plan. Email is usually easiest. Most KCCNY participants finish loading boats and donning gear after meeting up, so if you are expecting folks to be ready to paddle let them know. We recommend coordinators check waiver status and include the italicized text below in the email to any potential participants who do not have a waiver on file.
We also recommend you compile a list of potential participants with contact info and waiver status (which can be copied and pasted from our membership list.

Suggested text for email to participants about waivers

KCCNY uses the American Canoe Association (ACA) to provide insurance for the club and all participants.

To participate you must be an ACA member (at least for the day) and fill out a waiver if KCCNY doesn't have one on file for you. KCCNY members need only sign 1 waiver per calendar year. Members can check if KCCNY has a waiver on file on our membership list.
If you don't have one on file, you can sign an by following the instructions on our form page.

And of course, you want to mention where and when to meet, any special equipment and possible plans for the trip or afterwards.

If possible, let folks know what to do if running late. Many places we meet have poor or no cell coverage.

Suggestions to coordinators

Compile a list of expected participants, phone numbers and waiver status. For members, this can be copied from the membership list. Print out a few waivers from the forms page in someone shows up last minute. If you have any doubt about a participant's waiver status, insist that they fill out completely and sign a paper waiver.

At the Start of the Event

  1. All participants must read and sign the ACA waiver and release of liability before the event begins. Members’ waivers are kept on file and are valid for a calendar year. If the waiver is on file it is noted on our membership list. Note that as a volunteer organization there is often a delay in filing waivers. If it’s not on file you need another signed waiver. Non-KCCNY members require a signed waiver for each event. Waivers for minors must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  2. Announce at the start of the event that "If you have not signed a waiver and paid the event fee, if applicable, then you are not a participant in KCCNY's trip or event. If you choose to paddle the river on your own then you do so at your own risk."
  3. Review the applicable ACA risk management requirements for Paddle America Clubs and ACA affiliates with the group before getting on the water. The document is available at

After the Event

  1. Report all injuries and property damage to the ACA National Office within seven (7) days of the activity using the ACA Incident/Accident Report Form found on the ACA website. In the event of a serious injury, immediately notify the insurance company (American Specialty) by calling 1-800-245-2744. American Specialty will answer calls to this number, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (if calling after hours, follow the instructions for emergency claims reporting).
  2. Following the event, submit report listing event date and location and number of participants to ACA at by email. Report either no incidents occurred or report accidents, deaths and injuries per ACA instructions on ACA website. Report injuries also to the President and Safety Chair at KCCNY. Send by email any new or non-club member waivers to Send any ACA fees to the KCCNY Treasurer .

Joint Trips

Occasionally we do joint trips with other clubs. For insurance purposes, one club needs to be responsible. Since we believe the insurance offered thru the ACA is excellent, we recommend that you use our insurance. In this case, non-KCCNY members are guests. Like all guests, they need to be ACA members or pay the ACA event fee and sign and submit a waiver.


Please reach out to the activities chair .
Note this and many links will only work if you are a member, and membership and a current waiver on file is required to be listed as a coordinator.

Information for Trip Coordinators