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Thread: American Canyon Guides Association ACGA

  1. #1

    American Canyon Guides Association ACGA

    It appears the professional guides are breaking off from the ACA. The following is from the ACA website.

    American Canyon Guides Association

    The time has come to separate the professional side of the ACA from the recreational. The American Canyon Guides Association (ACGA) has been incorporated and bylaws drafted. Initial Board consists of Charly Oliver (President/Chairman), Kevin Koprek, Rick Green, Eric Puelsch and Chuy Guererro. I am serving only as Technical Director.

    The initial Board will make decisions regarding dues, requirements for certification and recertification, etc. A special election will be held in approximately six months to allow members to choose a more permanent Board.

    Bylaws posted at: http://canyonguides.net/docs/ACGA_bylaws.pdf

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  3. #2
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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  4. #3
    I am more hopeful, but that shouldn't be too shocking considering my recent comments on the yahoo group. This type of step has been taken in the past, possibly multiple times. However, it was always more symbolic than actual. The last "Pro Division" was to remain housed under the ACA which created some well-documented ethical and pragmatic dilemmas. It appears that Rich has fully divested the professional side from his "club". This was always the most important step (either that or donating/forfeiting the ACA to the community and starting his own service).

    What the new board does with the ACGA is a big question. A lot of questions will have to answered. What level of reciprocity or articulation will be recognized outside the previous "ACA" certs? If they don't provide an avenue for non-ACA guides and services to join than once again the changes will likely be seen as solely symbolic (and for good reason).

    Who and how you qualify for board elections is another major question. There needs to be transparency and since of empowerment within the broader professional community for this service to be worthwhile. The ACA's failure to truly empower the community was one of the major limitations of the past (professionals have accountability as well).

    Interesting stuff. Will be interesting to watch in the long run.

    Phillip

  5. #4
    The trouble with Phillip is not that he is ignorant, but that he knows so much that isn’t so. By "well-documented" he is referring to things he has written.

    Don't count on me to waste my time responding in detail about all of Phillip's BS. I have better things to do.

    The ACA will continue to be what it was always meant to be. It will continue to educate people and EMPOWER them to enjoy canyons safely. It will continue to teach people like Phillip, Tom, Kurt and others, who can take what they learn and share it with others. I feel a lot of pride reading the technical tips and advice these people give to others, knowing they are sharing what they learned from me and the ACA. No amount of whining about what the ACA should have done can take that away.
    Rich Carlson, Instructor
    YouTube Channel: CanyonsCrags

  6. #5
    For those of you interested in the facts regarding the ACGA and the ACA, I will be happy to keep you up to date ...

    American Canyon Guides Association (ACGA)

    The Board voted to increase the number of directors from 5 to 7 and added Steve Morga as the 6th member. The 7th member will be someone from Latin America. We have as many or more certified guides in Mexico and Costa Rica as we do in the U.S. Goal is to organize a separate board/committee in Latin America with delegates from each Mexican state and from other countries. This board/committee will choose representatives from among its members to serve on the ACGA Board.

    Dues have been set for membership in the ACGA at: $125 for Certified Professional Members; $95 for Professional Members (non-certified); $65 for Associate Members. A significant portion of dues paid by members in Latin America will remain in Latin America. No amount has been set, but 75% has been mentioned in discussions.

    The ACGA will recognize guides who were current with their ACA certification. They will be listed as ACGA certified guides upon submission and acceptance of a membership application and dues.

    The ACGA will focus on certifying individual guides and instructors. We are discussing three levels of courses and assessments -- Aspirant (assistang/apprentice), Level 1 (core skills for all guides), and Level 2 (specialized, either Class A/B or Class C). Level 1 and 2 existed with the ACA. The need for a preliminary Aspirant level has been discussed off and on for the past few years.

    As Technical Director, I am tasked with organizing a Technical Committee. That committee consists of Charly Oliver, Rick Green (Class A/B Coordinator), Kevin Koprek (Class C Coordinator), Eric Puelsch (International Liaison). I have also invited one more person from outside the ACGA, but have not received his response yet.

    American Canyoneering Association (ACA)

    When I started the ACA I looked at several other organization models, including the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), Arizona Mountaineering Club (AMC) and National Speleological Society (NSS). In an attempt to serve all canyoneers - professional and recreational - we attempted to mix the AMGA and AMC models (plus the NSS grotto model when we tried ACA chapters). Splitting the professionals from the ACA resolves a number of issues. I am now free to run the ACA more like an informal club.

    The ACA will continue to host its forums and meetup groups and will continue hosting rendezvous. I will focus much more of my own time training recreational canyon leaders, including Scout Leaders. Canyon Leadership workshops will be free for everyone. I will also host a series of canyoneering challenges intended to allow canyoneers to test their technical skills in non-emergency situations to help them gain confidence. The first one is an ascending challenge already on the calendar. Also working on a canyon orienteering challenge.

    I surveyed the current ACA accredited schools to find out if they preferred having the ACGA run an accreditation program. The replies I have received so far unanimously favor keeping the ACA accreditation program. So the ACGA will certify individuals. The ACA will accredit schools that teach the ACA curriculum. The list includes my own company, Canyons & Crags, plus Excursions of Escalante (Rick Green), North Wash Outfitters (Jared Hillhouse), Desert Highlights (Matt Moore), Intrepid Adventure Sports (Steve Morga), Dark Horse Leadership (Steve Jackson, Clark Wiscombe), Pura Vida Adventures (Joe Moerschbaecher). A few more are in the pipeline.
    Rich Carlson, Instructor
    YouTube Channel: CanyonsCrags

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rcwild View Post
    Don't count on me to waste my time responding in detail about all of Phillip's BS. I have better things to do.
    i doubt it... you are like a dog to it's own vomit.

  8. #7
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcwild View Post
    For those of you interested in the facts regarding the ACGA and the ACA, I will be happy to keep you up to date ...

    American Canyon Guides Association (ACGA)

    The Board voted to increase the number of directors from 5 to 7 and added Steve Morga as the 6th member. The 7th member will be someone from Latin America. We have as many or more certified guides in Mexico and Costa Rica as we do in the U.S. Goal is to organize a separate board/committee in Latin America with delegates from each Mexican state and from other countries. This board/committee will choose representatives from among its members to serve on the ACGA Board.

    Dues have been set for membership in the ACGA at: $125 for Certified Professional Members; $95 for Professional Members (non-certified); $65 for Associate Members. A significant portion of dues paid by members in Latin America will remain in Latin America. No amount has been set, but 75% has been mentioned in discussions.

    The ACGA will recognize guides who were current with their ACA certification. They will be listed as ACGA certified guides upon submission and acceptance of a membership application and dues.

    The ACGA will focus on certifying individual guides and instructors. We are discussing three levels of courses and assessments -- Aspirant (assistang/apprentice), Level 1 (core skills for all guides), and Level 2 (specialized, either Class A/B or Class C). Level 1 and 2 existed with the ACA. The need for a preliminary Aspirant level has been discussed off and on for the past few years.

    As Technical Director, I am tasked with organizing a Technical Committee. That committee consists of Charly Oliver, Rick Green (Class A/B Coordinator), Kevin Koprek (Class C Coordinator), Eric Puelsch (International Liaison). I have also invited one more person from outside the ACGA, but have not received his response yet.

    American Canyoneering Association (ACA)

    When I started the ACA I looked at several other organization models, including the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), Arizona Mountaineering Club (AMC) and National Speleological Society (NSS). In an attempt to serve all canyoneers - professional and recreational - we attempted to mix the AMGA and AMC models (plus the NSS grotto model when we tried ACA chapters). Splitting the professionals from the ACA resolves a number of issues. I am now free to run the ACA more like an informal club.

    The ACA will continue to host its forums and meetup groups and will continue hosting rendezvous. I will focus much more of my own time training recreational canyon leaders, including Scout Leaders. Canyon Leadership workshops will be free for everyone. I will also host a series of canyoneering challenges intended to allow canyoneers to test their technical skills in non-emergency situations to help them gain confidence. The first one is an ascending challenge already on the calendar. Also working on a canyon orienteering challenge.

    I surveyed the current ACA accredited schools to find out if they preferred having the ACGA run an accreditation program. The replies I have received so far unanimously favor keeping the ACA accreditation program. So the ACGA will certify individuals. The ACA will accredit schools that teach the ACA curriculum. The list includes my own company, Canyons & Crags, plus Excursions of Escalante (Rick Green), North Wash Outfitters (Jared Hillhouse), Desert Highlights (Matt Moore), Intrepid Adventure Sports (Steve Morga), Dark Horse Leadership (Steve Jackson, Clark Wiscombe), Pura Vida Adventures (Joe Moerschbaecher). A few more are in the pipeline.
    It is great to see a professional canyon guides association that Rich is only peripherally involved in.

    Sorry, "will be".


  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    It is great to see a professional canyon guides association that Rich is only peripherally involved in.

    Sorry, "will be".
    The ACGA Board knows that my intention is to serve as Technical Director only temporarily. Why don't you volunteer for the job, Tom. I will be happy to step aside if the Board approves you.
    Rich Carlson, Instructor
    YouTube Channel: CanyonsCrags

  10. #9
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcwild View Post
    The ACGA Board knows that my intention is to serve as Technical Director only temporarily. Why don't you volunteer for the job, Tom. I will be happy to step aside if the Board approves you.
    No thanks. I have no interest in joining an organization that would have me as a member.

    Tom

  11. #10
    I am not sure if you understand the full parameters of the idea "ethical", Rich.

    Just one well known aspect of the ethical problems you created in the field of canyoneering:

    1) Presenting the ACA as a professional association. This alone has provided it with a market advantage because of its assumed authority in the field. What is the ethical dilemma of this? You are automatically assumed to be of greater authority than the businesses in the field. Ironically, as many have predicted years ago, you are a sole proprietor without true association structure or goals.

    You continue to create ethical dilemmas by housing the accreditation with the ACA. Who will be the professional organization, Rich? You are already undermining the value of the ACGA from the start. No to mention the fact that you already confusing "Rich" with the "ACGA". Shouldn't you leave public relations to someone else other than the technical advisor?

    Phillip

  12. #11
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    Rich Carlson, Instructor
    YouTube Channel: CanyonsCrags

  13. #12
    Ack!

    Ok - so we all get the personal conflict issues between numerous parties. Duly noted.

    Can we debate this subject of ACGA using mature and mannered techniques?

    Please?
    Some people "go" through life and other people "grow" through life. -Robert Holden

  14. #13
    Felicia, I will be happy to answer any question you or any other mature, mannered person would care to ask about the ACGA or the ACA. I don't believe any of the ACGA Board Members participate in any forums other than the ACA forum. I came to this forum to make sure everyone who cares knows what is happening.
    Rich Carlson, Instructor
    YouTube Channel: CanyonsCrags

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Felicia View Post
    Ack!

    Ok - so we all get the personal conflict issues between numerous parties. Duly noted.

    Can we debate this subject of ACGA using mature and mannered techniques?

    Please?
    I would appreciate that effort myself. Felicia, feel free to point out anything I say as crossing the line. I like to think I deal with deconstructing ideas and not simple name calling. I still believe Rich is capable of addressing issues and not simply dismissing others observations as "BS" or "crap".

    To lead off, Rich, why do you believe the structure of the ACA has not been unethical? I have pointed out one element of my case for the ACA problems here, and several others on the yahoo forum. To clarify, I am dealing with the ACA as your private business, not the ACGA. How is my observation and conclusion so wrong?

    Phillip

  16. #15
    This thread is about ACGA. Yes?

    Philip, you have well constructed questions. I think that they are not on point to this discussion. I would encourage you to consider a new thread.

    I see Rich and ACA, like it or not, as a private business. This has already been established. As such, capitalism will address Rich's personal success.

    I have NO interest in being a guide, but I would like those that do/are an opportunity to contemplate an organization without too much distraction/history. A fresh start?

    There is a request to move forward. Rich appears to be offering to help "for now" and answer questions.
    Some people "go" through life and other people "grow" through life. -Robert Holden

  17. #16
    Question to Rich: Will all ACGA leadership be required to be subject matter experts? If so, how big of a pool is there to draw from? If not, what is the board looking for?
    Some people "go" through life and other people "grow" through life. -Robert Holden

  18. #17
    I will have to disagree on one conclusion....

    The ACA has decided to keep the certification program for other businesses. This maintains the problems I have addressed before. How does it make sense for the ACA to house business accreditation while developing a professional organization?
    Also, if/when you visit the new website, it becomes obvious this, the ACGA, isn't so much a fresh start as a continuation of the ACA. The ACA plays a prominent role in the website, in a self-aggrandizing manner. I might be able to understand this from a marketing perspective but it exposes the same structural flaws that existed before. Not quite the fresh start.

    I also fundamentally disagree that Rich gets to control the message and perception.


    Phillip

  19. #18
    Also Rich, for those that do not want to converse with you, who would be an alternate contact person at this time?

    Thanks
    Some people "go" through life and other people "grow" through life. -Robert Holden

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Felicia View Post
    This thread is about ACGA. Yes?

    I see Rich and ACA, like it or not, as a private business. This has already been established. As such, capitalism will address Rich's personal success.
    There are more options than market forces. I am willing to be corrected on my BS, as Rich calls it, but until then I am participating in the most powerful way I can ... dissent. Until I am corrected—that Rich is benefiting from unethical practices—to a reasonable manner than I am not likely to stop asking the hard questions.

    Phillip

  21. #20
    Rich, somebody did a lot of work to setup the site for ACGA - will the site be "turned over" at some point to ACGA? When? Phillip, would you want to professionally manage the site for ACGA?
    Some people "go" through life and other people "grow" through life. -Robert Holden

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