Volunteer to Participate in Trips & Training

One of the many great benefits to volunteering at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is the trips and opportunities for training, ranging from free beginner and intermediate courses to advanced ACA certification courses (fees vary). Visit the Volunteer page for more details, or simply sign up at the right side of the page to get started!

Trips (For Volunteers Only)

These are for Boathouse volunteers and experienced paddlers only.  If you're new to the Boathouse and kayaking, you'll want to take some instruction first. Register in advance with our instructors by email at staff@bbpboathouse.org. Participation is with the trip leader's permission only. Trips are free, but you must be a Boathouse Volunteer and an American Canoe Association member for insurance purposes ($40/year or $5/event).

Some of the Trips are:

Red Hook
Our most popular trip—easy enough for beginners but exciting for everyone. We launch south with the ebbing tide through Buttermilk Channel, passing historic waterfront warehouses & the entrance to Atlantic Basin, ending at Valentino Pier beach in Red Hook. There is an approx. 1-hour break to explore the fascinating & trendy neighborhood of Red Hook before returning to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

North Brooklyn
This intermediate trip takes paddlers up Brooklyn’s East River shoreline, passing under the Brooklyn, Manhattan & Williamsburg bridges. We paddle past the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard & the gleaming new shoreline of Williamsburg, landing at the public access foot of Manhattan Ave for a break & bite to eat. We'll wait for the tide to reverse before returning. This trip is recommended for those in good physical condition, and you must be comfortable paddling your kayak for up to 2 hours.

Statue Of Liberty
With this advanced trip, visiting the Statue of Liberty is always special, but never more so than when you arrive in your own kayak. It is a thrilling experience to see Lady Liberty from the water. On this trip we make a wide loop around the upper harbor, usually circling in back of the statue before returning. Though not a long trip, the mid-harbor waves and wakes, and prevailing westerly breezes, will give every paddler a challenge as well as amazing views of the Statue, Ellis Island, Governors Island, and lower Manhattan.


Training (For Volunteers Only)

Introduction To Paddling
Taught on sit-on-tops, teaches the basic paddle strokes and techniques well as informs about the local environment. This fun training prepares you for other kayaking classes.

Sit On Top (SOT) Safety Boater Class
The Boathouse offers free Safety Boater instruction for our volunteers, taught on sit-on-tops, as well as training that prepares for kayaking on the NY waterway and in more advanced deck boats.

ACA Kayak & Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Classes, Assessments & Certification
In cooperation with Brooklyn Kayak Guides, we also offer a full slate of American Canoe Association (ACA) curriculum instruction. Descriptions of classes are available on the ACA website. Quick Start classes are offered in sit-on-top boats. All other classes are offered in traditional decked kayaks. Full day classes are typically $125, active Boathouse Volunteers, however may qualify for a 50% discount. All equipment is provided. Most classes are limited to 10 people. For more information, contact: Tom@bkguides.com.

You do not have to participate in training to be a volunteer, but if you'd like to improve your skills and be better at helping others, it's generally a good idea to take a few beginner classes.

Sebago Canoe Club Training
The Sebago Canoe Club also offers an excellent calendar of ACA instruction. You can find more information on Sebego at sebagocanoeclub.org.