The United States Canoe Association is an organization devoted to canoeing and paddle sports within the United States. Established in 1968, it is headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana. The USCA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational organization, as listed under the IRS 501 ( c ) 3 ruling.
The objective of the United States Canoe Association (USCA), Inc. is to encourage the growth of paddling as a recognized competitive sport and beneficial recreational activity through educational programs that will enable persons to enjoy paddlesports in natural valued settings that promote conservation, safety, fitness, good mental health and participation in family and community life to the fullest extent possible. The USCA sanctions programs and events to promote paddlesport competition including its two marquee annual events; USCA National Canoe & Kayak Championship and the USCA Stock Aluminum & K-1 Downriver/Touring Championship.
The Association publishes a quarterly magazine, Canoe News, devoted to competition, recreational cruising and camping, water safety, construction and maintenance of equipment, and canoeing news in general. USCA also publishes a canoe safety brochure and a training safety video under the approval of the U.S. Coast Guard. The United States Canoe Association is a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational organization, as listed under the IRS 501 ( c ) 3 ruling.
It sponsors a youth cup named after one of its members Greg Barton. Barton won four canoeing medals at the Summer Olympics, including golds in the K-1 1000 m and K-2 1000 m events at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. He also won several medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships.
The United States Canoe Association was formally organized by a meeting of mid-west canoeists January 6 and 7, 1968 at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. It was an outgrowth of the Indiana Canoe Racing Council and the Illinois Paddling Council. Indiana Canoe Racing Council (ICRC) became the leader in promoting racing and by 1967 it was sanctioning races in at least eight states with hundreds of competitors from more than a dozen states. ICRC had outgrown state stature. The late Howie LaBrant, then an ACA officer, submitted an amendment to the ACA constitution to establish Cruising Canoe Racing as an autonomous National Activity Committee. The ACA rejected this activity and the hundreds of participant paddlers at its November 13, 1967 meeting near Philadelphia. Due to this rejection, a group of paddlers met at Crawfordsville, IN and decided to form a new national organization. This group included Gene Denzel of Missouri, Jim Etchen of Pennsylvania, Lynn Tuttle of Illinois, B.J. Williams and Thor Ronemus of Ohio, and Charles and Pat Moore, Bob and Bev Stwalley, Lewis Runnels, Bob Demoret, Howie LaBrant of Indiana and Bill Garrison of the Culver Military Academy, Indiana.
The organizational meeting was held on January 6 and 7, 1968 at Turkey Run Inn. More than a hundred canoeists attended; coming from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri. By a margin of 41 to 40, the name of United States Canoe Association was chosen over U. S. Canoe Racing Association.
The first officers were:
President – Charles Moore, Indiana
Vice President – Thor Ronemus, Ohio
Secretary/Treasurer and Editor – Bev Stwalley, Indiana
Board members were Gene Denzel, MO; Dick Pratt and Thor Ronemus, OH; Lynn Tuttle, Bob Ellison and Wally Quant, IL; and Dr. Dick LaSalle, Charles Moore, Bob Stwalley, Lewis Runnels, and Howie LaBrant of IN and Bill Garrison and Chris Greenleaf of Culver Military Academy. Before the first year was over, more duties were being shared with Heinz Wahl becoming Membership Chairman, Clint Wilkins the Treasurer, both from Indiana, and Helen Denzel became the Secretary replacing Bev Stwalley.