Dave, I think we are in agreement, just saying things differently. I wholeheartedly agree that Pawsplus, or anyone else for that matter, would do well to take refresher training with an instructor or other experienced kayaker, especially if not much gets done over the winter for example. My problem is this: From reading Pawsplus post(the fourth one up from here) it would appear that a BCU rating is some sort of gate key into an unknown group by an unknown paddler, I hope this assumption is incorrect. I have been kayaking and canoeing for over 32 years, have led both whitewater and sea kayaking club sponsored trips, and would NEVER assume that a stranger with a BCU rating is at all qualified to tag along without adequate demonstration of skills. This paddler's skills would have to be commensurate with the trip plan, schedule, anticipated weather and other factors. This does not, and has not been, an unreasonable expectation. After all, in some cases a trip leader is taking personal responsibility for someone's safety. Pawsplus, Please do not take my comments as an attack against you or your skill level, I am only trying to convey a general perspective when trip leaders are confronted with a choice on whether to allow a new paddler or stranger on a trip.