IT MUST BE NOTED THAT DUE TO THE SAFETY LEVEL REQUIRED FOR THIS MERIT BADGE CLASS, SCOUTS NOT FOLLOWING DIRECTION OR FAILING TO ADHERE TO CLASS INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE CLASS AND FORFEIT PARTICIPATION FEES AND PRIVILEGE OF CONTINUING TO PARTICIPATE. PARENT OR GUARDIAN WILL BE ASKED TO COME AND REMOVE SCOUT FROM THE EVENT.
THE CANOEING OR KAYAKING MERIT
BADGE MUST BE EARNED
TO WORKING ON MOST OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE WHITEWATER
MERIT BADGE. IT SHOULD GO
WITHOUT SAYING, AND ALTHOUGH
REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE
CANOING OR KAYAKING MERIT BADGE,
SCOUTS MUST HAVE PASSED THEIR
BSA SWIMMERS TEST WITHIN THE
HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM
THEIR BSA SWIM TEST AT THIS
CLASS OFFERING IF THEY ARE NOT
CURRENT. YOU WILL NEED TO
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CURRENT
CERTIFICATION / VALIDATION.
HOWEVER, AT THE DISCRETION OF
THE COUNSELOR / INSTRUCTOR FOR
THE CLASS, INDIVIDUAL SCOUTS MAY
BE ASKED TO VALIDATE THEIR
SWIMMING ABILITIES TO THE
STANDARDS OF THE BSA SWIMMER
TEST FOR SAFETY CONCERNS ONLY.
1. Do the following:
a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in whitewater activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
b. Review with your counselor the prevention, symptoms, and first aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in whitewater activities including cold-water shock; hypothermia; head, neck, and back injuries; heat-related illnesses; sunburn; dehydration; blisters; bruises; cuts; sprains and strains; shoulder dislocation; and submersion injuries.
Scouts should review these
two (1a and 1b) requirement components and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge as well as the ability to identify hazards likely to be encountered in
c. Discuss with your counselor the BSA Safety Afloat policy and the American Whitewater safety guidelines.
Scouts should review the BSA Safety Afloat policy prior to the class. It is NOT acceptable to attend the class not having read the BSA Safety Afloat policy and having a general understanding of it applies to this merit badge and canoeing activities. Scouts clearly not having prepared ahead of class will not be allowed to continue participation in the class after arrival until they show their comprehension of this policy.
2. Do the following:
a. Explain the following river features: upstream V, downstream V, riffle, eddy, eddy line, pillow, ledge, bend, shallows, current, drop, horizon line, wave, standing wave, wave train.
Scouts will find using the merit badge pamphlet helpful, if
not easiest, to prepare for this requirement. It is highly recommended that
Scouts make notes to help prepare themselves for explanation during the class on
b. Explain when, why, and how you should scout a river while ashore and while on the river.
Scouts will find reviewing the merit badge pamphlet will be
their best resource for preparing for this requirement. Scouts should be prepared to share
their explanation during class discussion led by the merit badge counselor.
3. Before doing requirements 4 through 12, earn the Canoeing merit badge if you will be using a canoe to earn this merit badge. If you will be using a kayak, earn the Kayaking merit badge. Then do the following:
ALL SCOUTS SHOULD BRING PROOF
OF HAVING PASSED THE BSA SWIMMER TEST IN THE PAST YEAR. (A
camp swimmer's tag clearly showing it belongs to the Scout, a signed letter from
a certified swimming instructor stating the Scout's competency as measured
against the BSA Swimmer's test requirements, or a signed note from a BSA
Swimming Merit Badge Counselor or Scoutmaster will suffice - parental notes are
not enough for this due to the merit badge requirements.)
ALL SCOUTS SHOULD BRING PROOF
OF HAVING PASSED EITHER THE CANOEING MERIT BADGE OR KAYAKING MERIT BADGE. Ideally,
Scouts should bring either their signed blue card for the Canoeing / Kayak Merit
Badge and/or a transcript of their official Scout Advancement Record (available
through Scoutbook. This is the easiest and most accurate way for a merit badge
counselor to identify that a Scout has met the first part of this requirement
before proceeding. Bringing your sash or the respective merit badge is NOT proof
of earning the badge in this case. Just saying you did it likely will not be
enough to be able to continue if you do not bring this proof. Be Prepared.
Even with this "proof" the counselor(s) reserve the right to
retest any Scout that they deem necessary or to satisfy their interest in
safety. Scouts not having any "proof" will be required to pass the BSA Swimmer
Test prior to starting participation in the class. Those not able to pass the
BSA Swimmer Test may be dismissed from the class at the discretion of the
counselor. Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test and allowed to stay in
the class will be limited to "on land" requirements at the discretion of the
counselor. The same holds true for those that cannot satisfactorily show proof
of earning either the Canoeing or Kayaking merit badge.
a. If you will be using a canoe to earn this merit badge, demonstrate strokes and maneuvers from the Canoeing merit badge to the satisfaction of your merit badge counselor.
b. If you will be using a kayak to earn this merit badge, demonstrate strokes and maneuvers from the Kayaking merit badge to the satisfaction of your merit badge counselor.
Scouts will be reviewed by the
merit badge counselor in either
a canoe or kayak (as per the
requirements) in the strokes and
maneuvers appropriate for the
craft they are or will be
utilizing. Only Scouts who are
able to meet the counselor's
satisfaction in proficiency in
handling their craft safely for
the water and weather conditions
will be allowed to continue
working on the following
requirements after Requirement
4. Do ONE of the following:
a. If you are completing these requirements as a tandem canoeist, perform the following on calm water:
1. Demonstrate the following strokes in the bow: cross forward, bow draw, cross bow draw, bow pry, Duffek, sculling draw, and sculling pushaway (reverse scull).
2. Demonstrate the following strokes in the stern: stern draw, stern pry, sculling draw, sculling pushaway (reverse scull), and forward with stern pry.
3. Demonstrate a high brace, low brace, and a righting pry.
b. If you are completing these requirements as a solo canoeist, perform the following on calm water:
1. Demonstrate the following strokes: cross forward, bow draw, cross bow draw, stern draw, pry, stern pry, Duffek, sculling draw, sculling pushaway (reverse scull), and forward with stern pry.
2. Demonstrate a high brace, low brace, and righting pry.
c. If you are completing these requirements as a solo kayaker, perform the following on calm water:
1. Demonstrate the following strokes: Duffek, bow draw, rudder, and sculling draw.
2. Demonstrate a high brace and low brace.
Whichever requirement component
option utilized for Requirement
4, the Scouts will need to
further demonstrate watercraft
5. Do the following:
a. Explain the International Scale of River Difficulty and apply the scale to the stretch of river approved by your counselor.
Scouts should have this written out to show the counselor that some thought and research has gone into this requirement and Scouts should be prepared to explain their findings.
b. Identify the specific characteristics of the river that are factors in your classification according to the International Scale.
component will be completed as a part of this class. Scouts should come prepared having reviewed the information in the merit badge pamphlet and be knowledgeable of the
elements of this requirement
c. Discuss how the level of flow changes a river from one class to another and what effects different flow rates have on the features of a river and its hazards.
component will be covered in class however Scouts should have read the section in the merit badge pamphlet that references this subject and be prepared to help give explanation from their readings and research in the class in order to complete this requirement
6. Explain the importance of communication during every whitewater outing. Demonstrate knowledge and ability to use the following American Whitewater Universal River Signals, both visual and auditory: "Stop," "Are you OK?," "Help/emergency," "Run river right," "Run river left," and "All clear-come ahead."
Scouts will find all they need to know to complete this requirement by reviewing the
Whitewater Merit Badge pamphlet. The Counselor for the class will assist in further understanding through sharing of knowledge to ensure the Scout has a complete understanding in order to complete this requirement. The Counselors known expertise for this requirement should NOT be a reason Scouts minimize the importance of researching this requirement. Scouts still need to show that they have a basic understanding through their preparation work in order to be considered for completion of this requirement.
7. Do ONE of the following:
a. If completing this merit badge in a canoe, describe the various types of canoes used on moving water and how they differ in design, materials, and purpose.
b. If completing this merit badge in a kayak, describe the various types of kayaks used on moving water and explain how they differ in design, materials, and purpose.
For Requirement 7,
regardless of whether a Scout
does component 7a or 7b, each
Scout should be prepared for discussion on
the various type of canoe/kayaks
used and their design,
materials, and purpose. Only those Scouts actively participating in the class discussion will be considered for sign off on this requirement. With the knowledge brought to and gained at the class, Scouts will work with the counselor to complete Requirement 7.
It is highly recommended that
Scouts consider using a notebook
or Merit Badge Workbook to note
and organize their findings for
sharing during the class.
8. Discuss the personal and group equipment necessary for a safe whitewater outing and how and why it is used. Explain how to pack and protect these items.
This requirement will be discussed in class, however only Scout who can actively
share their findings as required in this requirement will be signed off on this requirement. Scouts should make sure they have a general understanding of
safe whitewater outing practices
and use of personal and group
equipment and be prepared to
discuss their knowledge and understanding during the class.
9. Do the following:
a. Demonstrate your ability to read a Class II section of river approved by your counselor. Describe the most desirable paths or lines of travel as well as alternative routes and options. Point out how to use the existing water features to your advantage, and explain how to best avoid the hazards present.
b. Wearing a proper life jacket and being appropriately dressed for the weather and water conditions, perform the following skills in moving water in a properly equipped whitewater craft of your choice (tandem canoe, solo canoe, or solo kayak). If a tandem canoe is used, the skills must be demonstrated from both the bow and stern positions.
1. Launch and land.
2. Paddle forward in a straight line.
4. Ferry upstream.
5. Ferry downstream.
6. Eddy turn.
7. Peel out.
This requirement and its
components are skill-based requirements. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover this requirement
and its components, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete each of the requirement
components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate these skills to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on each requirement component. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete some of these requirements simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that this
is predominantly skill-based. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform and maneuver for each of the components in each of the requirements.
As a part of
Requirement 5a Scouts may find
making notes for some of the
techniques will be helpful in
preparing for discussion on
these during the class.
10. Explain and demonstrate the following to your counselor:
a. Self-rescue and procedures when capsized in moving water, including a wet exit if necessary
b. Proper use of a throw rope to rescue a swimmer in whitewater
c. Proper technique for receiving a throw rope as a swimmer
d. Portaging - where portaging would be appropriate, and when and how to do it
e. The whitewater buddy system using at least three persons and three craft
Scouts will want to review the
Whitewater Merit Badge pamphlet
ahead of time to familiarize
themselves with the components
of this requirement. As a
part of the class the counselor
will provide guidance on
performing these requirement
components. Scouts not
having reviewed and prepared for
this requirement may find it
difficult to fully complete the
requirement and its components.
The requirement clearly states
that they not only need to
demonstrate the techniques but
also explain. While the
counselor will give explanation
during the class, it should not
be assumed that this sharing of
knowledge replaces the Scouts
responsibility to be able to
explain. Repeating what the
counselor has shared is not
sufficient enough for completion
of this element of the
requirement. Be Prepared.
11. Discuss the use of inflatable rafts on moving water. In your discussion, explain the special safety precautions that should be taken when using an inflatable raft and the risks of "tubing" on moving water.
Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class about
inflatable rafts; as outlined in this requirement. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes of your findings. Scouts in attendance that have not reviewed their merit badge pamphlet and/or do not actively participate in the class discussion will find it difficult to complete this requirement.
12. Participate in a whitewater trip using either a canoe or kayak on a Class I or Class II river. Help to prepare a written plan, specifying the route, schedule, equipment, safety precautions, and emergency procedures. Determine local rules and obtain permission from landowners and land managers in advance. Explain what steps you have taken to comply with BSA Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater safety guidelines. Execute the plan with others.
requirement will be done as a part
of the class however Scouts
should be ready to share their
understanding of the elements of