Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Whitewater Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Whitewater Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Whitewater merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

https://scoutmasterbucky.com/merit-badges/whitewater/

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Do the following:
Requirement 1a: Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in whitewater activities, including branches and trees in water along a shore and stretching across the stream, rocks, hydraulics over ledges or lowhead dams, strong wind, low water or air temperature, and thunder and lightning storms. Explain what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
Requirement 1b: 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.
Requirement 1c: Discuss with your counselor the BSA Safety Afloat policy and the American Whitewater safety guidelines, including the use of helmet and life jackets.
Requirement 2: Do the following:
Requirement 2a: Demonstrate understanding of the following river features by drawing lines to show the flow of water: upstream V, downstream V, eddy with an eddy line, ledge, river bend, current at different depths, drop, horizon line, and hydraulic.
Requirement 2b: Describe how waves form including standing waves and wave trains.
Requirement 2c: Explain how to tilt or edge the boat without leaning your body
Requirement 2c1: When entering and exiting an eddy.
Requirement 2c2: When ferrying in downstream and upstream directions.
Requirement 2d: Explain when, why, and how you should scout a river while ashore and while on the river and when you should portage your boat.
Requirement 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:
Requirement 3a: 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.

OR

Requirement 3b: 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.
Requirement 4: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 4a: If you are completing these requirements as a tandem canoeist, perform the following on calm water:
Requirement 4a1: Demonstrate the following strokes in the bow: cross forward, bow draw, cross bow draw, bow pry, and sculling draw.
Requirement 4a2: Demonstrate the following strokes in the stern: stern draw, stern pry, sculling draw, and forward with stern pry.
Requirement 4a3: Demonstrate a high brace, low brace, and righting pry.

OR

Requirement 4b: If you are completing these requirements as a solo canoeist, perform the following on calm water:
Requirement 4b1: Demonstrate the following strokes: cross forward, bow draw, cross bow draw, stern draw, pry, stern pry, sculling draw, and forward with stern pry.
Requirement 4b2: Demonstrate a high brace, low brace, and righting pry.

OR

Requirement 4c: If you are completing these requirements as a solo kayaker, perform the following on calm water:
Requirement 4c1: Demonstrate the following strokes: bow draw, rudder, and sculling draw.
Requirement 4c2: Demonstrate a high brace and low brace.
Requirement 5: Do the following:
Requirement 5a: Explain the International Scale of River Difficulty and apply the scale to the stretch of river approved by your counselor.
Requirement 5b: Identify the specific characteristics of the river that are factors in your classification according to the International Scale.
Requirement 5c: 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.
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."
Requirement 7: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 7a: 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.

OR

Requirement 7b: 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.
Requirement 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.
Requirement 9: 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.
Requirement 10: 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.
Requirement 10a: Launch and land.
Requirement 10b: Paddle forward in a straight line at least 10 boat lengths.
Requirement 10c: Backpaddle in a straight line at least five boat lengths.
Requirement 10d: Ferry upstream from both sides of the river.
Requirement 10e: Ferry downstream from both sides of the river.
Requirement 10f: Eddy turn from both sides of an eddy.
Requirement 10g: Peel out from both sides of an eddy.
Requirement 11: Explain and demonstrate the following to your counselor:
Requirement 11a: Self-rescue and procedures when capsized in moving water, including a wet exit if necessary
Requirement 11b: Proper use of a throw rope to rescue a swimmer in whitewater
Requirement 11c: Proper technique for receiving a throw rope as a swimmer
Requirement 11d: Portaging-where portaging would be appropriate, and when and how to do it
Requirement 11e: The whitewater buddy system using at least three persons and three craft
Requirement 12: Participate in one or more whitewater trips using either a canoe or kayak on a Class I and/or Class II river. The trip(s) must involve at least six hours of paddling time. For each trip:
Requirement 12a: Help to prepare a written plan, specifying the route (put-ins and takeouts), schedule, equipment, safety precautions, and emergency procedures.
Requirement 12b: Determine local rules and obtain permission from landowners and land managers in advance.
Requirement 12c: Explain what steps have been taken to comply with BSA Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater safety guidelines.
Requirement 12d: Show how to protect personal and group equipment from water and how to load and secure the containers in boats to be used in the trip. Execute the plans with other paddlers.
Requirement 12e: Explain to your counselor how well your plans worked for each trip taken.