Whitewater Rafting BSA

Whitewater Rafting BSA Award

Swimsuit / swim trunks emblem – The Whitewater Rafting BSA patch is NOT worn on the uniform or the sash; it is worn on the left side of the swimsuit / swim trunks

The Whitewater Rafting BSA Award provides an introduction to whitewater rafting skills and safety procedures and serves as a program opportunity for Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scioutng units in camp or out. The Whitewater Rafting BSA Award recognizes the challenge and adventure of participation in a rafting trip conducted by outfitters or councils. Mastery of Whitewater Rafting BSA skills is a first critical step towards satisfying Safety Afloat guidelines for safe whitewater rafting excursions.

Even though the outfitter is primarily responsible for the safe conduct of a whitewater excursion, unit leaders are still required to have BSA Safety Afloat training. Guides may not be familiar with some aspects of Safety Afloat such as medical reviews, the buddy system, or swimming ability. In particular, unit leaders should pre-screen applicants for the BSA Whitewater Rafting award to meet the prerequisite requirement for BSA swimmer classification.

Whitewater Rafting BSA Award

Any adult leader, approved by the council, who is trained in *Safety Afloat* and can personally verify that all instruction and skill completions were directly supervised by a professionally trained or licensed rafting guide or outfitter, may serve as a counselor for this award. Such guides may be employed by council high adventure programs or commercial outfitters.

Upon successful completion, participants earn the Whitewater Rafting BSA Patch along with their achievment card. Completion indiciates the individual has experieneced a valuable introduction to whitewater paddling under the supervision of a qualified rafting guide. Individuals should consider continuing the development of their river paddling skills with experienced paddle carft instructors. and should always reepect the power of moving warter, remembering to always wear their life jacket and helmet.

Whitewater Rafting BSA Achievement Card

Whitewater Rafting BSA Requirements

The Whitewater Rafting BSA award is available to BSA youth and adults who are members of Scouts BSA, Venturing, or Sea Scout units. Requirements for the award focus on safety and basic paddling skills on whitewater up to Class III. All instruction and skill completions are directly supervised by a professionally trained or licensed rafting guide. A qualified raft captain must be in each raft during the required trip. Participants help power and control the raft with paddles – simply riding in a raft rowed by a guide is not sufficient.

1.

Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmers test.

2.

Do the following:

a.

Name the parts of a whitewater raft

b.

Describe differences between a paddle raft and an oar powered raft.

c.

Explain the importance of perimeter lines used on whitewater rafts.

d.

Demonstrate how to choose an appropriate size paddle,

e.

Demonstrate how to select and properly fit a life jacket.

f.

Demonstrate how to select and properly fit a helmet.

g.

Discuss the use of throw ropes in rescuing overboard paddlers.

h.

Discuss common river hazards including rocks, strainers, broaching, standing waves, hydraulics and foot entrapment.

3.

Explain the importance of safety equipment used in whitewater rafting including throw ropes, helmets and life jackets. Also discuss appropriate clothing and footwear for a whitewater rafting trip.

4.

Under proper supervision and appropriate conditions safely do the following:

a.

Lift, carry, launch and land an inflatable raft, with help, on calm or slow moving water.

b.

Sit in a raft as a paddler with proper foot position.

c.

Swim a Class I rapid while wearing a life jacket, helmet and attire appropriate for the water temperature. Demonstrate defensive and aggressive swimming positions as possible.

5.

While on calm or slow moving water, demonstrate the following strokes in an inflatable raft with at least one other paddler and on command of a qualified paddle captain:

a.

Forward

b.

Back

c.

Sweep

6.

While on moving water up to Class I, demonstrate the following maneuvers with at least 3 other paddlers in an inflatable raft and on the command of a qualified paddle raft captain:

a.

Turn left

b.

Turn right

c.

Paddle forward in a straight line for 50 feet.

d.

Back paddle reasonably straight for 15 feet.

7.

While on moving water up to Class I, demonstrate the following maneuvers with at least 3 other paddlers in an inflatable raft and on the command of a qualified paddle raft captain:

a.

A front or a back ferry.

b.

A shallow or a wide eddy turn.

c.

A shallow or a wide peel out.

8.

Participate in a whitewater rafting trip in up to Class III whitewater with a qualified paddle raft captain in each raft using a minimum of two rafts and for at least one hour’s duration.

Aquatics Supervision – Leader's Guide

Whitewater Rafting BSA Information Brochure

Whitewater Rafting BSA Award Application