Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Canoeing Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2021 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Canoeing Workbook PDF.

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

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Do the following:
Requirement 1a: Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in canoeing activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
Requirement 1b: Review prevention, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that could occur while canoeing: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, sunburn, sprains, and strains.
Requirement 1c: Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to canoeing activities.
Requirement 2: Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test: Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.
Requirement 3: Do the following:
Requirement 3a: Name and point out the major parts of a canoe.
Requirement 3b: Describe how the length and shape of a canoe affect its performance.
Requirement 3c: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials used to make canoes.
Requirement 4: Do the following:
Requirement 4a: Name and point out the parts of a paddle. Explain the difference between a straight and bent-shaft paddle and when each is best used.
Requirement 4b: Demonstrate how to size correctly a paddle for a paddler in a sitting position and a kneeling position.
Requirement 5: Do the following:
Requirement 5a: Discuss with your counselor the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for canoeing and tell why a life jacket must always be worn while paddling.
Requirement 5b: Demonstrate how to select and properly fit the correct size life jacket.
Requirement 6: Discuss with your counselor the general care and maintenance of canoes, paddles, and other canoeing equipment.
Requirement 7: Do the following:
Requirement 7a: Discuss what personal and group equipment would be appropriate for a canoe camping trip. Describe how personal and group equipment can be packed and protected from water.
Requirement 7b: Using the containers and packs from requirement 7a, demonstrate how to load and secure the containers and other equipment in the canoe.
Requirement 7c: Using appropriate knots, including a trucker’s hitch, tautline hitch, and bowline, demonstrate how to secure a canoe to a vehicle or a trailer, or if these are not available, a rack on land.
Requirement 8: With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
Requirement 8a: Safely carry and launch the canoe from a dock or shore (both, if possible).
Requirement 8b: Safely land the canoe on a dock or shore (both, if possible) and return it to its proper storage location.
Requirement 8c: Demonstrate kneeling and sitting positions in a canoe and explain the proper use for each position.
Requirement 8d: Change places while afloat in the canoe.
Requirement 9: With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
Requirement 9a: In deep water, exit the canoe and get back in without capsizing.
Requirement 9b: Safely perform a controlled capsize of the canoe and demonstrate how staying with a capsized canoe will support both paddlers.
Requirement 9c: Swim, tow, or push a swamped canoe 50 feet to shallow water. In the shallow water, empty the swamped canoe and reenter it.
Requirement 9d: In deep water, rescue a swamped canoe and its paddlers by emptying the swamped canoe and helping the paddlers safely reenter their boat without capsizing.
Requirement 10: With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following paddling strokes as both a bow and stern paddler:
Requirement 10a: Forward stroke
Requirement 10b: Backstroke
Requirement 10c: Draw

For stern paddling only:

Requirement 10d: J-stroke
Requirement 10e: Pushaway
Requirement 10f: Forward sweep
Requirement 10g: Reverse sweep
Requirement 10h: Rudder stroke
Requirement 10i: Stern pry
Requirement 11: Using the strokes in requirement 10, and in an order determined by your counselor, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following tandem maneuvers while paddling on opposite sides and without changing sides. Each paddler must demonstrate these maneuvers in both the bow and stern and on opposite paddling sides:
Requirement 11a: Pivot or spin the canoe in either direction.
Requirement 11b: Move the canoe sideways or abeam in either direction.
Requirement 11c: Stop the canoe.
Requirement 11d: Move the canoe in a straight line for 50 yards.
Requirement 12: Use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate solo canoe handling:
Requirement 12a: Launch from shore or a pier (both, if possible).
Requirement 12b: Using a single-blade paddle and paddling only on one side, demonstrate proper form and use of the forward stroke, backstroke, draw stroke, pushaway stroke, forward sweep, reverse sweep, J-stroke, and rudder stroke. Repeat while paddling on the other side.
Requirement 12c: Using a single-blade paddle and paddling only on one side, demonstrate proper form and use of a combination of a forward stroke, rudder stroke, and stern pry by canoeing to a target 50 yards away. Repeat while paddling on the other side.
Requirement 12d: Make a proper landing at a dock or shore (both, if possible). Store canoe properly (with assistance, if needed).
Requirement 13: Discuss the following types of canoeing:
Requirement 13a: Olympic canoe sprint
Requirement 13b: Flatwater and river touring
Requirement 13c: Outrigger
Requirement 13d: Marathon
Requirement 13e: Freestyle
Requirement 13f: Whitewater
Requirement 13g: Canoe poling