Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Kayaking 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 Kayaking Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Kayaking 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 hazards you are most likely to encounter while participating in kayaking activities, including weather and water-related hazards, 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 can occur while kayaking: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, heat-related illnesses, dehydration, sunburn, sprains, and strains.
Requirement 1c: Review the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Explain to your counselor how this applies to kayaking.
Requirement 2: Before doing requirements 3 through 8, 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: Review the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for kayaking and understand why one must always be worn while paddling. Then demonstrate how to select and fit a life jacket for kayaking.
Requirement 3b: Review the importance of safety equipment such as a signal device, extra paddle, sponge, bilge pump, flotation bags, and throw bag.
Requirement 4: Do the following:
Requirement 4a: Name and point out the major parts of a kayak.
Requirement 4b: Review the differences in the design between recreational, whitewater, and sea or touring kayaks. Include how length, width, stability, and rocker are involved in the design of each type.
Requirement 4c: Explain the care, maintenance, and storage of a kayak.
Requirement 5: Discuss the following:
Requirement 5a: How to use a kayak paddle.
Requirement 5b: Parts of a paddle.
Requirement 5c: The care and maintenance of a paddle.
Requirement 6: Using a properly equipped kayak with an open cockpit, a sit-on-top, or an inflatable kayak, do the following:
Requirement 6a: Safely capsize and perform a wet exit.
Requirement 6b: Reenter the kayak with assistance from a buddy boat.
Requirement 6c: Demonstrate a kayak-over-kayak rescue.
Requirement 6d: Demonstrate the HELP position.
Requirement 6e: Capsize the kayak, swim it and the paddle to shore, and empty water from the kayak with assistance if needed.
Requirement 7: As a solo paddler, use a properly equipped kayak to demonstrate the following:
Requirement 7a: Forward stroke
Requirement 7b: Reverse stroke
Requirement 7c: Forward sweep
Requirement 7d: Reverse sweep
Requirement 7e: Draw stroke
Requirement 7f: Stern draw
Requirement 8: As a solo paddler, use a properly equipped kayak to demonstrate the following:
Requirement 8a: Paddle a straight line for 15 to 20 boat lengths using appropriate strokes while maintaining trim and balance of the kayak.
Requirement 8b: Spin or pivot from a stationary position 180 degrees (half circle) to the right and left within two boat lengths.
Requirement 8c: Move abeam to the right 10 feet and to the left 10 feet.
Requirement 8d: Stop the boat in one boat length.
Requirement 8e: While maintaining forward motion, turn the kayak 90 degrees to the right and left.
Requirement 8f: Move the kayak backward three to four boat lengths using appropriate and effective reverse strokes.
Requirement 8g: Paddle the kayak in a buoyed figure 8 course around markers three to four boat lengths apart.