Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Rowing 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 Rowing Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Rowing 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 rowing 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 rowing: blisters, 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 rowing activities.
Requirement 2: Before completing requirements 4, 5, 6, and 7, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
Requirement 3: Review the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for rowing and why one must always be worn while rowing. Then demonstrate how to select and fit a life jacket.
Requirement 4: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 4a: Alone or with a passenger, do the following in either a fixed-seat or sliding-seat rowboat:
Requirement 4a1: Launch.
Requirement 4a2: Row in a straight line for 100 yards. Stop, pivot, and return to the starting point.
Requirement 4a3: Backwater in a straight line for 25 yards. Make a turn under way and return to the starting point.
Requirement 4a4: Land and moor or rack your craft.
Requirement 4a5: Tie the following mooring knots – clove hitch, roundturn with two half-hitches, bowline, Wellman’s knot, and mooring hitch.
Requirement 4b: Participate as a rowing team member in a competitive rowing meet. The team may be sponsored by a school, club, or Scout unit. The meet must include competition between two or more teams with different sponsors. Complete at least 10 hours of team practice prior to the meet.
Requirement 5: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 5a: In a fixed-seat rowboat, come alongside a pier and help a passenger into the boat. Pull away from the pier, change positions with your passenger, and demonstrate sculling over the stern or side. Resume your rowing position, return alongside the pier, and help your passenger out of the boat.
Requirement 5b: In a sliding-seat rowboat, come alongside a pier and, with your buddy assisting you, get out onto the pier. Help your buddy into the boat. Reverse roles with your buddy and repeat the procedure.
Requirement 6: Participate in a swamped boat drill including righting and stabilizing the craft, reboarding in deep water, and making headway. Tell why you should stay with a swamped boat.
Requirement 7: Alone in a rowboat, push off from the shore or a pier. Row 20 yards to a swimmer. While giving instructions to the swimmer, pivot the boat so that the swimmer can hold on to the stern. Tow the swimmer to shore.
Requirement 8: Describe the following:
Requirement 8a: Types of craft used in commercial, competitive, and recreational rowing.
Requirement 8b: Four common boatbuilding materials. Give some positive and negative points of each.
Requirement 8c: Types of oarlocks used in competitive and recreational rowing.
Requirement 9: Discuss the following:
Requirement 9a: The advantage of feathering oars while rowing
Requirement 9b: Precautions regarding strong winds and heavy waves, and boat-handling procedures in rough water and windstorms
Requirement 9c: How to properly fit out and maintain a boat in season, and how to prepare and store a boat for winter
Requirement 9d: How to determine the proper length of oars
Requirement 9e: The differences between fixed-seat and sliding-seat rowing
Requirement 9f: The different meanings of the term *sculling* in fixed- and sliding-seat rowing
Requirement 9g: The health benefits from rowing for exercise