From MeritBadgeDotOrg

Revision as of 14:05, May 14, 2009 by Milominderbinder2 (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Canoeing Merit Badge requirement resources include the Merit Badge Worksheet Adobe Acrobat PDF,
lesson video links, Safety Afloat, diagrams, and links to Merit Badges and Boy Scout Awards.
Canoeing is a popular Summer Camp Merit Badge. Check out the lesson video links.
  Prev  -  Next 

Canoeing merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1927
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 033
Requirements revision: 2005
Latest pamphlet revision: 2004


Canoeing requirements

  1. Do the following:
    a. 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.
    b. 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.
    c. Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to canoeing activities.
  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.
  3. Do the following:
    a. Name and point out the major parts of a canoe.
    b. Describe how the length and shape of a canoe affect its performance.
    c. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials used to make canoes.
  4. Do the following:
    a. 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.
    b. Demonstrate how to correctly size a paddle for a paddler in a sitting position and a kneeling position.
  5. Do the following:
    a. 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.
    b. Demonstrate how to select and properly fit the correct size life jacket.
  6. Discuss with your counselor the general care and maintenance of canoes, paddles, and other canoeing equipment.
  7. Do the following:
    a. 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.
    b. Using the containers and packs from requirement 7a, demonstrate how to load and secure the containers and other equipment in the canoe.
    c. 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.
  8. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
    a. Safely carry and launch the canoe from a dock or shore (both, if possible).
    b. Safely land the canoe on a dock or shore (both, if possible) and return it to its proper storage location.
    c. Demonstrate kneeling and sitting positions in a canoe and explain the proper use for each position.
    d. Change places while afloat in the canoe.
  9. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:
    a. In deep water, exit the canoe and get back in without capsizing.
    b. Safely perform a controlled capsize of the canoe and demonstrate how staying with a capsized canoe will support both paddlers.
    c. Swim, tow, or push a swamped canoe 50 feet to shallow water. In the shallow water, empty the swamped canoe and reenter it.
    d. 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.
  10. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following paddling strokes as both a bow and stern paddler:
    a. Forward stroke
    b. Backstroke
    c. Draw
    d. Pushaway
    e. Forward sweep
    f. Reverse sweep
    For stern paddling only:
    g. J-stroke
    h. Rudder stroke
  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:
    a. Pivot or spin the canoe in either direction.
    b. Move the canoe sideways or abeam in either direction.
    c. Stop the canoe.
    d. Move the canoe in a straight line for 50 yards.
  12. Use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate solo canoe handling:
    a. Launch from shore or a pier (both, if possible).
    b. 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, and J-stroke. Repeat while paddling on the other side.
    c. While paddling on one side only, paddle a 50-yard course making at least one turn underway and one reverse of direction Repeat while paddling on the other side.
    d. Make a proper landing at a dock or shore (both, if possible). Store canoe properly (with assistance, if needed).
  13. Discuss the following types of canoeing:
    a. Olympic canoe sprint
    b. Flatwater and river touring
    c. Outrigger
    d. Marathon
    e. Freestyle
    f. Whitewater
    g. Canoe poling

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2014 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #637685)

The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Canoeing is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Canoeing requirements. has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks,
Webelos workbooks, and Cub Scout workbooks.
  1. The BSA Boating-Canoeing Troop Program Feature offers meeting and activity plans to include Canoeing as one of your monthly themes.

Requirement resources

First Aid
1. Hypothermia - Heat Reactions - Dehydration - Insect Stings - Tick Bites - Blisters
2. CPR

3. Swimming
BSA Swim Test: Diving also has the feetfirst jump in - Sidestroke - Breaststroke - Trudgen Crawl - Backstroke - Swimming Turns - Floating

4. The BSA Safety Afloat policy you need is in the Canoeing Worksheet.
5. See the blank canoe and paddle diagrams in the Canoeing Worksheets
5a-c. Major parts of a canoe completed diagram is in the Aquatics Troop Program Feature. The blank canoe diagrams in the Canoeing Worksheets
5d/e. The parts of a paddle completed diagram is in the Boating-Canoeing Troop Program Feature. The blank paddle diagrams in the Canoeing Worksheets
6-10. Lesson Videos: Canoeing Safety· - PDFs - Paddles - Getting In/Out - Paddling - On The Water

Related Ranks, Awards, and Merit Badges

Aquatic Awards Links
Aquatic-related awards

See also

Boy Scout portal
Varsity Scout portal
Venturing portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools