Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Merit Badge of the Week: Canoeing

When I was a Boy Scout in central Alaska, I worked hard on the Canoeing merit badge.  There weren't a lot of places to use a canoe aside from our Scout camp--at least for me.

Only problem:  I couldn't swim!  But they still let another Scout and me spend hours paddling away what I remember as a very large lake.  I was out of Scouting by the time I'd learned to swim, so only a partial for me--but a great memory!

[Anyone know if the troop on Eielson Air Force Base, AK still exists?]

Of course, now our Order of the Arrow tap-outs begin with a nice night-time ride in canoes across the lake...always an impressive sight.

As you might expect, this is a very desired merit badge, averaging 40,000+ for the last few years.  You must pass the BSA Swim Test as part of the process--so non-swimmers...have plenty of time to learn between now and summer camp!

[Notice that the first four requirements for Canoeing come straight out of the Second Class and First Class requirments.]

  1. Basics
  2. Second Class first aid video:  click on Second Class and then 6C.
  3. First Class first aid video:  click on First Class and then 8D.
  4. First Class BSA swim test video:  click on First Class and then 9B.
  5. First Class BSA Safety Afloat video:  click on First Class and then 9A.
  6. BSA online training for Safety Afloat.
  7. BSA online training for Hazardous Weather.
  8. Video series to demonstrate different types of strokes for canoeing.
  9. Paddler Magazine online for canoe and kayak information and adventure
  10. American Canoe Association including finding a club near you.  Their SmartStart Paddling Orientation course plan looks like it would be very handy for teaching canoeing basics in a meeting.
Related Merit Badges:  Lifesaving, Motorboating, Rowing, Small-Boat Sailing, Swimming, Water Sports, Whitewater

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