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    BSA Kayaking Award

    The Kayaking Award provides an opportunity to have fun in the water. Kayaking BSA provides an introduction to kayaking skills and safety procedures and serves as a program opportunity for Boy Scout, Varsity, and Venturing units in camp or out. Mastery of Kayaking BSA skills is a first critical step towards satisfying Safety Afloat guidelines for safe kayak excursions.

    Kayaking activities are limited to Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers. Additional kayaking information may be found in the Kayaking BSA pamphlet, No. 19-510, the Fieldbook, No. 33104; the Whitewater merit badge pamphlet, 33405; and Varsity Team Program Features, Volume III, No. 34839.

    Do not confuse this award with the Kayaking Merit Badge.


    Award Requirements
    Kayaking Workbook Online covers both the BSA Merit Badge and the Venturer Badge requirements.
    1. Before fulfilling the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
    2. Do the following:
      • Describe various types of kayaks and how they differ in design, materials, and purpose.
      • Name the parts of the kayak you are using for this exercise.
      • Demonstrate how to choose an appropriately sized kayak paddle and how to position your hands.
    3. Do the following:
      • Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
      • Demonstrate how to select and properly fit a PFD.
      • Explain the importance of safety equipment such as PFDs, air bags, grab loops, and helmets.
    4. Demonstrate your ability to aid yourself and others in the event of a capsize:
      • Capsize your kayak in water at least seven feet deep, perform a wet exit if necessary, and swim the boat to shore.
      • With assistance, if needed, ready the capsized craft for use.
      • Show how to approach a capsized paddler in your kayak and tow him to shore.
      • While upright in your kayak, right a capsized kayak, empty it of water, and assist the paddler aboard without returning to shore.
    5. As a solo paddler, demonstrate the following:
      • Entering and launching a kayak from shore or dock
      • Landing or docking and exiting a kayak
      • Forward stroke
      • Sweep stroke
      • Reverse sweep
      • Draw stroke
      • Rudder stroke
      • Back stroke
    6. As a solo paddler, do the following:
      • Paddle forward in a reasonably straight line.
      • Move the kayak sideways to the right and to the left.
      • Pivot 360 degrees to the right and left.
      • Stop the kayak.


    Kayaking Preparation

    Venturing & Kayaking


BSA Fieldbook
BSA Fieldbook
Outdoor Trek Guide

Based on experiences of millions of Scouts and leaders, this book holds essential information for every outdoor enthusiast. A comprehensive reference, this handbook includes sections on trek, preparation and adventures, appreciating our environment, and more.




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