Canoeing Merit Badge

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Use to teach a MB class, make any changes you see ift

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Canoeing Merit Badge:

Canoeing Merit Badge

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Earning the Canoeing merit badge will introduce you to the wonderful world of canoeing. The skills you learn will embark you on a lifetime of canoeing experiences. The word canoe originates with Christopher Columbus and his report that the Arawak Indians from the West Indies used a seagoing boat, or kenu , made from a hollowed-out tree trunk. The American Indians of the northeastern woodlands used the boats that we call canoes. The birch-bark canoe they perfected had a wood frame covered with sheets of birch bark that were sewn together with white pine root and sealed with pine or spruce resin. When European explorers arrived in North America, they quickly adopted the birch-bark canoe as the best way to move people and goods. For several centuries, the canoe was a primary method of travel for explorers and settlers. During the 1880s, canoe companies in Old Town, Maine, began making canoes of wood and canvas. These boats became very popular, and canoeing became a fashionable weekend activity. In the 20th century, canoes made of new materials in new shapes and designs replaced the wood-canvas canoe. Aluminum canoes appeared in large numbers after World War II, when several aircraft manufacturers retrofitted their production lines to build canoes from metal. Today, plastics and other advanced materials are used to make boats for many kinds of recreational and competitive paddling. The benefits of earning the Canoeing merit badge will continue throughout your life. Canoeing in the Boy Scouts of America most commonly is a two-person activity, teaching communication, teamwork, and physical fitness. Other benefits include being in and observing nature. You will experience the ecology of lakes and rivers, which will help you understand why it is important to preserve these resources for future generations. Whether you become a lifelong paddler or try canoeing for the first time at Scout camp, remember to enjoy your experience. If it isn’t fun and rewarding, it is not canoeing.

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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.

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1. 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. First Aid Following the nine points of Safety Afloat will eliminate any serious risks in canoeing, but some minor injuries still might occur during canoeing activity. Take appropriate precautions to be prepared for such occurrences. Hypothermia Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below the normal range. Exposure to cold, or even cool, water can lower your core temperature dangerously. Early signs of heat loss include bluish lips and shivering. Further cooling will upset the ability to think clearly and to do simple tasks. Further chilling will lead to unconsciousness and, eventually, death. Stop additional heat loss by removing the victim from the water. Wrap warm bedding or blankets around the person. In extreme cases, furnish extra heat and minimize movement, and call for medical aid. For all activity afloat on cold water or in cold weather, appropriate clothing should be worn for warmth, with the PFD worn at all times. A dry change of clothes should be available in case of a spill. Activity afloat should include procedures and equipment for warming anyone showing symptoms of chill. 1 of 3

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Heat Reactions Heat reactions, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke, result when the body cannot keep itself cool enough. If someone feels dizzy, faint, nauseated, or weak; develops a headache or muscle cramps; or looks pale and is sweating heavily, treat for heat exhaustion. Have the person lie down in a cool, shady spot with feet raised. Loosen clothing and cool the person with a damp cloth or a fan. Have the victim sip water. If the condition worsens, get medical help. Recovery should be rapid. Heatstroke can be caused by dehydration (water loss), overexercising , or both. The skin may be wet or dry but always will be flushed and hot. The pulse is extremely rapid, and the person will be disoriented or unconscious. Cool the victim immediately through immersion or with cold packs, and increase the body’s fluid level. Treat for shock and seek emergency help. Sunburn is a familiar condition commonly associated with aquatic activity. Remember that sunlight reflected from the water surface can be as damaging as direct exposure. Cover up, use a waterproof sunscreen, and limit your exposure time. If your skin begins to redden or if you feel discomfort, get out of the sun. 2 of 3

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Other Minor Injuries Stings and bites are not common in flatwater canoeing. However, knowing your aquatic environment and avoiding possible contact is the best strategy for avoiding stings and bites. For typical insect stings and bites, carefully scrape away the stinger with the edge of a knife blade. Don’t try to squeeze it out. That will force more venom into the skin from the sac attached to the stinger. An ice pack might reduce pain and swelling. For severe and prolonged pain, or any severe reaction, dizziness, or respiratory distress, get medical help. Lacerations, incisions, and abrasions (cuts and scrapes) are a risk when canoeing in natural waters, especially if the canoe has not been checked carefully for hazards. As in other situations, the wound should be cleaned, disinfected, and covered. The patrol first-aid kit should provide for minor wound treatment. For severe bleeding injuries, control bleeding with direct pressure or at pressure points until medical help is available. Blisters form when skin is irritated, usually by friction or heat, and can be a common problem on a canoeist’s hands. A hot spot signals the beginning of a blister. Stop immediately and protect the tender area by covering the hot spot with a piece of moleskin or molefoam . If a blister forms, build up several layers of moleskin or molefoam , as needed, to take off the pressure. Blisters are best left unbroken. Treat a broken blister as you would a minor cut or abrasion. 3 of 3

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1. 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. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids and eating enough throughout the day to keep your body well-balanced. If you become weary or develop a headache or body aches, or if you become confused, rest in the shade and sip water until the symptoms subside. Hypothermia - Staying warm in cold weather Before you or your children step out into cold air, remember the advice that follows with the simple acronym COLD — cover, overexertion, layers, dry: Cover. Wear a hat or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, face and neck. Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves. Mittens are more effective than gloves because mittens keep your fingers in closer contact. Overexertion. Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly. Layers. Wear loosefitting , layered, lightweight clothing. Outer clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material is best for wind protection. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers hold body heat better than cotton does. Dry. Stay as dry as possible. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible. Be especially careful to keep your hands and feet dry, as it's easy for snow to get into mittens and boots.

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Heat Exhaustion Heavy sweating Weakness Cold, pale, and clammy skin Fast, weak pulse Nausea or vomiting Fainting What You Should Do: Move to a cooler location. Lie down and loosen your clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible. Sip water. If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately. Heat Stroke High body temperature (above 103°F)* Hot, red, dry or moist skin Rapid and strong pulse Possible unconsciousness What You Should Do: Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency . Move the person to a cooler environment. Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath. Do NOT give fluids.

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Regular stretching and strengthening exercises for your sport, fitness or work activity, as part of an overall physical conditioning program, can help to minimize your risk of sprains and strains. Try to be in shape to play your sport; don't play your sport to get in shape. If you have a physically demanding occupation, regular conditioning can help prevent injuries. You can protect your joints in the long term by working to strengthen and condition the muscles around the joint that has been injured. The best brace you can give yourself is your own "muscle brace." Ask your doctor about appropriate conditioning and stability exercises. Also, use footwear that offers support and protection. Use these methods to prevent sunburn, even on cool, cloudy or hazy days. And be extra careful around water, snow, ice and sand because they reflect the sun's rays. In addition, UV light is more intense at high altitudes. Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun's rays are strongest during these hours, so try to schedule outdoor activities for other times. If you're unable to do that, limit the length of time you're in the sun. Seek shade when possible. Cover up. Wear tightly woven clothing that covers you, including your arms and legs. Consider wearing clothing or outdoor gear specially designed to provide sun protection. Check the label for its ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), which indicates how effectively a fabric blocks damaging sunlight. The higher the number, the better. Dark colors offer more protection, as do fabrics treated with UV- absorbing chemicals. Also wear a broad-brimmed hat, which protects you better than a baseball cap or golf visor does. Use sunscreen frequently and generously. No matter what your skin type is, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply it every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring . If you're also using insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend products that combine an insect repellent with a sunscreen.

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1. C. Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to canoeing activities. BSA Safety Afloat 1. Qualified Supervision. All canoeing activities must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult age 21 or older who understands and knowingly accepts responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of those in his or her care and who is trained in and committed to the points of Safety Afloat. That supervisor must be skilled in safe canoeing, knowledgeable in accident prevention, and prepared for emergency situations. If the adult with Safety Afloat training lacks the necessary canoe operating and safety skills, then he or she may serve as the supervisor only if assisted by other adults, camp staff personnel, or rofessional tour guides who have the appropriate skills. Additional leadership is provided in ratios of one trained adult, staff member, or guide per ten participants. At least one leader must be trained in first aid, including CPR. It is strongly recommended that all units have at least one adult or older youth member currently trained in BSA Paddle Craft Safety to assist in the planning and conduct of all canoeing activities. 2. Personal Health Review. All participants must provide a complete health history, signed by a parent or legal guardian, as evidence of fitness for canoeing activities. Participants should let their leaders know if they have had any recent illnesses or injuries, or if they have any medical conditions such as diabetes, severe allergies, epilepsy, asthma, or heart conditions so that supervision and protection can be adjusted to anticipate any potential risks. 1 of 5

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3. Swimming Ability. Operation of any canoe is limited to youth and adults who have completed the annual BSA swimmer classification 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 swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating. Anyone not classified as a swimmer may ride in a canoe as a buddy with an adult swimmer who is skilled in that craft. 4. Personal Flotation Equipment. Properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard–approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) must be worn by every person in a canoe. Type III PFDs are recommended for general recreational use. 5. Buddy System. All canoeing participants are paired as buddies who are always aware of each other’s situation and prepared to sound an alarm and lend assistance immediately when needed. When several canoes are used on a float trip, each canoe on the water should have a buddy boat. Buddies either ride in the same canoe or stay near one another in single-person canoes. 2 of 5

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• Participants should be instructed in basic safety procedures prior to launch and allowed to proceed once they have demonstrated the ability to control the canoe adequately to return to shore. • Before embarking on a long float trip, paddlers should have either three hours of canoe training and supervised practice or should be able to successfully complete a 100-yard course and recover from a capsize. • Trips on whitewater above Class II must be done with either a professional guide in each canoe or after all participants have received American Canoe Association or equivalent training for the class of water and type of craft involved. 6. Skill Proficiency. Everyone in a canoeing activity must have enough knowledge and skill to participate safely. Passengers should know how their movement affects the canoe’s stability and should have a basic understanding of self-rescue. Paddlers must be able to control the canoe, know how changes in the environment influence that control, and participate only in activities that are within their capabilities. 7. Planning. Proper planning is necessary to ensure safe, enjoyable canoeing. All plans should include a scheduled itinerary, notification of appropriate parties, communication arrangements, contingencies in case of inclement weather or equipment failure, and options for emergency response. 3 of 5

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Preparation. Any canoeing activity requires access to the proper equipment and transportation of gear and participants to the site. Determine what state and local regulations are applicable. Get permission to use or cross private property. Determine whether personal resources will be used or whether outfitters will supply equipment, food, and shuttle services. Lists of group and personal equipment and supplies must be compiled and checked. Even short trips require selecting a route, checking water levels, and determining alternative pull-out locations. Changes in water level, especially on moving water, may pose significant, variable safety concerns. Obtain current charts and information about the waterway and consult those who have traveled the route recently. Float Plan. Complete the preparation by writing a detailed float plan, noting put-in and pull-out locations and waypoints, along with the approximate time the group should arrive at each. Travel time should be estimated generously. Notification. File the float plan with parents, the local council office if traveling on running water, and local authorities if appropriate. Make sure everyone is promptly notified when the trip is concluded. Weather. Check the weather forecast just before setting out, and keep an alert weather eye. Anticipate changes and bring all canoes ashore when rough weather hreatens . Wait at least 30 minutes before resuming activities after the last incidence of thunder or lightning. Contingencies. Planning must identify possible emergencies and other circumstances that could force a change of plans. Develop alternative plans for each situation. Identify local emergency resources such as EMS systems, sheriff departments, or ranger stations. Check your primary communication system, and identify back-ups, such as the nearest residence to a campsite. Cell phones and radios may lose coverage, run out of power, or suffer water damage. 4 of 5

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8. Equipment. All canoes must be suitable for the activity and seaworthy, and must float if capsized. All canoes and equipment must meet regulatory standards, be properly sized, and Frightened or anxious victims might breathe too heavily or too deeply, which can result in hyperventilation. Calmly encourage the person to relax and breathe slowly. be in good repair. Spares, repair materials and emergency gear must be carried as appropriate. PFDs and paddles must be sized to the participants. Properly designed and fitted helmets must be worn when running rapids rated above Class II. Emergency equipment such as throw bags, signal devices, flashlights, heat sources, first aid kits, radios, and maps must be ready for use. Spare equipment, repair materials, extra food and water, and dry clothes should be appropriate for the activity. All gear should be stowed to prevent loss and water damage. 9. Discipline. Rules are effective only when followed. All participants should know, understand, and respect the rules and procedures for safe canoeing activities provided by Safety Afloat guidelines. Discuss the applicable rules with everyone near the boarding area just before the activity begins. People are more likely to follow directions when they know the reasons for rules and procedures. Consistent, impartially applied rules supported by skill and good judgment provide stepping stones to a safe, enjoyable outing. 5 of 5

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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.

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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.

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3. A. Name and point out the major parts of a canoe. 1 of 2

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Parts of a Canoe The body of the canoe is the hull. The front end is called the bow, and the back end is called the stern. Each end is covered with a triangular reinforcement called a deck plate. Ropes attached to the bow and stern are called painters. Amidships is the midsection of the canoe. The length of a canoe spans from the tip of the bow to the tip of the stern, and the width of the canoe at amidships is its beam. The length of the hull that comes in contact with the water is the waterline. Gunwales (pronounced “gunnels”) are rails that run along the top edge of both sides of the canoe. Gunwales add strength to the hull and help it keep its shape. Braces, called thwarts (pronounced “ thorts ”), span the width of the canoe and provide rigidity and support. Some canoes also have a keel, a ridge that runs the length of the bottom of the canoe along its center line. A keel improves a canoe’s ability to travel in a straight line but hinders its ability to turn. A portage yoke allows you to carry a canoe upside down on your shoulders. It can be built into the canoe and serve as an additional thwart, or it can be detachable. 2 of 2

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3. B. Describe how the length and shape of a canoe affect its performance. A canoe’s dimensions affect how the canoe will perform on water. For example, a longer waterline enhances speed and improves tracking, the ability to go straight. A keel further improves a canoe’s tracking ability. Length A longer canoe glides farther with each stroke and can carry a heavier load than a shorter boat. Thus, a 17-foot canoe on flat water would hold more cargo and go straighter and faster than a 13-foot canoe. The shorter a canoe’s waterline, the easier it is to turn. The waterline can vary depending on the length of the hull, the shape of the canoe’s ends, or the curve of the bow and stern sections out of the water. The contour of the ends of a canoe as seen from the side is called the stem. The curve of the hull from bow to stern is the rocker, like the bottom of a rocking chair. The more curve in the rocker, the shorter the waterline. A canoe with a lot of rocker can turn and spin easily and is suited for whitewater paddling, which involves quick navigation. 1 of 2

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Width The width of a canoe, or its beam, mainly affects stability. Wider canoes can carry bigger loads and are less likely to tip over. The width of the bow also is a factor in a canoe’s performance. A narrow, pointed bow cuts through the water like a knife. A wider, blunt bow more easily navigates waves and deflects rocks. A bow that is longer and narrower than the stern—asymmetrical, or irregular in shape—will slice through the water better than a symmetrical one, increasing the speed of the canoe. Depth The taller the sides of the canoe, the more equipment and weight the boat can carry. More depth also prevents waves from washing into the canoe. But, taller sides mean the canoe is more vulnerable to wind. A canoe of lesser depth resists the wind, but it is more likely to take on water on a windy day when the waves are choppy. Hull Shape Canoes with flat bottoms are easy to turn, allow for better sideways movement, and feel more stable. Canoes with rounded bottoms are easy to lean to one side and lean back up again, but they can feel easy to tip over. Shallow V-shaped hulls have some characteristics of each type. Flared sides curve outward to deflect waves. Whitewater canoes often have flared sides. Inwardly curved sides, or tumblehome, decrease the distance between the gunwales, making it easier to paddle efficiently. 2 of 2

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3. C. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials used to make canoes. Wood and wood-canvas canoes are works of art and beauty made by skilled craftsmen. They can be made from a variety of wood, such as cedar, birch, or ash. Depending on the type of wood, they can be relatively lightweight. Some wood canoes have a protective fiberglass outer layer. Wood-canvas canoes have a wooden frame overlaid with canvas that has been sealed with a resin. These boats are easy to repair, but they require a lot of care and maintenance, including careful storage. Aluminum canoes are durable and relatively inexpensive, factors that make them common at many summer camps. They can be noisy on the water and can get hung up on rocks in shallow passages, but they withstand hard use and are the only canoes that can be stored outdoors for long periods without suffering damage from weather or ultraviolet light. 1 of 2

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Fiberglass canoes also are sturdy, but they vary widely in weight, quality, and price. Fiberglass can be formed into many different hull shapes, and boat designers have created fiberglass canoes for different kinds of canoeing activities. Fiberglass canoes also are easy to repair and glide over rocks easily. Kevlar® canoes are constructed from a very strong, lightweight material also used in making bulletproof vests. These canoes are easy to repair, but they are expensive. KevlarR canoes often are finished with a low-maintenance fiberglass skin. Polyethylene canoes are tough, inexpensive, and reliable, but usually are reinforced with aluminum tubing to prevent the hull from flexing too much. Polyethylene canoes return to their original shape when banged or dented, but tears or holes in the material are tough to repair. However, they are heavier than canoes made from other plastics. 2 of 2 Royalex ® canoes are made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a tough, rigid plastic that is stronger and more flexible than aluminum, fiberglass, or polyethylene. These boats are nearly indestructible and return to their original shape if bent or dented. Repairs are seldom needed, but when they are, they can be difficult to do. RoyalexR canoes are the choice of many experienced paddlers for running rapids and embarking on extended expeditions.

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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 size correctly a paddle for a paddler in a sitting position and a kneeling position.

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4. 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.

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4. B. Demonstrate how to size correctly a paddle for a paddler in a sitting position and a kneeling position.

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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.

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5. 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.

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5. B. Demonstrate how to select and properly fit the correct size life jacket.

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6. Discuss with your counselor the general care and maintenance of canoes, paddles, and other canoeing equipment. PFD Care and Maintenance Proper care and storage of PFDs is essential. Allow your PFD to drip dry, and store it in a well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight. Sunlight causes the fabric to fade and the flotation material to weaken. Never use a PFD as a kneeling pad or seat cushion in a canoe, and never cut or alter your PFD. This includes gluing or sewing patches on the fabric that covers the flotation material. Finally, do not repair tears or holes in the material. If the fabric is ripped or if buckles are missing, replace the PFD.

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Canoe Care and Maintenance Store canoes out of the water and upside down in a covered area away from direct sunlight and extreme heat or cold. Do not store canoes with wooden gunwales on the ground. To prevent damage, do not drag a canoe across the ground or run it up onto the shore or into trees or rocks. Make sure to wipe sand, mud, and other debris out of the canoe after each trip, and make repairs as needed. Oil wooden gunwales, seats, and thwarts of a canoe at least twice a year. The tip of a paddle is easy to damage. To prevent damage to the tip, never rest the paddle on its tip on the ground or use the tip to push away from the shore or rocks. Also, avoid throwing paddles into a vehicle or trailer. When not in use, hang paddles away from direct sunlight and extreme heat or cold. Make sure they have been wiped clean.

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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.

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7. 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. Waterpr oof Containers Watertight or waterproof containers keep food, sleeping bags, and other items dry. Dry bags are extremely durable. They are made from a heavy plastic and generally have a roll-up watertight closure and shoulder straps and hip belts for portaging. A Duluth pack is made from water-resistant fabric but does not have the watertight seal of a dry bag. Other good waterproof containers include 5-gallon resealable buckets and waterproof map cases. Simple plastic bags such as resealable freezer bags and heavy-duty garbage bags work well, too. When using garbage bags, double-bag all items and close the bags with a thick rubber band. Then place the garbage bags in a duffel bag, stuff sack, or other container to protect the bag from being punctured or torn.

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7. B. Using the containers and packs from requirement 7a, demonstrate how to load and secure the containers and other equipment in the canoe. Packing a Canoe How much a canoe can hold is based on its length, height, and width. The U.S. Coast Guard measures capacity by loading a boat until it has 6 inches of freeboard—the distance between the water surface and the gunwales. A canoe should never be loaded so heavy that less than 6 inches of freeboard remains or loaded beyond the manufacturer’s suggested weight limit. If a canoe is balanced in the water from end to end and side to side, it is said to be trim. If your canoe is not trim, it will be unstable and difficult to maneuver. A good way to judge the trim of your canoe is to take a step back and look at the loaded canoe from the front and side. Make adjustments as necessary to ensure that your canoe is trim. 1 of 2

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When packing your canoe, place everything that must stay dry in a waterproof container. Secure all items to the canoe so that nothing will fall out. Try to fit dry bags or Duluth packs under the thwarts and clip the straps to them. Use cam straps, bungee cords, and pieces of rope to secure items. Secure your equipment so that if the canoe were to capsize the equipment would not fall out past the gunwales. 2 of 2

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7. 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.

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Use a bowline knot to attach the ropes to the bow and stern of the canoe, and use two half hitches (shown here) to secure the rope to the bumpers.

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A trailer is the most efficient method for transporting multiple canoes. Two lines or straps and the trucker’s (or traveler’s) hitch will secure the midsections of the canoes, and you can safely secure the ends of the boats with the bow and stern painters. Tie them to the center of the trailer using two half hitches.

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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.

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Launching a Canoe Canoes are creatures of the water. Get them on land or in the transition zone between land and water, and they can be awkward to handle and prone to damage. For this reason, you should enter and exit the canoe only when it is completely in the water. Never bridge a canoe by resting one end above the water on the shore or dock with the other end floating. Stepping into a bridged canoe is unstable and can result in injury or damage to the boat. When entering, exiting, or moving about the canoe, always keep three points of contact with the boat. Keep both hands on the gunwales while moving one foot at a time, or keep your feet in one place while moving your hands. Never stand up and walk about the canoe without three-point contact. Stay low in the canoe as you move about, keeping your center of gravity low and helping prevent loss of balance as you move around in the canoe. Never launch while the canoe is grounded or land by running the canoe up onto the shore. Contact between the bottom of the canoe and rocks, gravel, and sand can quickly wear away the bottom of any canoe. Tandem Perpendicular Launch On a sloping shore, the easiest and most stable way to launch the canoe is stern first at a right angle, or perpendicular, to the shore. Start by getting the canoe to the water. With your paddling partner, carefully set down the canoe at the water’s edge. Walk to the middle of the canoe and pick it up by the gunwales. You and your paddling partner will be facing each other. Holding on to the gunwales amidships, place the canoe stern first into the water by moving hand-over-hand until the canoe floats free. Before anyone enters the canoe, the tip of the bow must be at the edge of the water.

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Step 1—The bow paddler steadies the bow with his knees while holding on to the bow deck plate. Step 2—With his paddle already in the canoe, the stern paddler steps into the boat on the center line, facing the bow, then backs up to the stern and sits or kneels, keeping three points of contact. Step 3—To steady the boat, the stern paddler places his paddle in the water up to the throat and holds the paddle shaft against the side of the canoe, locking the thumb of the shaft hand over the gunwale. Step 4—The bow paddler places his paddle in the bottom of the boat and enters the canoe as the stern paddler did. Step 5—As the bow floats free, the stern paddler backstrokes to move the canoe away from the shoreline and the bow paddler moves forward to his paddling position. If you are launching into a current or wind, or if a turn would be difficult after launch, a bow-first launch might be appropriate. The same procedure as with the stern-first launch is followed, except that the bow paddler enters the boat first, facing the bow. Once the bow paddler is settled, the stern paddler enters from the water’s edge and moves amidships, allowing the stern to float free of the shore. After the bow paddler has moved the canoe forward a few feet, the stern paddler can back up to paddling position.

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Tandem Perpendicular Landing Bring the canoe perpendicular to the shore and step out while the boat is still fully afloat. The bow paddler should exit first and stabilize the boat while the stern paddler stows his paddle in the bottom of the canoe, moves to the bow, and steps onto the shore. Remove paddles and gear before carrying the canoe onto land. Together, lift the bow of the canoe and pull it ashore just until the stern reaches the water’s edge. 8. B. Safely land the canoe on a dock or shore (both, if possible) and return it to its proper storage location.

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Paddling Positions Most canoes have bow and stern seats. Whether paddling tandem or solo, sitting is comfortable for long cruises on open water. However, sitting also raises the joint center of gravity of the canoe and paddler, making the combination less stable. Paddling from the seat is acceptable on quiet waters, but on windy or rough water it is best to kneel. Kneeling lowers your center of gravity and makes the canoe more stable, especially in windy conditions. It is important to learn a few kneeling positions so that you can change positions and give your muscles and joints some rest. You can use them whether paddling solo or in tandem. Always use a kneeling pad to protect your knees while kneeling. The most common kneeling position is the cruising position. Kneel with your knees apart and with your weight against a thwart or the edge of a seat. To improve stability and control, wedge the knee that is on the paddling side against the bilge. 8. C. Demonstrate kneeling and sitting positions in a canoe and explain the proper use for each position. 1 of 2

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The cruising position is the most stable kneeling position and it lends the most power to a variety of strokes. In the relief position, kneel on the knee closest to the paddling side and wedge it into the bilge. Extend the other leg in front of you, keeping the knee slightly bent. 2 of 2

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8. D. Change places while afloat in the canoe. To change places in the canoe: Step 1—The bow paddler backs up to amidships and either kneels or sits with legs extended in front. Be careful not to put your legs under a thwart. This could be dangerous if the canoe were to capsize. Step 2—The bow paddler leans to one side and the stern paddler passes on the opposite side, keeping three points of contact along the way. OR The bow paddler crouches and the stern paddler carefully steps over while maintaining three-point contact. Step 3—Once past the bow paddler, the stern paddler settles into position at the bow and steadies the boat using a paddle. The bow paddler rises and moves to the stern position, keeping thre

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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.

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9. A. In deep water, exit the canoe and get back in without capsizing. Exits and Entries on the Open Water Sometimes, on a hot day, you might hop overboard to cool off. Other times, you might find yourself overboard by accident. In either case it is important to learn how to safely exit the boat and reenter it. Under supervision, practice in open water close to shore in an area that has been checked for and determined free of underwater hazards. Dress appropriately for the weather and water temperature. Dress may range from a T-shirt and bathing suit to a wet suit. A properly fitted PFD is required for each participant. Going Overboard—Exiting the Canoe Solo and tandem paddlers can use the following technique. Although tandem paddlers can time their exits so they land in the water at the same time, it is safer to exit the canoe one person at a time. In this way, one person always has control of the boat.

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Step 2—Place your hand on the gunwale on the side of the canoe from which you will exit. Turn the hand that is on the side of the boat from which you will exit so that your thumb points toward the stern and your elbow points away from you. The other fingers of that hand should be inside the boat and wrapped over the inside part of the gunwale. Step 3—Holding on to the gunwale with the hand that is turned inward, let go of the other gunwale. Without losing your grip on the canoe, swing your free arm around toward your back as you turn your body and fall out of the canoe backside first. Step 4—You should land facing the opposite direction from where you started. Step 1—If possible, move amidships, where there is more room to exit. However, you can exit safely from the bow and stern as well. Stay as close as you can to the seat or thwart in front of you to maximize the amount of free space behind you. Lean over with a hand on each gunwale and balance on your toes.

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Do not push down on the gunwale at the point where you are entering— you could swamp the boat. Reentering the Canoe You can reenter a canoe in open water at either end of the canoe where there is enough open space, but amidships usually provides the most room for maneuvering. Amidships also has the smallest freeboard, so there is less height to overcome when pulling yourself up and over the gunwale. Here are a few simple techniques for reentering a canoe in open water that you can use by yourself or with a partner. Practice these techniques under supervision so you can learn how to do them correctly. When the canoe has a section free of thwarts or a portage yoke, the duck-and-roll reentry works best. At the most open section of the canoe, place your hands inside the canoe, resting in the bilge. Straighten your arms so that the weight of your upper body rests on your hands and your waist is even with gunwale. Keep your head as low as possible and lean into the canoe. Push, kick, and lean forward until your hips are over the gunwale. Bend one arm and drop your shoulder toward the bottom of the boat. Then roll onto your back and swing your legs into the canoe.

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Use the arms-across reentry when space is limited and the canoe has several thwarts or a portage yoke across the middle of the boat. First, grab the gunwale amidships and bring your body up to the surface of the water. It is much easier to enter the canoe from this position rather than trying to pull up your body from below the water’s surface. With one hand on the gunwale, rapidly reach across the canoe with your other hand as far as you can to the opposite side. Grab the opposite gunwale or a nearby thwart. Then do the same with your other hand so that both hands are in front of you. Kick and pull your body forward until your hips rest on the gunwale. Roll over and sit down in the canoe with your legs and feet hanging outside the canoe. Now bring in your feet and return to paddling position.

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9. B. Safely perform a controlled capsize of the canoe and demonstrate how staying with a capsized canoe will support both paddlers. Swamped Canoes To safely capsize a canoe, sit next to your paddling partner in the bottom of the canoe facing the same side and with your legs hanging over the gunwale. Put the arm that is closest to your partner on the gunwale behind you. Put the other hand on the gunwale in front of you. Rock forward and backward until the gunwale in front of you goes below the water level and the canoe begins to fill with water.

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9. C. Swim, tow, or push a swamped canoe 50 feet to shallow water. In the shallow water, empty the swamped canoe and reenter it. Moving a Swamped Canoe You can swim, tow, or paddle a swamped canoe. An empty canoe can be paddled to shore. Sit in the bottom and use the paddles or your arms to paddle the boat forward. Use different combinations of forward strokes and backstrokes to turn the boat if necessary. Back paddle well short of landing to slow the canoe and avoid colliding with a dock or the shore. 1 of 3

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Shallow Water Emptying The easiest way to empty a swamped canoe is to pull the canoe to shallow water and remove any gear that might be in the way. Roll the canoe on its side to empty out half the water and then turn it upside down, without lifting the canoe out of the water, to empty out the remaining water. Once the water is out, turn the canoe right side up. If you and your partner cannot lift the canoe completely clear of the water, you can move the canoe to shallower water where one end of the canoe can be rested on the shore. Stand at the other end of the canoe, where the water is deeper. Together, turn the canoe on its side and then completely over, with the other end of the canoe supported by the ground. Once emptied, turn the canoe upright and stow the gear. 2 of 3

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Shallow Water Capistrano Flip The Capistrano flip usually is performed in deep water, but it also can be done in shallow water. With your paddling partner, stand in waist-deep water and turn the canoe upside down. Squat under the gunwale and come up into the air pocket underneath the canoe. Facing each other and with one hand on each gunwale, tip the canoe slightly to one side until one gunwale is raised above the water line and the air seal is broken. Then stand up quickly, lifting the canoe up and over to the side. Make sure to tip the canoe toward the shoreline and to hold on to it so that it does not float away. 3 of 3

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9. 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.

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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

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Strokes When paddling, maintain a smooth rhythm with your paddle, keeping your strokes steady and crisp and in sync with your paddling partner. Use your arms to guide your paddle, but power the strokes with the larger muscle groups of your abdomen, shoulders, and back. Practice the forward stroke, backstroke, draw stroke, pushaway , forward sweep, reverse sweep, and J-stroke using the following key principles. Maintain good posture. Sitting straight will allow you to balance the boat more easily and to use your muscles more efficiently. Try not to hunch forward or overreach with your arms. Center your body over the boat. Keeping your head over your abdomen, your center of gravity, will help keep the boat balanced. Even when sitting or kneeling close to the side of the boat, you can still maintain good balance by following this principle. Paddle in the box. Imagine a box about as wide as your shoulders, as high as the top of your head, and as low as the top of the gunwales. It extends forward from your back to as far as your arms will reach while keeping good posture. Keeping your hands and arms in this box while you paddle will help prevent muscle strain and help you use the larger muscle groups of your abdomen, shoulders, and back to power your strokes. Rotate from the waist. If you rotate your upper body to perform each stroke, the large, strong muscles of the torso will power the stroke and prevent fatigue. As you paddle, imagine your torso twisting around your backbone. Following the paddle blade with your eyes will help you learn to rotate your torso through each stroke.

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Forward Stroke and Backstroke Bow paddlers, stern paddlers, and solo canoeists all can use the forward stroke. Step 1—Hold the paddle by the grip and shaft, your hands about shoulder-width apart, and twist your torso to move the paddle forward. The catch should be well forward, but within your paddling box. Step 2—Keeping your grip hand over the gunwale and lower than the top of your head, submerge the paddle blade, then use the muscles of your abdomen and back to pull the canoe ahead of the paddle. The sensation should be that the paddle remains stationary in the water while the canoe moves to it and then beyond. Keep the paddle vertical and close to the boat through the power phase. Step 3—Bring the blade out of the water near your hip and flip it sideways, or feather it, so that it will cut through the wind as you swing the paddle ahead to begin the next stroke. Tandem paddlers can synchronize their strokes to keep a canoe running true. Stop a canoe’s forward progress and move it backward using the backstroke. Step 1—Place the paddle blade in the water near your hip; keep the paddle vertical and close to the boat as it enters the water and through the power phase. Step 2—Push the blade forward until you can no longer keep it vertical. Feather it back to the starting point and repeat the stroke.

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Draw Stroke and Pushaway Stroke The draw stroke moves your canoe toward the paddling side. Step 1—Begin the stroke by rotating your torso until your shoulders are parallel to the center line. Reach out with both arms, keeping the paddle shaft vertical and the blade facing the canoe, and place the blade into the water up to the throat. (Keep your center of balance over the center line of the boat; leaning out can capsize the canoe.) Step 2—Keeping the blade vertical and submerged to its throat, feel the blade catch in the water. Draw the canoe straight toward the paddle using the muscles of your torso. Step 3—Slip the blade out of the water sideways just before it touches the canoe.

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A pushaway stroke moves the canoe away from the paddling side. Step 1—Start with your shoulders parallel to the canoe’s center line. With the paddle shaft vertical, place the paddle blade into the water, even with your hip and close against the side of the canoe (without touching it). Twist from the torso and perform the catch next to the canoe, even with your hip. Step 2—Using the muscles of your torso, push the canoe away from the paddle as far as you can while still keeping the paddle vertical and the blade submerged to the throat. Do not lean your body over the canoe. Step 3—Recover by turning the thumb of the control hand toward you and feathering the blade back to the boat next to your hip.

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Sweeps In all the sweeps, the paddle moves in an arc, or a part of a circle. The forward sweep turns the canoe away from the paddle and the reverse sweep turns the canoe toward the paddle. Bow paddlers, stern paddlers, and solo canoeists all can do forward and reverse sweeps. However, to turn the boat when paddling tandem, one paddler performs a forward sweep while the other performs a reverse sweep. Also, the forward and reverse sweeps are performed differently from the bow than from the stern, and solo sweeps are slightly different from tandem sweeps because the paddling position is located in the middle of the boat. Forw ard Sweep Step 1 (bow)—Begin with your grip hand lowered to your stomach and your shaft hand well forward so that the paddle shaft is extended over the water, parallel to the canoe’s center line. The paddle blade should be perpendicular to the water. Bend forward slightly at the waist to place the tip of the paddle blade into the water as close as you can to the side of the boat’s bow. For best efficiency, keep the blade fully in the water up to the throat of the paddle. Step 1 (stern)—Begin with your grip hand at your side near the gunwale and your shaft hand extended out from the side of the canoe. The paddle blade should be perpendicular to the water. Be sure to keep the blade completely in the water throughout the stroke. Step 2—Twist your torso as you pull the blade in an arc. Sweep from the bow to your hip when in the bow seat and from your hip to the stern when in the stern seat, making the widest arc possible without leaning. Step 3—Lift the paddle out of the water and feather it just above the water’s surface. Repeat the stroke as needed to turn the bow to the offside.

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When paddling solo, begin the forward sweep as a bow paddler would and end as a stern paddler would. That is, extend the range of the sweep through an entire half-circle from bow to stern. However, in both instances, extend the range of the sweep through an entire half-circle, from bow to stern. Revers e Sweep Step 1—From the bow, begin with the paddle horizontal to the water and perpendicular to the center line, about even with your hip. From the stern, begin with the paddle extended behind you and parallel to the side of the canoe. Twist your torso and reach without leaning to submerge the paddle blade. Step 2—Reaching the paddle out as far to the side as you can without leaning your body or the canoe, sweep hip to bow when in the bow seat and stern to hip when in the stern seat, making the widest arc possible. Step 3—Lift the paddle blade out of the water just before it touches the side of the canoe, feather it, and swing it back into position to begin another stroke. If you must paddle into the wind, try to keep the canoe pointed into the waves at a 30- to 45-degree angle to avoid being turned sideways or broadsided by the wind. Take short, choppy strokes. Alternate strokes to stabilize the canoe and to hold it on a steady course. When paddling through big waves, wait until your stern drops into the trough between waves and paddle hard until you are over the top of the next wave. If you are paddling with the wind at your back, let it carry you forward

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J-Stroke The forward strokes of a paddler in the stern of a canoe will have more effect on the direction a canoe travels than will those of a paddler in the bow, causing the boat to turn away from the strokes of the stern paddler. The same is true when paddling solo: the forward stroke commonly turns the canoe to the paddler’s offside. One way to counteract this effect is for stern paddlers and solo paddlers to use a J-stroke. When done correctly, the J-stroke allows for a smooth, continuous stroke that keeps the canoe on course with minimum effort. Begin this stroke as you would a forward stroke. As the paddle reaches your hip, rotate your grip hand so that your thumb turns down and away from you, pointing toward the bottom of the boat. The paddle blade remains in the water but comes parallel to the side of the canoe. If you push the paddle blade out against the water with the shaft hand while pulling in slightly with the grip hand, the canoe will move back toward center. Seen from above, the stroke forms the shape of the letter J, the hook in the J forming as you push the paddle away from the canoe to correct its course. Avoid adding a backward hook, which slows the canoe. Apply only as much power to the stroke as is needed to keep the canoe going straight; too much power in the forward stroke phase will turn the canoe offside.

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Maneuvers Once you have mastered the strokes, you are ready to practice maneuvering the canoe. Having control of the canoe will make canoeing a more rewarding and enjoyable experience. You will be able to arrive at your destination quickly and efficiently, stop the canoe and avoid obstacles, easily change your direction, and move the canoe sideways to reach another canoe or to land. Tandem Maneuvers Communicating well is the key to successful tandem maneuvers, and tandem canoeing is the most fun and effective when you and your partner work as a team. Verbal commands, such as “Turn left,” “Turn right,” “Ready?” “Paddle ahead,” and “Paddle back,” are helpful. Here are some key points to help you paddle tandem. Paddling positions. Always paddle on opposite sides of the boat to keep the strokes balanced and efficient. Never switch sides without telling your partner first. Paddle pace. The bow paddler sets the pace. If the pace is too fast or too slow, the stern paddler must let the bow paddler know. After paddling together for a while, the bow paddler can feel the stern paddler’s strokes and can keep in time.

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Paddle in unison. When you and your partner’s paddling is synchronized, you combine the power of your strokes and the canoe moves much faster. Because the stern paddler can easily watch the bow paddler’s movements, the stern paddler is responsible for synchronizing the strokes. Communicate. Discuss your signals and commands ahead of time. Know where you are going and what you want the canoe to do. It is easier for the bow paddler to hear the stern paddler’s commands. The bow paddler might have to turn slightly when calling commands to make sure the stern paddler hears them. Don’t hesitate—communicate! Complementary strokes. You are responsible for your end of the boat. You must know which strokes can be used together to maneuver the canoe in the direction you and your partner want to go. Paddling Commands Ready?—Asks if the other paddler is ready to start Paddle ahead—Move the canoe forward Paddle back—Move the canoe backward Hold water—Brake the canoe, stop it from moving Let it run—Stop paddling and let the boat coast

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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.

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11. A. Pivot or spin the canoe in either direction. Onside pivot—draws. Turns the boat toward the bow paddler’s paddling side. Pivots or Spins The pivot point is the balance point of the canoe and is found near the center of the canoe on the center line. It is the point around which the canoe spins. When canoeing tandem, perform turning strokes as close to the ends of the canoe as possible and sweep from tip to hip or hip to tip to make turns easier. You and your partner can pivot the canoe to the onside or offside direction using sweeps, draws, and pushaways . Offside pivot— pushaways . Turns boat away from the bow paddler’s paddling side.

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11. B. Move the canoe sideways or abeam in either direction. Moving abeam—onside. Moves the boat sideways toward the bow paddler’s paddling side. Moving abeam—offside. Moves the boat sideways away from the bow paddler’s paddling side. Abeams You and your partner can move your canoe sideways, or abeam to the onside or offside direction using draws and pushaways . Moving the canoe abeam occurs at a right angle to the center line.

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C. Stop the canoe. Stopping the Canoe To stop the canoe in the water, the stern paddler gives the command “Hold water” and both paddlers perform strong backstrokes in unison. Focus on a clean, deep catch, and at the end of the power phase, lock your arms with the paddle shaft in a vertical position. Don’t recover until the canoe has stopped. You might find it helpful to lock the thumb of the lower hand over the gunwale. Big corrections usually will slow your progress, so keep your eye on your target and make small corrections as you go.

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11. D. Move the canoe in a straight line for 50 yards. Paddling in a Straight Line Paddling in a straight line is a great opportunity to experience teamwork and to exercise communication skills. It also is a good way to master tandem strokes and paddling in unison. Unless it is a rare, windless day, wind and waves can push you off course. Generally, it is best for the stern paddler to be on the opposite side of a wind or current. Paddling a straight line starts with picking a fixed object on land or in the water for which to aim. Use a combination of strokes to navigate the canoe straight to your destination. • Bow paddler—forward stroke, draw • Stern paddler—forward stroke, J-stroke, draw Generally, to travel a straight course forward, the bow paddler performs a forward stroke and the stern paddler performs a J-stroke, focusing on the right amount of correction to maintain a straight course. If wind, current, or uneven paddling causes the canoe to turn to one side, paddlers can apply corrective strokes to keep the canoe on a straight course. If the canoe turns to the offside, the bow paddler can perform a draw or paddle less strongly. The stern paddler can perform a forward stroke instead of a J-stroke, or a draw stroke if a strong correction is needed. If the canoe turns to the onside, the bow paddler can paddle harder to counter the force or perform a forward sweep to turn the boat straight. The stern paddler can make adjustments to the force of the J-stroke to counter the turn.

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Solo Maneuvers Performing solo maneuvers comes naturally if you are an experienced stern paddler. The strokes used to turn, move abeam, stop the canoe, and paddle straight are the same as those used when paddling tandem from the stern. Turns and Abeams When paddling solo, you can turn the boat to the offside with a forward sweep or to the onside with a reverse sweep. By repeating these strokes, you can turn the boat toward the opposite direction. Use the draw and pushaway strokes to move abeam, or sideways. Stopping the Canoe Stopping the canoe while paddling solo is similar to stopping the boat when paddling tandem. Perform a strong backstroke, focusing on a deep, clean catch. At the end of the power phase, lock your arms with the paddle shaft in a vertical position. Don’t recover until the canoe has stopped. You might find it helpful to lock the thumb of the lower hand over the gunwale. Paddling in a Straight Line When paddling by yourself, your ability to paddle in a straight line depends on your mastery of the J-stroke. If you paddled using only a forward stroke, your canoe would turn to the offside. The J-stroke applies a small correction at each stroke to keep the canoe on course. However, you might not need to use the J-stroke for every stroke. If a headwind is coming from your offside, a forceful forward stroke might be enough to keep the canoe on course. If a headwind is coming from your onside, it might be better to switch to the other side and paddle there to keep the canoe going straight. But avoid switching sides every few strokes. It is better to pick a side and stay with it.

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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, J-stroke, and rudder 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).

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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

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Olympic Flatwater Canoeing Olympic canoeing began as an exhibition sport in Paris in the 1924 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee approved canoeing as a medal sport in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Today, Olympic sprint canoe races are held on straight courses of 500 and 1,000 meters on calm water. Annual events include the U.S. National Team Trials and U.S. National Championships. Youths ages 15 to 18 can compete in the Junior National Championships and World National Championships. Olympic canoe sprint paddlers kneel on one knee on a platform in the boat and extend the other leg in front of them. This is known as a high-kneeling stance. Olympic sprint canoes are long, narrow, and diamond-shaped. The solo canoe, the C-1, is about 17 feet long and only 30 inches wide at its widest, and it weighs only 35 pounds. The tandem canoe, the C-2, is 21 feet long and weighs just 44 pounds. These boats are sleek, light, and very tippy because of their high center of gravity and narrow beam.

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Outrigger Canoeing Part of the culture of the Pacific Islands for thousands of years, the original outrigger canoes were carved from koa wood, a beautiful and durable native wood of the Hawaiian Islands. A typical outrigger canoe is 45 feet long and 18 inches wide, and can carry six people. It has a rounded hull and an outrigger that extends 6 feet from the left side of the boat to steady the craft. Today’s fiberglass competition boats weigh a standard 400 pounds. Racing occurs in marathons and sprints. You can paddle solo or as part of a six-member team. Sprint distances range from 500 to 3,000 meters. Marathon distances range from 5 to 30 kilometers (3 to 18.6 miles). World-class teams can paddle at a rate of one stroke per second and average 10 miles per hour.

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Marathon Canoeing Known for their long, smooth courses and exceptional speed, marathon races can cover distances of 5 miles to more than 100 miles over lakes, rivers, and the ocean. The average race distance is usually more than 10 miles, and often includes portages. These races are held in more than 50 countries, and recreational canoeists using recreational canoes form the largest class of participants. More serious racers use specialized canoes made from advanced materials such as graphite. Paddling techniques for marathon racing differ significantly from recreational paddling methods. Using bent-shaft paddles, racers switch sides every eight to 12 strokes at the command “Hut!,” usually given by the stern paddler. The paddling style, also known as sit-and-switch, rests alternate muscle groups in shoulders and arms and eliminates the need to use corrective J-strokes. The bow paddler sets the paddling pace at a relatively fast 55 to 75 strokes per minute.

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Freestyle Canoeing Freestyle combines paddling precision and boat control to create graceful form akin to ballet or figure skating. Freestyle solo and tandem canoes are designed for performing freestyle maneuvers, which involve a lot of turning. Common canoe strokes are modified to fit freestyle moves, and paddlers kneel in the canoe to perform them. For competitive freestyle paddling, freestyle canoeists perform to music. Like figure skating, the program is short and horeographed to popular or classical music. Freestyle paddlers are judged on compulsory moves, execution, degree of difficulty, showmanship, and choreography. The National Freestyle Championships include solo competitions for men and women and a competition for couples.

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Whitewater Canoeing Whitewater canoeing can be done wherever there is adequate water flowing in a river, stream, or creek. The BSA offers a Whitewater merit badge to Scouts who want to learn this type of paddling. Whitewater canoeing is great fun, but it also has a higher level of risk that increases with the difficulty of the river being paddled. Using the International Scale of River Difficulty, a Class I or II river is adequate for most Scouting whitewater experiences. Only very experienced paddlers with proper rescue training, advanced technical skills, and adequate supervision should attempt Class III rivers. Whitewater canoeing requires not only sound stroke technique but also a knowledge of how to use those strokes at the right place and time. A whitewater paddler must know how to read a river, such as what different kinds of waves mean and how they affect the canoe, and be able to recognize hazards such as undercut rocks, submerged trees, strainers, ledges, and waterfalls, to deliberately choose the path that avoids danger.

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