Kayaking BSA

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This is the Kayaking BSA award for Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts, and Scouters.
Scouts, Lone Scouts, and qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts can also earn the Kayaking merit badge.
Kayaking BSA is not a merit badge.
Kayaking BSA

This patch is not worn on the uniform.
It is an aquatic insignia and
can be worn on the swim trunks (left side).
Last updated:
Level:Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts, and Scouters

Kayaking BSA provides an introduction to kayaking skills and safety procedures and serves as a program opportunity for Scouts BSA, Venturer, and Sea Scout 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 Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts, and Scouters. Additional kayaking information may be found in the Kayaking BSA pamphlet Adobe Acrobat PDF, the BSA Fieldbook, the Whitewater merit badge pamphlet, and Scouts BSA Program Features for Troops and Crews, Volume 1, § 11-1 (Paddlesports) (and online at Program Features: Paddle Sports — TroopLeader.Scouting.org).


Kayaking BSA requirements

  1. Before fulfilling the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA Swimmer test.
  2. Do the following:
    a. Describe various types of kayaks and how they differ in design, materials, and purpose.
    b. Name the parts of the kayak you are using for this exercise.
    c. Demonstrate how to choose an appropriately sized kayak paddle and how to position your hands.
  3. Do the following:
    a. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
    b. Demonstrate how to select and properly fit a PFD.
    c. Explain the importance of safety equipment such as PFD's, air bags, grab loops, and helmets.
  4. Demonstrate your ability to aid yourself and others in the event of a capsize:
    a. Capsize your kayak in water at least seven feet deep, perform a wet exit if necessary, and swim the boat to shore.
    b. With assistance, if needed, ready the capsized craft for use.
    c. Show how to approach a capsized paddler in your kayak and tow them to shore.
    d. 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:
    a. Entering and launching a kayak from shore or dock.
    b. Landing or docking and exiting a kayak.
    c. Forward stroke
    d. Sweep stroke
    e. Reverse sweep
    f. Draw stroke
    g. Rudder stroke
    h. Back stroke
  6. As a solo paddler, do the following:
    a. Paddle forward in a reasonably straight line.
    b. Move the kayak sideways to the right and to the left.
    c. Pivot 360 degrees to the right and left.
    d. Stop the kayak.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

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Requirement resources

Related Ranks, Awards, and Merit Badges

Aquatic-related awards

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