The Path of the Paddle
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Path of the Paddle Home Stillwater Experience River Experience Whitewater Experience Rafting Experience Ocean Experience Voyageur Experience Scale of River Difficulty Path of the Paddle Forms
Canoeing or kayaking on moving water with sections of rapids. with no more than Class 3 rapids. The Stillwater experience is REQUIRED for Scouts going for the Whitewater experience. The River experience is strongly recommended for Scouts before attempting the Whitewater experience, in order to learn and practices the skills needed to handle their craft before encountering serious rapids. The Path of the Paddle strongly discourages Scouts attempting rapids higher than Class 3 at any time.
The Whitewater Experience should allow the Scouts a chance to learn and practice moving-water techniques:
- Eddy turns
- Reading the River (hydrology)
- Paddle signals
Scouts who complete the Whitewater experience should be ready to complete the Whitewater Merit Badge.
California: Middle Klamath River, Trinity River, upper Sacramento River
Suggested guide companies:
California: Canoe West
Planning your Path of the Paddle Outings:
Planning is critical to a safe Paddlesports outing of any kind. As with any High Adventure outing, the Scouts and the leaders must be trained before setting out. The Guide to Safe Scouting must be read and followed.
All Scouts must have passed the Second Class Swimming and First Aid requirement and the First Class Swimming and First Aid Requirements
All Scouts and leaders must follow the practices of the BSA Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat programs, in regards to training, preparation, equipment, etc. Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat training are available online at the E-Learning section of MyScouting.org
At least one leader must have completed Paddlesports Awareness High Adventure Training through the Mount Diablo- Silverado Council, or an equivalent program through another BSA Council.
The transportation plan for the outing should allow sufficient time for the adults who are driving to rest before beginning the return trip. Please read the Risk Zone information in the Guide to Safe Scouting.
Note on Outfitters, Guides, and Rental Agencies.
The Boy Scouts of America and the Mount Diablo-Silverado Council do not attempt to recommend or rank any commercial Outfitters, Guides, and Equipment Rental Agencies. All such companies and individuals mentioned here are done so as a point of reference only. It is up to the individual unit to make sure that any outside company has adequate insurance, properly-maintained equipment, trained personnel, first-aid training and supplies, etc.
Conservation and Advocacy, Organizations and Clubs:
Note: The Boy Scouts of America does not control content on these organizations' websites. Please look them up for information.
American Canoeing Association: education, training, stewardship
American Kayak Association
Dreamflows: daily flow information on Western rivers
Friends of the River: Conservation and protection of the rivers of California.
National Outdoor Leadership School, home of many educational programs and resources.
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Last update: 11/2/08