Boy Scout Merit Badge
- Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur
while working on the Whitewater merit badge, including hypothermia,
heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites,
blisters, and hyperventilation.
- Do the following:
- Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a
person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
- Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training
device approved by your counselor.
- Before doing the other requirements earn the Canoeing merit badge, then do
- Demonstrate basic canoe-handling skills by completing the Scout Gate
Test within 120 seconds while paddling tandem with a buddy.
- Review and compare BSA Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater
Affiliation Safety Code and demonstrate your understanding of these
principles by answering questions from your counselor.
- Identify and explain the use of safety equipment on running water.
- Explain the International Scale of River Difficulty and apply the scale to
the stretch of river where you are practicing and demonstrating your
whitewater skills. Identify the specific characteristics of the river that are
factors in your classification according to the International Scale.
- Explain how to scout and read a river both while afloat and from ashore.
Explain open and closed V's, shoals with broken or dancing water, boils,
strainers, broken drops, haystacks, dams, falls and lowhead obstructions,
eddies, whirlpools, crosscurrents, flat rocks, standing waves, sheer drops,
and heavy water. Demonstrate your ability to read the river where you are
practicing and demonstrating your whitewater skills.
- Explain the differences between flatwater and whitewater canoes; identify
the advantages and special uses for kayaks and decked canoes in running water.
Identify the different materials used in modern whitewater canoe construction
and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Identify paddles designed for whitewater use and explain their special
- Do ONE of the following:
- Demonstrate paddle strokes in the bow position of an open canoe on
running water, for forward movement, sideways movement, and backward
movement. Repeat in the stern position.
- Demonstrate forward, backward, and sideways movement on running water
using a single- or double-bladed paddle in a kayak or decked canoe.
- While paddling alone or with a partner in an open canoe, or while alone in
a kayak, demonstrate forward and back ferry, eddy turn, peeling out of an
eddy, and high and low braces.
- Explain and demonstrate:
- Self-rescue and procedures when capsized in running water
- Safe rescue of others in various whitewater situations
- Portaging -- when and how to do it
- The whitewater buddy system using at least three persons and three craft
- Discuss the use of inflatable boats on moving water. Explain how to safely
outfit and use an inflatable boat in whitewater including the type of craft
suited to certain water conditions, how to maneuver the craft on the water,
and what special safety precautions should be taken when using an inflatable
- Explain the risks of "tubing" on moving water.
- Participate in a 1-day whitewater trip for beginners. Help to prepare a
written plan specifying route, schedule, equipment, safety precautions, and
emergency procedures. Determine local rules and obtain permission from local
property owners. Explain what steps you have taken to comply with the BSA
Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater Affiliation Safety Code. Execute the
plan with others.
BSA Advancement ID#: 125
Source: Boy Scout
Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002