For more information, contact Jeff@PilgrimPaddles.com.
Canoeing is one of America's most popular outdoor activities. The single-bladed canoe paddle requires more skill and knowledge of more strokes. Most people learn in a tandem but it's better to start in a solo canoe.
SmartStart Paddler Orientation is a classroom session on basic safety and paddling skills. Learn about essential gear and clothing, trip planning, safety on the water, paddler responsibilities, how to transport boats, balance and trim, loading and launching, common hazards, selecting and using lifejackets, terminology, boat and paddle design, paddle strokes, and basic maneuvers and rescues.
For paddling sessions, please wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the water temperatures. Avoid cotton clothing – no blue jeans or hooded sweatshirts. Expect to get wet and to continue paddling. Bring a complete change of clothes for afterwards. Apply sunscreen, and you may need a hat, glasses' strap, rain gear, and insect protection. Bring water and an energy bar. Additionally, you'll want a boat, paddle, life jacket and for some sessions a wetsuit and sprayjacket, drysuit, helmet, or dog.
Safety and Rescue is a 4-hour course for covering essential safety and rescue techniques performed with a minimum of equipment. Either Quickstart or Introduction is a prerequisite.
QuickStart Your Canoe is a three-hour introduction on quiet water for paddlers to practice the skills discussed in SmartStart, with a focus on efficient forward and turning strokes to allow students to maneuver effectively and safely. Simple rescues are shown.
River Canoeing is a one day course extending River Essentials to paddling on easy rapids in a solo or tandem recreational or whitewater canoe. Learn about river features and hazards, how to scout, what to do when you capsize, about moving water rescues and gear, how to do eddy turns and ferries, and keys to good judgment. Scouts may earn Whitewater Merit Badge.
Introduction to Canoeing is a six-hour course focusing on skills for any type of kayak, canoe, or board. Paddling strokes are practiced more intensively than in the QuickStart course, and additional strokes are included. Participants perform wet exit and re-entry, tows, and T-rescues. Scout leaders can earn Paddle Craft Safety or qualify as a merit badge counselor. Scouts may complete Canoeing Merit Badge .
River Essentials is a day-long course in canoe or kayak on gently moving rivers where flat water rescues can be used. Practice tight turns, efficient side slips, paddling backwards under control, braces, multiple corrective forward strokes, and heeling. Maneuvering and linking strokes in current is emphasized. If you're moving up to paddling rapids, this class is for you!
Canoe Touring Essentials is an eight-hour classroom and on-the-water course on overnight trips, risk management, group travel and safety, communication options, navigation, gear selection, and packing. It prepares paddlers for backcountry tripping and canoe camping, including route selection, portaging technique, leave-no-trace camping, and food storage. If you're headed to the BWCAW or just a weekend at the park, this class is for you!