SUP Comes to the BSA

There was a time when boating at Scout camp meant little more than canoes and rowboats (all of them made of battered aluminum, of course). These days, however, Scouts can enjoy a wide range of boating options, including sailboats, kayaks, motorboats, and even personal watercraft at some camps.

And then there’s SUP, or stand up paddleboarding. One of the world’s fastest growing paddle sports, SUP is now an approved Scouting activity.

So what’s SUP? As the name indicates, the sport combines paddling with a surf-style board. Participants stand on the board and navigate using an extra-long paddle. Depending on their skill level, they can navigate around lakes, glide through swamps, or even catch ocean waves. Aside from a board and paddle, all a participant needs is a life jacket and a leash (which keeps rider and board together).

Earlier this year, the BSA introduced the BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding activity patch. Like the activity patches for scuba, boardsailing, snorkeling, and kayaking, the patch goes to Scouts and Scouters who master the basics of the sport. It can be worn on swim trunks or a patch blanket.

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