Kayaking BSA


To encourage the development of kayaking skills and water safety.

Who Can Earn This Award?

Earned by Scouts BSA members and Venturers.

How To Get the Award

Instructor purchases patches to present at completion of courses.

Supply Item Description & Uniform Placement

Round patch, white background, red kayaker and “kayaking” plus blue “BSA” and border; worn on swimsuit on left leg side.

Supply/BIN Item Number

Emblem, No. 246; pocket certificate, No. 34208

Kayaking BSA Requirements

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