These were the REQUIREMENTS before the changes
the release of a new merit badge pamphlet during 2005.
To see the current requirements
- 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 the following:
- 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
- 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 characteristics.
- 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. Repeat in the stern position.
- Demonstrate forward, backward, and sideways movements
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
- 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 boat.
- 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
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1998
Requirements last revised in 1998