The best part about whitewater rafting with your Scout troop or Venturing crew: every seat is in the splash zone.

The thrill and challenge of whitewater rafting inspired the Whitewater Rafting BSA award. It is the BSA’s eighth and newest aquatics award and will be available later this year for youth and adult members of Boy Scout, Varsity, Venturing or Sea Scout units.

The official requirements, which will be posted online at the BSA Aquatics Program page later this year, will focus on safety and basic paddling skills for whitewater up to Class III.

Note: This isn’t one you can go out and earn on your own. Instruction and skill completion must be supervised by a professionally trained or licensed rafting guide. A qualified raft captain must be in the raft during the trip. To earn the award, you’ll need to help paddle and steer the raft; simply riding in a raft rowed by a guide won’t count.

Scouts and Venturers who participate in whitewater rafting at the 2017 National Jamboree later this month will be among the first who are eligible to earn this award.

Patches and pocket cards are in production and will be available at scoutstuff.org and in local Scout Shops later this season. A support brochure is also planned.

The patch, seen in mock-up form at the top of this post, will be worn on swimming trunks.

BSA aquatics awards

The Whitewater Rafting BSA award is a logical addition to the BSA’s existing aquatics award offerings:

Boardsailing BSA Kayaking BSA BSA Lifeguard Mile Swim BSA
Scuba BSA Snorkeling BSA BSA Stand Up
Paddleboarding 

 

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