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navigate a simple slalom skiing course to practice paddling techniques. Other ideas: SIMON SAYS: The counselor gives com-


mands like “Simon says, ‘Move your boat to the right’ ” or “Pivot to the left.” SPONGE TAG: Scouts in kayaks try to tag


each other with a wet sponge. RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: The counselor


stands on shore. When he says “green light,” the boats move toward shore. When he says “red light,” they must stop within a boat’s length. For more games, see the American


Canoe Association’s book, Kayak and Canoe Games.


WHERE CAN YOU FIND COUNSELORS? First, talk to your council’s advancement com- mittee to see if there are qualified merit badge counselors available. If not, turn to the American Canoe Association (ACA). The ACA, which was involved in


the development of the new badge, has thousands of trained kayaking instructors.


“They have a good pool of instructors who you can tap as possible merit badge counselors,” Noack says. (Find local ACA kayaking instructors at americancanoe.org.) Within Scouting, Noack recom-


mends instructors who have completed the “Aquatics Supervision: Paddle Craft Safety” course, which includes a kayak- ing module. Another good resource is the Aquatics Supervision guidebook (No. 34737), the primary resource for aquatics at the unit level. Thomas says experienced instructors


are key to teaching Scouts kayaking skills. That way, “We can maximize both the safety and the quality of the instruction,” he says.


WHAT ABOUT GEAR? Plenty of kayaking equipment is available for rental at local marinas, many of which offer Scouting discounts. Learn more about kayaking equipment in the Great Gear column on page 34. ¿


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