Whitewater Canoe Trip and Course for Venturers and 3rd year Scouts

Resting in an eddy - Madawaska River 2010
Resting in an eddy - Madawaska River 2010

Saturday, July 9 to Saturday, July 16, 2011 on the Lower Madawaska River to Griffith, Ontario

The 403rd Toronto Sea Scouts are hosting an exciting opportunity for Venturers and Scouts to take their canoeing skills to the next level on one of Ontario’s best canoeing rivers.
This camp is open to any member of Scouts Canada between the ages of 13 and 17. There are only 12 spaces for participants. Approximately 1/3 of those spaces are already taken, so you should act quickly to secure your spot.

This river is an amazing place to experience the Ontario wilderness and whitewater canoeing firsthand. I recent years many Scout programs have become very easy and have had only limited tripping until much older. This is a not to be missed opportunity to do something exciting and test your boundaries and resourcefulness.

A route map and driving directions are at google maps.


The trip will be led by experienced Scout leaders and canoe trippers Beth Baskin, Peter Farr and Keith Nunn who collectively have spent more than 500 nights on canoe trips. Together they spent 21 days on the South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories in 2009. Keith and Peter are whitewater paddling instructors with ORCKA and Paddle Canada. Keith is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and Peter as an Advanced Wilderness First Aider. Keith and Beth are certified canoe guides with ORCKA. Beth has over 25 years of experience as an educator and group facilitator with youth and adults.


We’ll be using lightweight equipment: Whisperlight stoves, backpacking tents, water pumps, canoe packs. Participants will need to pack their gear in a waterproof bag (best to acquire your own, but we will have some to loan) and then share a canoe pack with a partner.

In addition to the whitewater instruction and paddling, there will be instruction and work in group leadership, menu planning, budgeting, shopping, risk management, water-related first aid, cooking, boat repair. We’ll also have a couple of campfires and at least one Scout’s Own. There will be ample opportunities for swimming, including in rapids.

Before the camp we will meet twice in Downtown Toronto to do team building, plan our menu and organize equipment. Those meeting dates are Sunday, May 29 from 5-7:30pm and Sunday, June 19 from 2-5pm. These dates may be somewhat negotiable depending on the availability of participants, but are an important part of the program.

The first 3 days of the camp itself (July 9 to 11) will be spent focussing on canoeing skills, especially whitewater. The remaining 5 days (July 12-16) will be spent on the downriver trip. No prior whitewater experience is needed, however some canoeing and camping experience is essential. If you can canoe in a basically straight line and have camped, cooked and cleaned outdoors, that’s good enough.


Successful participants in the week long trip would be certified in the ORCKA Moving Water 1a.

Scout participants would be able to complete the Whitewater and Water Tripping badges. They would also complete some requirements for Advanced Tripping (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8), Exploring (part 1, 2, 3, 4), Pathfinder Outdoor Skills (1, part 2, 3, 5, 6, 12), cooking (1, 2, 3, part 4, 5). If they don’t actually have their paddling badge already, they would be able to complete that as well.

Venturers, subject to company approval, could use aspects of the trip to complete parts of the Exploration Award (discovery 1, challenge 1), Outdoors Award (discovery a, challenge c, skills a-i, part a-ii, b-ii, c-i, ), or possibly Queen’s Venturer (6, if the Venturer works as a leader on the trip).

There will likely be some river clean up and site maintenance involved as well, so community service hours will be accumulated.


The cost of this event will be $375.  To apply to join the trip, complete the attached form and return with a $100 deposit (cheque payable to 403rd Toronto Scouts) to Keith Nunn, 435 Shuter Street, Toronto, ON, M5A 1X4. If you have any questions you can contact Keith at kapn@kapn.net.


Madawaska River campfire 2010
Madawaska River campfire 2010