Seasonal Skills: Canoeing at Home

Your Section’s next canoeing adventure might seem like a distant dream while at home during the pandemic, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just a matter of time before Scouting youth and volunteers can wet their paddles again. When public health agencies advise that getting together again to go canoeing is okay, be prepared for your next outing. Make the most of your time at home to plan!

Explore Canoe Routes from Home 

There’s no shortage of books and online resources to explore when daydreaming about your next canoe outing. Venturer Scouts and Company Scouters can check out last year’s Scouting Life listicle of Amory Adventure Award-winning destinations—many of which are canoe routes.

Like the rest of us, Kevin Callan (perhaps better known as the Happy Camper) is staying home during the pandemic. He’s shared a number of presentations on wildlife and canoe routes—like this video of his favourite river canoe routes in Ontario.

Take Care of your Gear

Now’s a great time to show your camping and paddling gear a little TLC. When was the last time you washed your rain jacket? Washing your rain gear can enhance its breathability and water-repellency. Check out Grangers “How To” playlist on YouTube to find out how to properly wash and treat your rain gear, footwear, base layers, down and more.

Stay in Shape

Keeping fit will help you be ready to hit the water when orders to stay home are lifted. Exercises like jogging and cycling are great, but you can try canoeing-specific exercises, too. Check out this YouTube video of a paddling machine you can make at home!

Get Inspired

There are countless photos, videos and stories to find online of others’ canoeing adventures, but there are no canoeing films more iconic than those of paddler and artist Bill Mason. The National Film Board has shared some of his work in full on YouTube, including Song of the Paddle and Waterwalker.

While many remarkable Canadians have contributed to our country’s fascination with the canoe and the wilderness, few have had an impact as great as painters like Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. While you cannot see their work in person at the moment, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection have shared many of these transportive paintings online.

Build New Skills

Paddle Canada has suspended training until at least the end of May, but now’s a good time to explore the organization’s list of courses—and maybe even sign up for something later this summer!

If you’re not already first aid certified, now could be the time to take up this valuable training. St. John Ambulance and the Canadian Red Cross both offer first aid certification online.

Refresh your knowledge of the rule of the water and obtain your Transport Canada Pleasurecraft Operating Card online! The animated, narrated and brilliantly illustrated boating course puts you right in the Captain’s seat.

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