It was quite a scene on the shore of Lake Lovering (Quebec) this past Saturday.
Scouts, Scouters, and family members were seen jumping off capsized canoes, then swimming back to the watercraft and retrieving it off the water, only to tip it over again amidst considerable shrieks of thrill.
The exercise was part of a Paddling and Watercraft Camp held by the Quebec Council at the Lake Lovering Scout Reserve, and was repeated many times until sufficient proficiency was mastered.
Members of the Quebec Council thus spent the first days of summer practicing watercraft safety and various rescue methods, including the T-rescue (also known as the canoe-over-canoe technique), the Throw Bag, and the buoy toss, which involves throwing a rope to a swimmer behind the craft.
The camp was part of Scouts Canada’s Environment & Outdoors and Active & Healthy Living programs, and adhered to the Scouting principle of ‘being prepared’, which is at the heart of all of our activities.
Swimming, paddling strokes, and introduction to snorkeling were also offered later in the day.
Learning to handle and right an overturned watercraft is crucial when embarking on a paddling adventure.
After practicing different scenarios and jumping into the water multiple times off a flipped-over canoe that day, our members have gained an invaluable asset – that of staying calm should the occasion arise.
It was a beautiful day on the lake and a wonderful start to the summer vacation.
Yours in Scouting,
Didi Gorman, 1st Lennoxville Scouts