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Voyageur Canoe Training Program

Be Prepared when planning your next remote high adventure.

Course Dates

Weekend 1 at Camp Belzer

Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, May 5

Weekend 2 at Camp Belzer

Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19


The Voyageur Canoe Training Program was established in the Crossroads of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America following the tragic death of a youth in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the early 1960s. The youth’s parents and local scout leaders established this program to provide adults and youth training and education in canoe safety and trip planning. The program is designed to reduce the potential of that tragedy being repeated. Through the years the training has been limited to only registered adult scout leaders but is now open to any adult over 18.

Objective:  To prepare adults to take the Voyageur program back to the Troop and conduct safe canoe outings including High Adventure trips. To hold the older Scouts’ interest and keep them active in the Scouting program. To encourage younger Scouts to earn rank advancement. To provide canoeing adventure for Venture Crews.

How can you obtain or renew the BSA Canoe Paddle Craft Safety Certification?

Adults that complete prerequisites (Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat), attend the entire course, and pass the written test will obtain their BSA Paddle Craft Safety – Canoe certification. All certification requirements (except the swimmer test, Safe Swim Defense, and Safety Afloat) are taught during the course, and certification testing is conducted. Kayaking certification is available for an additional charge and requires an additional day of coursework.

Adult leaders may renew their Paddle Craft Safety certification by attending the one-day Paddle Craft Safety recertification day on the second Saturday of the course. Participants will be tested and need to pass the performance and written requirements to obtain recertification. 

Additional information and prerequisites

Participants should be aware that spouses, significant others, friends, and unit mates will not be assigned to the same canoe.  This policy has been developed through hard-won experience.  Tandem canoeing can be challenging to learn without additional stresses of relationship dynamics, and we wish all of our participants to leave course with the same friends and family members that they began the course with.

Please bring the following completed required documentation with you to the first day of course:

-If you are registered Scouter please bring your registration number with you.

-Proof of current Youth Protection Training.

-Current Scout Health Form-Minimum Sections A & B Scout health form.

Current documentation of “swimmer” classification– from camp or you are certified by your unit leader.  Must be current/within the last year.  Please contact me if you are not current.  This is required for participation.

-Proof of Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat completion that is current.