Rafting Trips

Boy Scouts

HALF DAY & FULLDAY Special Offer for Scout Troops!

Boy Scouts Rafting

Take a whitewater rafting trip with Mountain Whitewater and earn the new Whitewater Rafting BSA Award. This is a FREE service to any Boy Scouts rafting troops.

Boy Scouts of America Logo Image

“On behalf of the Boy Scouts from Troop 191 who participated in earning their Whitewater Merit Badge, I would like to thank and congratulate Brad Modesitt and Ben Costello for their excellent leadership. The high-water river conditions were perfect for an exciting and unforgettable experience. The following aspects of our rafting trip where outstanding: 1. Focus on safety 2. Planning, preparation, and organization 3. Training, knowledge, teamwork, and professionalism of staff 4. Friendly and enthusiastic interaction with youth 5. Use of top quality equipment 6. Patient and thorough review of all BSA merit badge requirements … and the lunch was delicious! We all had an awesome adventure!”


1. Before fulfilling the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA Swimmer test.

Boy Scouts of America Whitewater Rafting Award Badge

2. Do the following:

    a. Name the parts of a whitewater raft.

    b. Describe the differences between a paddle raft and an oar-powered raft.

    c. Explain the importance of perimeter lines used on whitewater rafts.

    d. Demonstrate how to choose an appropriate size paddle.

    e. Demonstrate how to select and properly fit a life jacket.

    f. Demonstrate how to select and properly fit a helmet.

    g. Discuss the use of throw ropes in rescuing overboard paddlers.

    h. Discuss common river hazards including rocks, strainers, broaching, standing waves, hydraulics, and foot entrapment.

3. Explain the importance of safety equipment used in whitewater rafting including throw ropes, helmets, and life jackets. Also, discuss appropriate clothing and footwear for a whitewater rafting trip.

4. Under proper supervision and appropriate conditions, safely do the following:

    a. Lift, carry, launch, and land an inflatable raft, with help, on calm or slow moving water.

    b. Sit in a raft as a paddler with proper foot position.

    c. Swim a Class I rapid while wearing a life jacket, helmet, and attire appropriate for the water temperature. Demonstrate defensive and aggressive swimming positions as possible.

5. While on calm or slow moving water, demonstrate the following strokes in an inflatable raft with at least one other paddler and on command of a qualified paddle captain:

Mountain Whitewater Rafts Navigate Rocky Falls Rapid on the Cache La Poudre River

    a. Forward

    b. Back

    c. Sweep

6. While on moving water up to Class I, demonstrate the following maneuvers with at least three other paddlers in an inflatable raft and on the command of a qualified paddle raft captain:

    a. Turn left

    b. Turn right

    c. Paddle forward in a straight line for 50 feet.

    d. Back paddle reasonably straight for 15 feet.

7. While on moving water up to Class I, demonstrate the following maneuvers with at least three other paddlers in an inflatable raft and on the command of a qualified paddle raft captain:

    a. A front or a back ferry.

    b. A shallow or a wide eddy turn.

    c. A shallow or a wide peel out.

8. Participate in a whitewater rafting trip in up to Class III whitewater with a qualified paddle raft captain in each raft using a minimum of two rafts and for at least one hour’s duration.

Rafting down the Poudre River in Colorado


This award is available to BSA youth and adults who are members of Boy Scout, Varsity, Venturing, or Sea Scout units. Any adult leader, approved by the council, who is trained in Safety Afloat and can personally verify that all instruction and skill completions were directly supervised by a professionally trained or licensed rafting guide may serve as a counselor for this award. Such guides may be employed by council high adventure programs or commercial outfitters. Guidance for selecting a reputable rafting service is provided in the BSA publication Aquatics Supervision No 34346.

We will have a special class after the trip going over all the highlights and make sure participants understand all requirements for the award. Bring your applications for the award and Mountain Whitewater staff will help you complete the form. Award patches can be purchased at Ben Delatour Scout Ranch or through the BSA website.