Paddle Canada’s New Camping Program

We are excited to update you on Paddle Canada’s new Camping program.  Essentially Camping replaces the old Canoe Tripping Program as well as the camping components of the Sea Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard programs.  Please take note at this may affect the offering and marketing of this program if used within your organization.

The Camping Program is being released to the membership within days, and we expect that a large number instructors will be certified by the end of March or early April. Most current Canoe Tripping instructor are expected to transfer to the Camping program. As will qualified instructors from our Sea Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard streams.

Please see attached announcement below:

Hello Members and Partners of Paddle Canada,

We wanted to update you on Paddle Canada’s new Camping program. It is being released to the membership within days, and we expect that a large number instructors will be certified by the end of March or early April. Most current Canoe Tripping instructor are expected to transfer to the Camping program. As will qualified instructors from our Sea Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard streams.

In general terms, you will find that the program is similar to our old Canoe Tripping program, and should thus serve the Girl Guides well. The most significant change is that the campcraft parts of the program can now be paired with canoeing (as before), or with kayaking, or with stand up paddleboarding. Generally, the program has been updated and improved.

Another significant change is the addition of a Camping Basics skills level. This introductory level is only 8 hours long and can be taught over multiple days. It can include an overnight or not, dependant upon which the instructor and client prefer.

The new Wilderness Camping level is roughly equivalent to the old Canoe Tripping Introductory level. The new Camping Leadership level is roughly equivalent to the old Canoe Tripping Advanced level.

Here is a more detailed overview:

The Paddle Canada Camping Program is comprised of three levels starting with the absolute camping basics and progressing up to camping leadership. There exists the option to also teach expedition camping skills.

Camping Basics is designed to be an introduction to campcraft skills in a frontcountry setting. This 1-day program is for students who want to learn the concepts and skills necessary to safely enjoy camping in a campground or slightly remote(ish) setting.

Wilderness Camping is is an introduction to intermediate campcraft skills, leadership and travel in a wilderness setting. This is 3-day course involves a two night camping trip.

Camping Leadership is a 4-day course with a 3-night camping trip that focuses on advanced leadership, group management, expedition behaviour and campcraft skills in a wilderness setting. This course is aimed towards those who are in a position of leadership in a volunteer setting in the wilderness (eg. Scout or Girl Guide leaders, school teachers, etc.).

The Camping Leadership program is not intended to be a traditional commercial guide training program. There are existing organizations in Canada where paddlers can acquire guide certification.

Expedition Camping is an advanced campcraft and trip planning module for those interested in extended wilderness travel. This 4-hour module can be added to either a Wilderness Camping or Camping Leadership skills course.

Program Flexibility

The Camping program is written to be as flexible as possible! It allows Camping as either a standalone certification, or to pair it with any paddling skills level. For example, in a campcraft skills-only course you could offer a Camping level (i.e. Wilderness Camping) alone. Or, if you want to teach paddling skills along with campcraft skills, then you could combine Wilderness Camping with a specific paddling skills program and offer/advertise it that way. Combining camping skills with paddling skills is loosely modelled after the Canoe Tripping system of combining camping and canoeing skills, but now includes kayak and SUP options.

If members have any questions about the program itself, you can save them for the orientation session (coming soon) where there will be lots of time for discussion.

Thanks for helping Paddle Canada launch this exciting and inclusive new Camping program!

If your organization has questions or concerns please direct them to:

Graham Ketcheson

Executive Director

[email protected]