Besides earning their whitewater badge, our goal with this merit badge program is to give scouts the skills to begin a lifelong love of rafting! Wilderness Voyageurs is the largest provider of High Adventure Merit Badges in the Mid-Atlantic. We are registered with the Westmoreland-Fayette Scout Council. We provide the equipment, knowledge and advisors; you provide the scouts and the blue cards.
Day 1 Location: Middle Youghiogheny, Ohiopyle, PA
Our adventure will take place between Confluence and Ohiopyle on the Middle Youghiogheny River. This section of river is nine miles long and contains numerous Class I & II rapids separated by large pools. The rapids contain well-defined features such as eddies (pools of water) and hydraulics (holes) that are of manageable size allowing for maximum learning. The course will introduce scouts to basic whitewater terminology and maneuvering, and will allow them to witness and interact with whitewater as it moves downstream. Scouts will apply this new knowledge by paddling tandem canoes down the river.
Day 2 Location: Z Rapids and the Loop section of the Lower Youghiogheny
The second day is designed to quickly advance the scouts’ experience. Scouts will spend the morning portion of this day in kayaks. Knowledge gained from the previous day’s instruction will be built upon to show them how to read moving currents and understand firsthand how these currents can be used with proper positioning of their paddle and boat.
The afternoon portion of this day will involve scouts taking duckies (inflatable kayaks) down the Loop portion of the Lower Youghiogheny River. The Loop is 1 ½ miles long and contains six Class III rapids. Here the Scouts will expand their knowledge by examining some of the more difficult rapids. They will observe several rapids to see how the water is actually moving, and select the best path through the rapid. This session will also consist of certain challenges such as catching eddies or ferrying across the river and surfing hydraulics.
Wilderness Voyageurs provides all river equipment for both days: canoes, kayaks, duckies, life jackets, paddles, paddle jackets, instructors, local transportation, and lunch.
To assist you in prepping for this Adventure here are the Boy Scout Whitewater Merit Badge Requirements.