• Two people in a canoe on a lake with a sunset in the background


Learn about canoeing and plan and prepare for a challenging trip.


Organize a series of activities to prepare for a one- or two-day canoeing trip. These activities could span a number of weeks or months. A team member and a knowledgeable consultant from the ward, stake, or community could lead the activities. Many of the following activities, including the canoeing trip itself, require the participation of a certified specialist to make the activity safe. Take steps to be certain everyone is safe during each activity. For each activity, include something—such as a devotional—to invite the influence of the Holy Ghost. For example, you could invite a team member to share an experience, bear testimony, or teach a doctrine before the activity begins.

  • Introduction to canoeing. Invite an expert from your ward, stake, or community to use pictures, stories, and videos to introduce canoeing. You could use a large map of your area to become familiar with the places where you could practice canoeing. Learn more.
  • Equipment. Learn about various types of canoes, their origins and construction, and associated gear, such as paddles. Practice with equipment and learn canoeing posture and paddling techniques. Learn more.
  • Safety and swim test. Become familiar with canoe safety rules and complete a swim test. Learn more.
  • Swamping and unswamping a canoe. Before taking a canoeing trip, learn how to swamp and unswamp a canoe. Make sure you know how and when to use this skill. Learn how to do this in shallow water and in deeper water, with assistance from team members in a second canoe. Learn more.
  • Strokes and basic skills. Practice how to navigate a canoe using paddles. Learn basic paddling to propel the canoe forward, backward, in circles, and in a zigzag pattern. Learn more.
  • Canoe maintenance. Learn how to keep canoeing equipment in great condition and how to prepare equipment for trips. Learn more.
  • Respecting nature. Build your appreciation and respect for God’s creations. Make sure you know how to avoid disrupting plants and wildlife, and leave no trace when you camp. Learn more.
  • Clothing and other gear. Understand the types of clothing and other gear that should be worn and brought on canoeing trips. Learn more.
  • Physical conditioning. Get ready for your canoeing trip with physical conditioning. Use aerobic activities and endurance training. Learn more.
  • Maps and navigation for canoeing. Learn how to read maps and navigate during a canoeing trip. Learn more.
  • Trip planning and preparation. Select an appropriate location for your canoeing trip. Be sure to make adequate plans for food, transportation, safety, shelter, and equipment. Learn more.
  • Canoeing trip. Enjoy a safe trip with your team members. Use all the skills you have learned and the physical conditioning you have developed during your preparation. Plan for a longer devotional that will strengthen the testimonies of your team members. Learn more.

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