Paddle Info for Groups

Paddling Team

The Paddling Team assists and advises Scouts Victoria members on paddling activities.

State Leader, Paddling – Shaun Smith

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Team Calendar -

State Policy

Minimum Standards for Participation in Paddling Activities

  • All participants in all Paddling Activities must be able to swim 50 metres.
  • To participate in a Level 2 course the Level 1 course in the same craft must be completed first.
  • All participants must wear a PFD (lifejacket) while participating in any paddling activity.

Scouts Victoria Paddling Guidelines

Paddling Courses (Training)

Flat Water Paddling

The State Paddling team runs Level 1 Flatwater Canoe and Kayak throughout the year in many and various locations. These courses are a prerequisite to the White Water Canoe & Kayak Qualifications, as well as for Sea Kayaking qualifications which are outlined below. Successfully completing a Level 1 Flatwater Course also enables those participants to undertake journeys on flat, undemanding water without the need for a qualified guide to attend. Refer to the the State Policy above for details.

White Water Paddling


Paddling as a team in white water is a great way to increase your skills on all water. The Paddling Team conduct a series of weekends through the year to progressively build participants skills on moving water.

The course is open to participants who have completed a Level 1 Flatwater Paddling qualification, and runs across a number of weekends throughout the white water paddling season. The course begins on the Yarra River with grade 1-2 rapids, progressively building up to more challenging river conditions. By the end of the course participants may achieve a Level 2 White Water proficiency by completing an overnight journey on Grade 2 Water.


Following a similar program to canoes, the Paddling Team teach Level 2 White Water skills to people who have completed their Level 1 Flatwater Kayak qualification.

Sea Kayaking

The Paddling Team offer two courses for people who want to enjoy the challenge of exploring our many enclosed waterways, away from the rough and tumble of white water. Having completed the Level 1 Flatwater Kayak course, the next step into sea kayaking is to do the Introduction to Sea Kayaking Course. After this there is a Level 2 Sea Kayaking on Enclosed Waters course to enable you to plan journeys in places like Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay, and the Gippsland Lakes to name three locations!

Beyond the courses….

The Paddling Team run guided whitewater trips for people who have gained their Level 2 White Water proficiency and who enjoy paddling the many white water rivers in Victoria. Advanced weekends on higher grade water are also available for people who have completed their Level 2 White Water qualification (in craft they’re paddling). contact

Paddling Activities (Events)

Confined Paddling Activities:

Sectional paddling activities

Paddling activities that are confined to an area of enclosed, flat and unmoving water [i.e. a dam or small lake], may be conducted by a Section Leader without the need for an Activity Guide to be present provided that all the safety requirements and procedures for a swimming activity have been met and that the designated lifeguard is able to reach the participants without the need of a rescue craft. Group Leader approval of your activity plan is required.

Flat Water Rafting

With similar requirements to Confined Paddling Activities andtherefore treated as a "swim event", flat water rafting is a terrific way to combine construction skills and water activities. Get your group to build its own raft with drums, poles and lashing ropes. Or try something creative like milk cartons. (Avoid polystyrene foam or any hazard to wildlife and environment.)

Rafts must stay in calm, flat water and the activity must apply the same safety requirements as canoe/kayak activities. The rafts mustn’t venture more than 50 metres from waist deep water for the smallest crew member. Leaders need to watch for changing conditions, and an appropriate rescue craft must be on hand. Group Leader approval of your activity plan is required.

All other Paddling activities (Guided Events)

It is expected that all other paddling activities, including canoeing, kayaking, sea kayaking, and/or paddle boarding, will be supervised or generally overseen by an appointed Activity Guide.

The activity plan must also have gained pre-approval from the State Leader, Paddling.

See section below on Journey Planning

Night Paddle

The annual Night Paddle on the Yarra River is held in May each year and is a must for all experienced Paddlers – Scouts to Rovers and Leaders. Participants are eligible for the Night Paddle after completing a Level 1 course.

White Water Rafting

The Paddling Team run an annual rafting trip for for Venturers, Rovers and Leaders in September each year. This provides an opportunity to experience the thrills (and spills) of white water without having to complete a white water qualification. This is an overnight trip on the Mitchell River in Gippsland. The date for the trip is in the 2019 calendar below, and details, including registration instructions, are on our facebook page.

Journey Plan

Without stating the obvious you need a plan for your trip to help is run smoothly and safely

The journey plan template will help assist you to develop the Float Plan and Risk Assessment for your next trip.

The journey plan template is set up to cater for all environments (flatwater, whitewater, sea kayak) and allows for overnight trips and menu planning.

Anything that is not applicable just note as "N/A" to indicate you understand and that you've deemed it not relevant to your trip. ie if you're not catering you don't need a menu plan, if you're not camping you don't need overnight gear other than emergency shelters, etc

We've here to help, so if you need assistance please contact the Paddle Team

Once complete, submit all Journey Plans to

State Leader, Paddling – Shaun Smith

Journey Planning Template