An open or Canadian canoe is a craft steeped in history, invented by First Nations, adopted and exploited by explorers, missionaries and traders; the canoe shaped Canada as a nation. Designed for journeying, being a convenient means of transportation, in densely forested and impassable areas. This is a great alternative for some people as a mode of travel for their DofE expedition.
To work out the required steps you need to take to gain the national governing body qualifications and endorsements can present a nightmare. So, even if you do not decide to join the programme with us, we hope this helps you on your journey to becoming a canoe supervisor for DofE Bronze and Silver expeditions. If you are part way through your journey, have specific requirements, or want to be able to supervise Gold expeditions, please contact us to discuss options.
The programme is focused around 5 weekends between October 2020 and May 2021; consolidation and practice will be needed through the 8 months to ensure you are ready to lead a DofE expedition for the 2021 DofE season. We will support you through the programme with periodic scheduled group Zoom meetings. You will also have the opportunity for 1-2-1 zoom meeting as required. We are aware delivering your first canoeing expedition is a daunting task so we will be available to provide advice and guidance through zoom if wanted and/or needed.
The price we give you is fully inclusive from the time you arrive at the venues. This includes all registration and assessment fees for the qualifications, awards and endorsements. We appreciate this can help budget holders see an accurate cost of the investment being made to further the provision within your establishment.
Some questions you may have
Q Do I need to be able to canoe well?
A No, but some canoeing experience would be advantageous but not essential if you are prepared to put in the consolidation practice.
Q Where will I be able to run expeditions?
A The Paddlesport Leader Award has been designed by British Canoeing as an appropriate qualification for taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water. British Canoeing say about Paddlesport Leader ‘We anticipate that the qualification is likely to be used by Leaders within schools, Duke of Edinburgh, Youth Groups, Uniform groups, etc.’ It should be remembered ‘the overall ethos is that the Paddlesport Leader is operating in benign conditions’. Within this award the group will be able to quickly and easily land, avoid hazards present and stay within the chosen safe working area. This may include trips on canals, ungraded sections of slow moving rivers, open water (e.g. lakes and lochs), small enclosed bays or harbours, defined beaches or slow moving estuaries, in conditions that are appropriate for the group but not more than 200m off-shore or in wind strengths exceeding Beaufort force 3. But this is ultimately the decision of the licenced organisation to determine what level of company and qualifications a leader is required to hold. If you are aspirational to lead expeditions in ‘Wild Country’ you may need to progress to a higher qualification with more consolidation and experience, but this is very achievable with commitment.
Q Do I need to be a good swimmer?
A No but you need to be able to swim 50m in a buoyancy aid and be confident in the water.
Q Are there any hidden extras?
A No, apart from any additional drinks and snacks you may decide to purchase.
Q Are we at the same place every weekend?
A No, the first 4 weeks will be predominantly based around Bedfordshire, but the last weekend is an expedition on the River Wye in Herefordshire.
Q What will I have to do outside the formal weekend sessions?
A You will need to consolidate your learning and gain experience on the water. It is impossible to say how much as everyone is different. You will need to have logged 12 trips as an active, capable member of a group (of at least 4 hours’ duration) and 12 trips acting as Leader (of at least 4 hours duration). A number of these will be gained during the program and trips can be logged retrospectively. In addition, the online guide modules will require some self-study to complete the module tasks. We are happy to talk to you about the level of commitment required.
Q Do I need my own boat and equipment?
A For the weekends we provide canoes, paddles, buoyancy aids etc you will need some personal equipment (clothes, wellington boots, sleeping bag etc) A full kit list is available. For the consolidation you will need access to paddling equipment. This can be available from some canoe clubs or hire companies and we will endeavour to help you secure access for your consolidation.
Q What Qualifications, Awards and Endorsements will I get?
A We cannot guarantee all the list below because you have to meet the required standard to gain the qualification, award or endorsement. We are confident that with your commitment you can gain the following during the program.
- Foundation Safety and Rescue.
- Canoe personal performance award
- Multiday touring award training
- Paddlesport instructor
- Paddlesport leader
- Trip planning and Organisation Guide module
- Camp craft and expedition skills Guide module
- Introduction to the DofE
- Expedition Supervisor Training Course
- Outdoor First Aid 8hr course
Q Once I have completed this programme will I be able to provide training for the DofE expeditions?
A Yes with the Paddlesport Instructor you will be able to deliver the instruction to a group to undertake an expedition within the remit of Paddlesport Leader. With the Trip planning and Organisation and Camp craft and expedition skills Guide modules you will have completed a recognised training syllabus in these areas of the expedition training and delivery.
Q How much?
Q What is included?
A Hotel accommodation for Saturday night weekends 1,2 and 4, campsite fees weekends 3 and 5. All meals from Saturday pre-course snack (on arrival), lunches Saturday and Sunday, group meal Saturday evening and Sunday breakfast. British Canoeing Membership and all registration and admin fees for BC, DofE and the first aid course.
Q What are the Start and finish times of the weekends?
A The weekend will Start at 09.00 on the first morning and finish at 4pm on the Sunday afternoon.
Q I’m worried I won’t be able to paddle well enough?
A We will be taking things from the beginning but we understand if you want to get some ‘practice’ in before the program. We would normally recommend finding your local canoe club, but we are know some clubs aren’t doing coaching session. WithDave have coaches available (outside this program) available for 1-2-1 coaching. We have coaches In Bedford, Nottingham, North Wales, South Wales, Herefordshire, North London, West Sussex and contacts in other areas. 5
23rd -24th October 2021
FSRT and Introduction to Open canoeing
19th November 2021
Emergency First aid 8hr (optional if your already have this or higher)
20th 21st November 2021
Canoe personal performance Award Training
December 2021 January 2022 Tuesday evenings
Online Guide Modules
Introduction to DofE online course during December or January TBC
5th-6th March 2022
Multi Day trip personal performance training
Expedition Supervisor Training Course
9th-10th April 2022
29th April 1st May 2022
Paddlesport Leader (3-day expedition River Wye)
Personal performance assessment