Printer Friendly
The Free Library
23,403,340 articles and books


A PFD for your boating program.

For some time, camps have had difficulties finding staff who are certified in water safety skills, both lifeguarding and small craft. The dilemma was compounded when the American Red Cross (ARC) discontinued certification in Emergency Water Safety in 1995. Since then, camps have made do with persons holding ARC Lifeguarding, Small Craft Instructor certification, and other training to provide safe boating supervision. Now a collaboratively produced special training program, Small Craft Safety, is available.

Working closely with the American Camping Association (ACA), Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and a host of top professionals nationwide, the American Red Cross has developed a course specifically for those who supervise, instruct, or lead small craft activity including canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and rowboats. The training is accepted by ACA standards for supervision of boating activities when participants are wearing life jackets.

By integrating text, video, lecture, and skills practice, the ARC Small Craft Safety course provides individuals, such as camp personnel and trip leaders, with information and skills necessary to prevent, recognize, and respond to small craft emergencies. This course will also prepare individuals for small craft and other water emergencies by teaching them how to protect themselves while assisting others. Smart instructors will provide campers and trip participants with this training as well to make excursions more enjoyable for everyone.

Course Specifics

Major elements of Small Craft Safety include basic rescue skills, such as reaching and throwing assists, wading assists, and assisting someone out of the water. Skills related directly to craft, such as self-rescue in a canoe, re-entering a capsized canoe, entering a swamped canoe, canoe-over-canoe rescue, what to do when you suddenly find yourself upside down in a kayak and you can't roll (better known as wet exit), kayak-over-kayak rescue, righting a capsized sailboat and overboard recovery, and what to do with a swamped rowboat, are also included.

Camp staff can choose which component of the course to take, depending on their needs. Testing must be in a non-pool environment. To take the training, the participant must be able to do at least the following:

* Float or tread water for one minute without a life jacket.

* Swim any stroke for 25 yards without a life jacket.

* Swim any stroke for 25 yards while wearing a life jacket.

* Demonstrate small craft competency in the chosen training option(s) by paddling, rowing, and/or sailing a set course.

Instructor Training

Just as participants can choose the craft in which they wish to train, instructors can choose which component they wish to teach. You can customize training to accommodate your current camp environment regarding the type of small craft available. For instance, if you wish to become a Small Craft Safety Instructor/Canoeing, then you would complete just the canoeing component. If the following year you wish to also teach sailing, then you would complete the sailing component.

The first step to becoming a Small Craft Safety instructor is to be a currently authorized Red Cross instructor in any speciality area. If you're not a Red Cross instructor, then the easiest entry point is to become a Basic Water Rescue instructor (approximately an eleven-hour process). Then take the desired Small Craft Safety Instructor bridge - an easy option for those who paddle, row, or sail.

Instructor Level Bridging

Bridging allows a Red Cross instructor in one program to become an instructor in another program with the same or related content without participating in a full instructor's course. Instructors who are currently authorized by the American Red Cross Health and Safety Services to teach aquatic and small craft programs may become Small Craft Safety instructors through the bridging process. Some instructors will need to upgrade their knowledge and skills to match the content of the program to which they are bridging before participating in the bridging process.

Small craft safety instructor bridge

The bridge process to Small Craft Safety instructor is competency based. It includes a demonstration and evaluation of small craft specific operational skills, a pre-course session of the Small Craft Safety basic level skills and knowledge, and a self-study of the materials. People completing the training will be authorized as Small Craft Safety instructors with the appropriate small craft activity notated.

Current Red Cross instructors

People who are current American Red Cross Water Safety, Lifeguarding, Sailing, Basic Water Rescue, Canoeing, and/or Kayaking instructors are required to:

* Demonstrate small craft handling skills in appropriate craft. ARC Canoeing and/or Kayaking instructors may grandfather in as this is a competency-based training.

* Participate in a precourse session (review challenge) of basic level skills and knowledge (type of craft used depends on training option chosen). Complete a self-study or group orientation of the materials.

External organization instructors

People who are external organization instructors in canoeing, kayaking, or sailing must meet the following criteria:

* Complete the Educator Track of Instructor Candidate training or its national Health and Safety Services replacement training.

* Complete the Basic Water Rescue Instructor's course or Instructor Cross-Over course.

* Complete the competency-based bridge for their desired small craft component.

The general public

People who hold no relevant instructor rating must:

* Complete the Educator Track of Instructor Candidate training or its national Health and Safety Services replacement training.

* Complete the Basic Water Rescue Instructor course or Instructor Cross-Over course, or complete the Water Safety Instructor's course, Lifeguarding Instructor's course, Sailing Instructor's course, Canoeing Instructor's course, or Kayaking Instructor's course.

* Complete the competency-based bridge for their desired small craft component.

Moving Water Component

Small Craft Safety Instructors/Canoeing or Kayaking can opt to teach the Moving Water component. To conduct and award Red Cross certificates in the Moving Water component, an individual must be a current Red Cross Small Craft Safety Instructor/Canoeing or Kayaking and have moving water experience. Experience will be determined by documentation or skills screening.

Documentation

Small Craft Safety instructors may provide documentation showing currently recognized basic level course completion. Documentation should be within the past three years. Candidates lacking documentation should participate in skills training. Documentation should be from the following courses or national organizations:

* ARC Fundamentals of Basic River Canoeing

* ARC Fundamentals of Basic River Kayaking

* American Canoe Association documentation from other white-water institutes will also be honored for the Moving Water Instructor component, including:

* Canyonlands Field Institute

* Nantahala Outdoor Center

* Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Skills screening

Small Craft Safety instructors who have experience in moving water but do not have documentation from one of the organizations mentioned above may qualify to teach the Moving Water module by successfully completing a skills screening. The screening includes successful demonstration of the following skills as a solo paddler:

* Read up to Class II water.

* Set or ferry on Class II water.

* Eddy turns on Class II water.

* Navigate a stretch of Class II water.

Instructor Level Progression

Small Craft Safety instructors who are currently certified to teach one craft may upgrade their certification to include another type of craft by:

* Demonstrating boat-handling skills for the additional craft for which the candidate seeks authorization.

* Successfully completing the instructor pre-course session of basic level knowledge and skills for the additional craft. Candidates must score a minimum of 80 percent on the written exam(s) and demonstrate skills in accordance with the established skill standards.

* Completing the self-study or group orientation to the specific craft instructor materials and submit the appropriate verification form to the local Health & Safety Administrator.

Roll out

The roll out is getting under way. Check with your ACA section, Girl Scout or Boy Scout Council, or local Red Cross unit for details. If you are currently a Red Cross-authorized instructor or instructor trainer in Water Safety, Lifeguarding, Sailing, or the past Canoeing and/or Kayaking programs, and would like to help your local Red Cross in the roll out, contact your local Red Cross agency, your ACA section, or the Girl Scout Council in your area. They may still need local assistance.

Small Craft Safety Instructor Bridge Performance Standards Prerequisites

* Possess a current American Red Cross Lifeguarding Instructor, Water Safety Instructor, Basic Sailing Instructor, Canoeing Instructor, Kayaking Instructor, or Basic Water Rescue Instructor certification.

* Successfully complete the precourse session for the Small Craft Instructor training. The precourse session will utilize the craft appropriate to the Small Craft training option(s) the instructor wishes to teach. Candidates must score a minimum of 80 percent on the written exam(s) and demonstrate skills in accordance with the established skill standards.

* Demonstrate skills in the Small Craft training option(s) by paddling, rowing, and/or sailing either an oval pattern comprising the instructor's craft and a floating buoy, or a circular pattern around the instructor's craft. See specific small craft handling skills below.

* Complete either a self-study or a group orientation (candidate's choice) of the Small Craft Safety course materials and submit the appropriate verification form to the Red Cross Health and Safety Services administrator.

Note: The objective is for candidates to demonstrate safe control of the craft.

Specific Small Craft Handling Skills

Sailing:

* Rig, launch, board, and sail out to and maneuver a 50-yard course.

* Demonstrate the following skills: sailing all points of sail, coming about, controlled gybing, coming into irons (stopping the craft), getting out of irons, and returning to shore or dock.

Canoeing:

* Launch from shore or dock, board, and paddle out to and maneuver a 25-yard course.

* Demonstrate the following skills: paddling forward, stopping and holding position, paddling backward, turning, and returning to shore or dock.

* Straight line paddling is required.

Kayaking:

* Launch from shore or dock, board, and paddle out to and maneuver a 25-yard course.

* Demonstrate the following skills: paddling forward, stopping and holding position, paddling backward, turning, and returning to shore or dock.

* Straight line paddling is required.

Rowing:

* Launch from shore or dock, board, row out to and maneuver a 25-yard course.

* Demonstrate the following skills: rowing forward, stopping and holding position, pivoting, rowing backward, turning, and returning to shore or dock.

* Straight line rowing is required.

Moving Water:

Successfully demonstrate the following skills as a solo paddler:

* Read up to Class II water

* Set or ferry on Class II water

* Eddy turns on Class II water

* Navigate a stretch of Class II water
COPYRIGHT 1997 American Camping Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:American Red Cross's Small Craft Safety course
Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 1997
Words:1690
Previous Article:Encountering child abuse at camp.
Next Article:A summer of wonder.
Topics:



Related Articles
Finding instructor certification courses.
Camp boating programs; a survey.
Waterfront certification changes.
Boating safety beyond camp.
Is your waterfront safe? Creating an emergency action plan.
Small Craft Safety Program Helps Camps Certify Waterfront Staff.
Managing Boating Risks.
The bulletin notes.
Picking a PFD.
When it comes to boats, wood is good.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters