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by Ernest Thompson Seton

Paddle one mile, alone, using single blade, in canoe not less than 15 feet long, on water without favoring wind or current:

Under 14

Coup/Grand coup
14 min./13 min.

Under 16

Coup/Grand coup
13 min./12 min.

Over 18

Coup/Grand coup
11 min./10 min.

Alone, or as active member of a crew, paddle, row or pole 5 miles a day for 5 successive days, each day making a note and sketch or photo of some interesting scene, for coup. Paddle, row or pole 10 miles a day for 10 days within 21 day limit, making each day note and sketch or photo of some interesting scene, for grand coup.

Canoeman. Alone in canoe, single paddle, in deep water with fair breeze. Fall overboard with paddle, replace paddle properly in canoe, climb in without shipping water and paddle to shore, for coup. In addition to this, turn over canoe, right it and empty it while still in deep water. Canoe at least 16 feet long, for grand coup. (This should not be attempted by any but adults because of physical strain of emptying canoe.)

Canoe Voyager. Do equal share of paddling on trip that includes paddling 80 miles within 5 days, making own camp every night, and carry all necessary duffle, for coup. 150 miles within 10 days, for grand coup.

Tandem Paddling. Paddle stern over a triangular course, keeping boat under control and giving all commands to bow, shifting sides not more than twice, for one-half hour, in rough weather, and make a safe landing, for coup. Do same alone in canoe, for grand coup. (Stern paddling is not done by using paddle as a rudder, but by scientific "tripping". Rough weather means wind blowing hard enough to raise whitecaps.)

Be able to paddle bow, steering well without waiting for orders from stern, 2 miles upstream (with decided current), at least some twisting portion of which is too narrow to turn canoe around in, returning immediately 2 miles down, without touching the bank with paddle or canoe at all during the trip, for coup. Do same alone in canoe, for grand coup.

Same, paddling stern, for coup. Do it alone in canoe, for grand coup.

Paddle stern in rough weather and, without shifting paddle, describe a figure 8 within the space of 100 yards square, ending at point of beginning. Repeat with paddle on other side, for coup. Alone in canoe, grand coup.

Paddle bow under same conditions, except that "crossbow" stroke is permitted, for coup. Alone in canoe, for grand coup.

Carrying. ( Not permitted for girls under 18. ) Overhead carry: Canoe must be handled from ground without assistance. 1/4 mile over trail or 1/2 mile over road. For girls, a minimum of 15 foot canoe. For boys, 17 foot. Two persons, coup. One person, grand coup.

Poling. Pole in quick water (running at least 4 miles an hour) 5 miles down stream and 5 miles return, without rest in 3 hours, with assistance of bow paddler, without bumping or grounding canoe, for coup. Without bow paddler, grand coup.

Gunwales. Alone in 18-foot canoe, get up on gunwales, within 2 feet of center of canoe, one foot on each gunwale, without aid of paddle, and down, 5 times in succession, without upsetting canoe, for coup. (A smaller canoe may be used, but requires more skill.)

For Further Information, See: The Birch Bark Roll






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.