Canoe/Kayaking (Grade 2 – 4 Water)


  • Expeditions


A boating activity using a light and narrow craft, for one or two people, which is propelled with the use of paddles rather than with oars or sails.

Craft are usually made of fibreglass or plastic. Canoes are generally open in design, built to take one person (single) or two people (double) and propelled by a single paddle. Kayaks are generally enclosed with limited carrying capacity, built to take one person (single) or two people (double) and propelled by a double paddle.

Grade 2: Medium

Rapids are straightforward with medium sized, regular waves. The path through rapids can be clearly seen from the water and is often indicated by well-defined chutes or vs of water. There are some obstacles that require manoeuvring around, but paddlers with a good command of basic strokes can easily miss them.

Grade 3: Difficult

Rapids have moderate, irregular waves and strong currents. Manoeuvring is required to follow the preferred route. Small to medium sized stoppers may have to be negotiated. The route is difficult for inexperienced paddlers to see and scouting is advisable. Suitable for experienced white-water paddlers, with the ability to roll an advantage.

Grade 4: Advanced

Rapids have large waves and powerful confused, currents. Drops are big and stoppers can be large and unavoidable. Fast manoeuvres may need to be made. The route is not clear, and scouting may be needed. Suitable only for very experienced white-water paddlers with consistent skills and reliable rolls.

Who Can Participate

·         Grade 2 : 10+ years

·         Grade 3 and Grade 4: 14+years

·         Expedition Participants ; Youth members must hold a Trefoil 3 Boating, adults must hold the equivalent basic skills training for canoe/kayak modules

·         Some Activity Providers may have additional age or height restrictions.

·         Age and experience must be considered in light of conditions at the time of the activity.

Safety Rules

Download the Australian Standards – enclosed & coastal waters paddle-craft GPG or inland water paddle-craft GPG

  • The minimum dress requirements are: T-shirt, and mid-thigh length shorts, aqua shoes or well-fitting sneakers. Shirts must be tucked in. Hair to be tied back. Jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, long earrings, rings and watches must be removed.
  •  Participants need to be able to swim 50 metres and stay afloat for three minutes wearing shirt, shorts, shoes, and a life jacket OR hold the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia Swim and Survive level 3 or higher (or equivalent).  In special circumstances, eg special needs members, it may be possible for individual non-swimmers to participate in activities in carefully controlled situations at the discretion of the Activity Leader/Instructor.
  • One adult present must have knowledge of and ability to perform first aid procedures and have current qualifications in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. At the discretion of the LIC and depending on the nature of the activity, this person may be on the shore or on the water.
  • Participants when on the water must wear a life jacket at all times.
  • In special circumstances, eg special needs members, it may be possible for individuals to participate in sailing activities in carefully controlled situations at the discretion of the Activity Leader/Instructor.
  • State Department of Transport and Marine regulations should be adhered to at all times.
  • Should there be inclement weather the LIC/ Instructor will decide if the activity should proceed or be postponed.
  • If the activity is an Expedition either the LiC or Activity Leader/Instructor must hold expedition qualifications.

Refer to Girl Guides Australia Ratios at a Glance


Leader in Charge

  • The LiC must ensure that all participants are informed of appropriate clothing and/or personal equipment prior to the activity.
  • The LiC must organise and collect the ADM.27 from youth members and ADM.28 from adults.  The LiC must inform the Activity Instructor of any health conditions or behaviour issues with participants.
  • The LiC must have an appropriate first aid kit suitable for the activity present at the activity venue.
  • The LiC must ensure participants have water and food appropriate to the activity.
  • The LiC is responsible for all participants when they are not participating in the activity.

Activity Instructor

Many outdoor activity centres will use in-house instructor qualifications. If you are unsure if they are accepted or alternative qualifications are held, contact your State Outdoor Activities Manager to ensure the instructor’s qualification is suitable.

    • A qualified leader holding Girl Guides Australia Conduct Canoe / Kayak Activities Module or Instruct and Assess Canoe /Kayak Module for the craft and conditions under which the activity is to be conducted.


      • An instructor holding an Australian Qualifications Framework qualification with a Statement of Attainment issued by a Registered Training Organisation. Permission to use instructors with these qualifications for Guiding activities must be obtained from the relevant State Girl Guide Organisation.


Questions to be asked when looking for an Activity Provider

      • The Activity Leader/Instructor is to brief all participants on safety and the care of equipment prior to the activity.
      • It is suggested that the Activity Leader / Instructor provide ground training prior to the commencement of the activity if relevant.
      • Obtain permission from relevant authorities for access and use of land and waterbodies. Examples are: National Parks, State forests and private landowners.
      • The ratified Activity Leader/ Instructor must have knowledge of the locality, facilities, and terrain and weather conditions of the area that the activity will be taking place.
      • Should there be inclement weather the LiC and ratified instructor will need to negotiate whether the activity should proceed or be postponed.
      •  Activity Leaders/ Instructors must have a first aid kit and appropriate rescue equipment readily accessible to all participants.


Notification Forms Required


For Approval – Prior to the Activity:

      • OUT.01 Camp/Adventure-based/Event: Notification /Application
      • ADM.56B Risk Assessment Plan for Outdoor Activities, Events & Camps
      • The Activity Provider’s Risk Management Plan

At the Activity:

      • Participants are required to have completed: ADM.27 for Youth Members or ADM.28 for Adults
      • Girl Guide Incident Report

After the Activity:

    • OUT.03 Camp/Adventure-based/Event Report

Last Modified: 09/09/22 at 11:27 PM