Trips and Training

Information on Canoe Club - 2020

Got questions on how the club operates?  Check out the following sources of information.

COVID-19 Protocols for the RACCC

2020 Discounts for RACCC Members

Club Handbook - Access Members Only

Rules for Private Trips 


How Not To Get Email From The RACCC Website

Using the Website

How to Open/Close New First Aid Kits

Club Guidelines - Access Members Only

Club Bylaws - Access Members Only

Trip Leader Primer June 18 7pm

The RA Canoe Camping Club relies on its leaders to provide much of its programming for the canoeing season.

Have you considered leading a trip but wanted guidance on how to do it?  This primer is for you!

Scott C. will present this primer in a free Zoom video-conference.  He will such topics as choosing a route, planning your trip, organizing the planning meeting, transportation, dealing with on-the-water issues, meal planning and trip finances.  Come - from the comfort of your home - and bring along your questions.

Click here to register and receive log-in information and materials.

PFD’s – Wear Them 

Like many of us, I learned how to paddle back when PFD’s were big clunky uncomfortable things – but they provided lots of padding for kneeling and sitting. From time to time people would drown because they fell out of the canoe and couldn’t get their PFD’s on, but that always happened to someone else.

These days PDF’s are better made and come in many different styles so it is easy to find one that is comfortable to wear all day.

Please remember to wear your PFD at all times when paddling. Not only is it good sense, federal law requires that it be worn while on the water when on all club trips (which are considered Guided Trips, Section 303 of the Small Vessel Regulations, click here for more information).

Mark Scott
Chairperson, RACCC

Overnight Parking at the RA Centre

The below has not been updated yet to reflect changes required for the 2020 padding season.

Carpooling is encouraged for all club trips. Members usually meet at the boathouse to coordinate equipment and leave vehicles. However, for overnight and longer trips, whenever possible, we encourage members to leave cars at home or secure another space for your car.

All vehicles parked or operated on the RA Centre property are solely at the risk of the owner and/or operator. The RA (nor the RACCC) is not liable for any damage to loss occasioned to any vehicle, it contents, operator, other occupants or any person on RA property. This applied to the use of, and storage of bicycles as well as cars (or boats).

Never leave valuables in your car.

Finally, if you do leave your vehicle at the RA Centre never park in front of the boathouse doors - this is a loading zone only.

Short Term Parking
Members are allowed to park in designated parking areas shown in the attached document. All vehicles parked overnight must be registered with the RA. If you are leaving your vehicle overnight please leave a message with the RACCC’s contact, Jill Laidlaw (613-736-6205, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), indicating the trip number, expected return date and license plate number so that the RA security personnel know why your vehicle has been left (and don’t tow it)!

Long Term Parking (Greater than 2 nights)
Long term parking (greater than 2 nights) must be pre-authorized with Jill Laidlaw (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 613-736-6205). If you are going on an extended trip, you are encouraged to leave your car at home or in another secure location in order to help conserve space as well as for security purposes.

1st AID (WAFA, WFR & recerts) Course Discount

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is taking names of people interested in taking, upgrading or recertifying their 1st Aid qualifications at the Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) level. If we get a large enough group together, we can maximize a larger discount with Boreal River. We are looking at booking the courses in December 2015. More detes: https://borealriver.com/en/courses/wilderness-medicine-training/


There is a charge for bringing a guest on club (or private trips). Registration forms must completed by guests and are provided as attachments to this article. These forms are available in the shed or at the East Desk.

Members are encouraged to bring guests on trips. It is a great way to introduce the RACCC to potential new members. A member may bring up to two guests on a RACCC trip or a private trip (with parental permission for children). Members are responsible for their guest's safety and conduct.

Any non-member in a club boat on a private trip must purchase a Guest Membership.

  • Adult Evening and one day: 10.00$
  • Adult Weekend (2-3 days): 15.00$
  • Adult beyond a weekend: purchase annual club membership
  • Junior Guest: $0.

An adult guest must:

  • be at least 18 years or older;
  • have purchased a RACCC guest membership for the trip; and
  • have completed the guest registration form.

Read more: Guests


  • Flatwater

    The RACCC Flatwater Program is about cooperative, environmentally sound, and affordable recreational paddling. Trips range in length and difficulty from a single evening or afternoon, to one day and multi-day and camping trips.

    RACCC flatwater trips are low cost and rely on volunteers; all participants share out-of-pocket expenses (gas, parking, access fees, canoe rental, etc.).

    For more information, contact the Flatwater coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


     What types of trips do you offer?

    There are a wide range of trips of various lengths throughout the season including short afternoon and evening paddles, week-day day trips, weekend day trips, weekend camping trips and longer range expeditions. Flatwater trips are posted on the club calendar and graded with a "difficulty" rating. Difficulty is measured in the distance paddled and the number and length of portages per trip. Trips extend from leisurely and relaxed (no portaging, paddling 4-5 km) to more challenging outings paddling up to 25 km per day and everything in between.

    Canoes and sea-kayaks are welcome on all RACCC Flatwater day trips and some longer range trips. Some Flatwater trips are designed specifically for kayakers.

    Evening trips:RACCC evening trips often go to Meech Lake for a paddle and a swim. Other destinations include the Rideau or Ottawa River. Members leave from the boathouse around 5:30 p.m. and return after dark.

    Day trips:The RACCC offers one-day trips on weekends and on weekdays. Day trips usually leave from the boathouse early morning (depending on the trip) with destinations usually within a 90 minute drive from Ottawa, and return late afternoon.

    Weekend/multi-day trips:Multi-day trips take considerable preparation time and are often limited by campsite size, so contacting the trip leader early is necessary (Avoid disappointment, book early). A trip planning meeting is usually held up to a week prior to the trip, to facilitate group decisions on the routes, and coordinate transportation details, menu planning, and sharing of equipment.

    The RACCC maintains a list of route descriptions and a map of popular destinations which are accessible to members only.


     What equipment do I need?

    All trips require paddlers to wear a properly fitting PFD with a pea-less whistle. A very limited number of PFDs and paddles are available for members to borrow (most are children sizes) however the RACCC strongly recommends that members purchase their own properly sized PFD. Before you go out and buy equipment, suggestions are offered at the season opener ‘Shed Orientation’ (strongly recommended for all new members), the Flatwater 'Meet and Greet', and the Flatwater basic/introduction course. At these events there are a wide assortment of gear and returning members and most are happy to advise you or even let you try stuff out to see what works for you.

    You can use your own canoe or kayak or rent one of the RACCC’s flatwater canoes or kayaks.

    Members are also advised to dress for the weather and bring additional dry and warm clothing, adequate drinking water, a lunch (or snack), sunscreen, sun and bug protection and money (for shared expenses). For longer trips, the RACCC has a useful checklist of personal camping here.


     Who organizes the trips?

    All RACCC trips are run in a co-operative manner with everyone pitching in. While there is always a Trip Leader, all trip members work together in the route planning, and on longer trips all members take help with gear selection, menu planning and foor purchases, preparation, packing and cooking. 

    Anyone can be a volunteer trip leader, but if you need some help leading or organizing a trip or would like to learn more about trip leading, just ask a more experienced member or contact the Flatwater Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


     How much do trips cost?

    RACCC trips are low cost because we rely on volunteers and share out of pocket expenses amongst the group (e.g. gas, parking, access fees, canoe rental, etc).


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  • Whitewater

    The Whitewater Program offers river trips and training for members who wish to paddle in moving water and run rapids from April to December. Trips range in duration from a single evening to multiple days. Training focuses on paddling and tripping skills as well as river safety.

    Club trips range in difficulty from gentle Class I/II rivers like the Mississippi, to roaring class III/IV rivers like the Ottawa.

    To ensure everybody's safety, whitewater trips are only open to club members who have qualified for the club's Whitewater List.

    Trip leaders use this list to confirm who can participate to White Water activities . During an activity, for safety the trip leader may restrict who can run certain rapids.

    Most of the trips are advertised on the RACCC website calendar, others are advertised on the Forum under “Whitewater Trips”, usually no later than the Wednesday prior to departure.

    For more information, contact the Whitewater coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Frequently Asked Questions


    Who can join trips?

    Only RACCC members on the Whitewater list may participate in RACCC whitewater trips. Whitewater trip leaders use the Whitewater List to identify members who have up-to-date whitewater skills and will use the list to determine participation in organized trips.

    Club trips range in difficulty from gentle Class I or II rivers like the Mississippi, to roaring class III to IV rivers like the Ottawa. All trips have a trip leader who will post trips and clearly state the level of difficulty and the skill level required. Trip leaders always have the final say on who can participate.

    If you are a tandem paddler and need a partner for a trip, the web site offers 3 tools to help find a paddling partner:

    1. Signup for the activity on the Calendar and specify your situation (Needs a Partner)
    2. You can use the RACCC Whitewater List to identify people who have the appropriate skill level.
    3. Post a message on the RACCC Forum under the “Whitewater Trips” asking for partner

    In addition to trips, the RACCC whitewater program also hosts practice and play evenings, extensive training opportunities, day and weekend outings and opportunities for play boating.

    Any paddlers wishing to participate on a whitewater trip must be on the RACCC Whitewater list before they may go out on trips with the Club.


    How do paddlers qualify for the Whitewater list?

    • Successfully complete the RACCC's Paddle Canada Whitewater Introduction Tandem or Solo course and be assessed as competent on Class II whitewater by club instructors.
    • Show proof
    • Be recommended to the Whitewater Co­ordinator by an experienced club member, or by a Paddle Canada or ORCKA Moving Water Instructor who has detailed knowledge of your skills and capabilities.
    • Demonstrate you have the required skills on a "qualifying trip" by the Whitewater coordinator or a designated experienced club member.


    What types of trips are offered?

    • Evening trips: RACCC members often organize last minute, informal weekday evening practices at Champlain rapids or the Pump House. These are posted on the calendar or on the whitewater forum. Regular weekly sessions for novice to advanced paddlers are also usually held nearby during the spring.
    • Day trips: RACCC whitewater day trips are posted on the calendar or on the forum as “last minute trips.” Individual participation is at the discretion of the trip leader, who is responsible for deciding whether a participant is adequately skilled to participate and has appropriate gear (including dry or wetsuits as necessary).
    • Weekend/multi-day trips: Occasionally, multi-day whitewater trips occur. These are posted months in advance and participation is at the discretion of the trip leader. More frequently “park-and-play” weekend trips are organized which are posted on the whitewater forum as “last minute trips”. These are usually car-camping trips.


    How do paddlers find out about and join trips?

    Once qualified and on the Whitewater list, any member may sign up for advertised trips with the trip leaders. All trips are designated as appropriate for novices, intermediate or advanced paddlers.

    Since summer water levels fluctuate, many of the day-trips are last minute trips and are posted on the Whitewater Trip Forum by Wednesday night for the coming weekend outing.  If you are on the Whitewater List, it is strongly recommended that you log on to the Forum and subscribe to the “Whitewater trip” thread. You must be a RACCC member to access the forum.

    Whitewater trips are often also posted on RACCC website calendar and will be included, when possible in the RACCC Members newsletter, CanoeBytes.

    If you are having difficulty finding a trip please contact the Whitewater Coordinator who will help you make contact with trip leaders running trips that suit your skills and abilities.

    What equipment is needed to participate in a whitewater trip?

    All whitewater trips require paddlers to be wearing a properly fitting PFD with a pealess whistle and whitewater helmet. A limited number of PFDs, helmets and paddles are available for members to borrow, however the RACCC strongly recommends that members purchase their own. Before you go out and buy equipment our beginner whitewater courses include tips on equipment purchase and proper sizing.

    In addition, early in the season and late in the season, some trips may only be open to those who have proper cold-water equipment specified by the trip leader (e.g.: wetsuit or drysuit).


    Is additional training available?

    The RACCC whitewater training focusses on paddling and tripping skills as well as river safety. All courses use the Paddle Canada National Certification Program and skilled instructors. The RACCC has a broad range of whitewater specific training for all levels of paddlers including:

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  • Training Program

    RACCC Training Program

    for skills, fun, safety and friends to paddle with!

    SuzeThe RACCC has an amazing training program for beginners to accomplished paddlers and camper - trippers.  Whether you have little or a lot of experience, there are affordable courses to help you learn new or to refine and update your skills. And, it is a great way to meet other RACCC members and to find paddling buddies.

    Our Instructors are nationally certified through Paddle Canada.  They are friendly, knowledgeable, experienced and love teaching so much that they volunteer their time for the benefit of their course participants. They are often assisted by RACCC members with extensive experience and expertise as paddlers or trippers, providing a great instructor to participant ratio.

    Our advanced specialty courses are taught by renowned experts in the paddling community.

    All RACCC Training courses are available to RACCC Members. Some are available for non members. Please check the individual courses for more information. Courses on PlayRA show the non-member price for courses but that price will be adjusted for members at checkout.

    RACCC offers Paddle Canada Certifications as well as skill development training (non certification) for introduction to advanced skill levels.

    Check out our programs:

    Flatwater Training

    Whitewater Training

    Sea Kayak Training

    Camping - Tripping Training 

    How to Register for Training

    Training Resources for our Instructors





    Training Related Articles:

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    • Rolling Clinics

      Winter Rolling Practice

       See the calendar entries for more details. See below for registration options.


      This clinic is not a formal instruction, there is no instructor. It is an opportunity to practice rolling and to receive feedback from peers in a safe (and warm) location. Session fees are $20 for individual days, $80 for all five.


      Pool times are 6pm to 7pm. Please arrive 15 minutes early to get set up. If renting a club boat, please arrive at the shed by 5:00 and make arrangements withe the organizer.


      Location : Splash Pool

      2040 Ogilvie Road





      Note the dates and time, below. Use the barcodes for online registration. The date and time can be used for phone and in-person registration at the RA front desk. Instructions for registration are avaialbe here: http://www.raccc.ca/trips-and-training/training/171-training-registration-2015


      All five sessions ($80), Barcode 7109

      Sat Feb 14, 6pm ($20): 7110

      Sat Feb 28, 6pm ($20): 7111

      Sat Mar 07, 6pm ($20): 7112

      Sat Mar14, 6pm ($20): 7113

      Sat Mar 21, 6pm ($20): 7114


      Alternatively, register at the front desk of the RA Centre or by calling Member and Guest Services at 613-736-6224.


      Club boat reservations and rentals must be made by contacting Emil (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and must be paid separately from the clinic registration. Rentals are $5 per clinic or $20 for all five sessions.


      Please clean boats before entering the pool. Boats must be clear leaves, dirt or other debris. Thanks!



      Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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    • Whitewater Training

      2022 Whitewater Training Program

      Beginner Courses

      The tandem beginner training program is designed to bring paddlers with some flatwater paddling experience up to the level required for admission to the Whitewater List and participation in club trips. The course consists of one half-day in town segment to practise basic skills to move the boat, to learn about particular whitewater gear requirements and to plan the logistics for the weekend segment of the course. This half day will be followed by a full weekend at Palmers Rapids.

      The solo beginners course is generally taken by paddlers with some tandem whitewater experience, but the club permits those who wish to begin with whitewater solo to do so. Paddlers who wish to start in a solo boat need to be aware that the learning curve is much steeper as there are additional skills for solo boating that must be learned at the same time.

      Both solo and tandem beginners will be offered twice:  3-5 June and 10-12 June.  There is an all-day in-town preparatory session for all beginners Saturday 28 May.

      All club courses are taught to Paddle Canada standards and all club whitewater instructors are certified by Paddle Canada. The tandem beginner course, however, is “Paddle Canada Introductory Skills +” as the standard for admission to the Whitewater List requires Introductory skills, but on Class II rather than Class I water. About 99% of those who take the club beginner course pass the Paddle Canada Introductory Skills level, and over 90% make the Whitewater List. Post-course coaching sessions are offered to allow those who did not make the Whitewater List to improve their skills.

      First year beginners can get out most weekends from June to October to have fun on local rivers. Beginner suitable rivers include the Lower Madawaska, the Ottawa Middle Channel, the Petite Nation, the Petawawa, the Dumoine, the Coulonge and the Noire.

      Intermediate Courses

      The club will offer two intermediate skills courses this year: Paddle Canada Intermediate Tandem and Paddle Canada Intermediate Solo.

      Paddle Canada Intermediate Tandem will review basic skills and then quickly move to more complex ones like back ferrying, jet ferrying, using holes, surfing and attainments. The use of river features and linking moves will be worked on during the course. Mastering intermediate tandem skills will make participants into confident river trippers.

      Paddle Canada Intermediate Solo builds on the Introduction course by teaching familiar moves such as pealing out and eddying in in bigger water. It also introduces boofing, surfing, jet ferries and refining strokes and making linking moves. At least one season solo paddling is a prerequisite for this course.

      More information on individual courses is available by clicking on the hyperlinks below.

      Registration will be on the RA Centre website using PlayRA at https://www.racentre.com/enterprise/program/index using bar codes in the attached course descriptions below.

      Questions regarding the program can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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    • Instructor Training

      Instructor Training


      Become a certified Paddle Canada instructor and come teach with us!


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    • Flatwater Training

      2022 Flatwater (Lakewater) Training Programs


      RACCC offers Paddle Canada Certification Courses and non-certification Skills Coaching Sessions.
      All our Paddle Canada Certification Courses are taught by our nationally certified Flatwater Instructor Team.  We are fortunate to have assistance from other club members with extensive knowledge and experience who make a low instructor-student ratio thus maximizing instruction and learning!


      Click here to learn more about our 2022 program.



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    • How to Register for Training

      Click here for information on how to register for training.



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    • Tripping Training
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  • Family Program

    The Family Program is designed to help introduce and include parents with children of all ages from toddler to teen to canoe camping.

    Crotch 2021

    Family Canoeing Spring/Summer 2022

    If you are interested in family-friendly canoeing please identify your interests using email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
    To do RACCC canoe training or trips, minors must have a parent or guardian present.
    This is not a program where you drop off children/teens on their own.
    Parents with children of all ages, toddler to teens, may participate.
    Events take place between May and October.
    Safety is emphasized so most activities are on flatwater or gently flowing rivers.

    You will need to learn how to transport a canoe on your vehicle and sign out club equipment. This will be taught Sat. April 23, 10 am - 2 pm during the spring boathouse tour. You need an appointment to attend (contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).
    You will also learn how to transport a canoe at all RA Canoe Camping Club canoe courses.

    Covid-19 precautions: Masks will be required if inside the boathouse, other indoor space, or if an instructor requires it in order to teach you. Proof of two Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for participants age 12 & up unless you have proof of a medical reason for an exemption (in accordance with guidelines issued by Ontario Ministry of Health). Participants will be screened for Covid-19. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms or have recently been exposed to Covid-19 or have a positive case in your household, do not attend RACCC family events. Precautions may be altered as the situation evolves.

    Planned Family-Friendly Canoe Day Trips (No overnight or longer family trips are planned in 2022)

    Sat. May 14 Eccolands Park to Black Rapids lockstation or nearby (Rideau River). 11 minute drive. Free parking.

    Sat. May 21 Kars Recreation Area to W A Taylor Conservation Area (Stevens Creek and Rideau River). There may be some bugs. Free parking. Washroom is closed during the pandemic.

    Sat. June 4 Petrie Island beach (Ottawa River). Turtles in June. 20 minute drive. Paid parking.

    Sat. June 11 Murphys Point Provincial Park 1 hr 15 minute drive. 8 km paddle (Big Rideau Lake). Two portages (150 m and 200 m) make a trip loop. Beach. Daily park fee about $20 per vehicle. May be altered if there are high winds. There may be some bugs.

    Sat. July 30 Anniversary Park, Kemptville, towards Rideau River Provincial Park, 5 km X2 return (Kemptville Creek, Rideau River). Ferguson Forest Centre with nearby Kinderwood and Turtle Trails. 40 minute drive. Free parking

    Sun. August 14 Burritts Rapids lock station upstream towards Nicholson locks, 5 km X2 return (Rideau River). Tip to Tip Trail return (3 km). 35 minute drive. Free parking.

    Mon. Sept 5 (holiday) Appleton Bay Park maybe as far as Almonte beach, 9 km X2 return (Mississippi River) 40 minute drive. Free parking.

    Additional family-friendly trips may be available.
    If you would like to lead additional family activities contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for support.
    Interested families may ask trip leaders if they accept children or teens on an adult trip they would like to do.
    The trip leader decides if they accept children/teens or not for each trip they lead.
    Please respect their decision.

    Trips will be posted on the club calendar.
    You will need to register for a family trip at least three days ahead of the date.
    You must login to the website www.raccc.ca to register for some trips.
    If registration is not online, connect with the trip leader to see if there is room on the trip for you to join.
    Trips without a minimum of three boats may be cancelled.
    Canoe trips may be cancelled by the trip leader if the weather looks poor. That varies from one leader to another.
    Please do not show up at the boathouse without registering or connecting with the trip leader. There may not be a canoe available for you or the trip may have been cancelled.

    Flatwater Canoe Training:

    Flatwater Intro Tandem course age 12 & up June 11/12 OR July 9/10 plus a rescue session July 5th evening.

    Flatwater Intro Solo course age 14 & up June 18/19

    Other Flatwater Training age 16 & up

    If your children are under age 12 and you would like to learn basic canoe skills consider a couple of options:

    1) Have one or more parents learn how to canoe in the above courses. Parents can teach their children canoeing on a canoe trip. If interested contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    2) A non-club family basic canoe skills course (ORCKA Basic 123) for ages 8 & up is planned for May 28/29, 2022 in southwest Ottawa. Rescue session is June 20th in the evening. Leader Karen H. If interested contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    You will need to register for training at least seven days ahead of the start date.
    Training without a minimum number of participants at that time may be cancelled.
    Canoe training runs rain or shine but not in dangerous conditions (thunder, high wind).

    Whitewater Canoe Training:

    Whitewater Tandem or Solo age 13 & up.

    Teens must have parental permission and meet prerequisites for each course. Teens must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but they do not have to paddle with them for training. For Whitewater trips, parents, on the club Whitewater List, can bring their children even if younger than 13, but only in a private boat as you need to be on the Whitewater List to be in a club boat. If interested contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Family Photo 1

    Famly camp old




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  • Trip Leader

    The RACCC relies on volunteer club members to take on the role of leading trips and every year dozens of members step forward. If you would like to lead a trip, please contact the coordinator of the appropriate program:

    •      Flatwater
    •      Whitewater
    •      Family

    All RACCC trips must have an identified trip leader who is responsible for the organization of trip logistics (e.g.: destinations, campsite bookings, equipment needs, car-pooling, etc.). Tasks may be delegated to other members of the trip. Before a trip, trip leaders must ensure that all appropriate forms (trip log form and guest membership forms) are completed and submitted.

    Trip leaders have the final say as to who may participate. Decisions are made based on experience (for difficult trips) and total number of participants and these decisions are made to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone. Trip leaders' decisions are final.

    RACCC encourages members who have an interest to volunteer as trip leaders. Those interested in leading trips may become more comfortable in doing so by assisting an experienced trip leader or working with a mentor who can provide guidance on leading a trip. In addition, experienced trip leaders are available to answer any questions or concerns prospective trip leaders may have regarding leading a trip.

    Below are some steps to help you plan a successful trip:

    Ensure that the program coordinator (Flatwater, Whitewater, or Family) is aware of and has approved the trip. The Assets coordinator must also be informed so that boat allocations can be made – some weekends there are multiple trips and training so boats (or your first choice) may not always be available. Note that training always has priority over boats. Allocations are confirmed on weekly shed nights.

    Once the trip has been approved it should be posted on the calendar and in the forum. The posting should include:

    •      Where you plan on going;
    •      Name and contact information of the leader;
    •      Trip rating / difficulty and therefore who the trip is open to;
    •      Maximum number of participants (if applicable);
    •      Meeting point and time; and
    •      Expected return time.


     Creating a float plan and safety

    As per Transport Canada, a float plan must be communicated to a person on shore and include the destination of the trip and the number of participants. The RACCC trip log form can be used as the float plan; it is therefore vital that everyone participating on the trip be listed on it including his/her name and emergency contact information. For trips not meeting at the boathouse, an electronic form can be completed, and must be e-mailed prior to departure (information/form to be updated in the spring).

    In addition to a float plan, Transport Canada's small vessel regulations and club policy require the following:

    •      A first aid kit that meets the Transport Canada's standard (Club kits are acceptable);
    •      Trip participants must always wear a PFD when on the water (and a helmet, when participating in whitewater  activities);
    •      Each boat must have a bailer, throw rope, whistle (and waterproof flashlight after sunset)
    •      A hypothermia kit and/or procedures must be in place if water is less than 15C (Club maintains hypothermia kits);
    •     Equipment not being used must be secured; and
    •     The leader, or designate, must give a safety briefing, in either or both official languages, according to needs of participants.

    Check here for more information on safety and responsibilities.


     At the Boat House

    The combination for the door lock is changed weekly and is provided to members of the Executive, Shed volunteers and Trip Leaders only. Please contact your program coordinator or the assets coordinator to obtain the combination.

    Please ensure that upon leaving all doors are locked and secured when leaving. 

    All boats and gear borrowed from the club must be logged out (details to come later in the spring).

    Carpooling is encouraged for all club trips. Members usually meet at the boat house to coordinate equipment and leave vehicles. The boathouse site is a loading zone only, so please park in the regular RA lots. If you are leaving your vehicle for an extended period (longer than a day) please ensure you leave a message with the RACCC’s contact,Jill Pomeroy (613-736-6205, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), indicating the trip number, expected return date and license plate number so that their security personnel know why your vehicle has been left (and don’t tow it)!


     On the water

    The leader, or designate, must give a safety/trip briefing (see bottom of this article for an example of a FW safety briefing), in either or both official languages, according to needs of participants. This should include:

    •      An overview of the waterway, length and difficulty of the paddle and special cautions or hazards likely to be encountered on the trip should be flagged (large bodies of water, winds, waves, rapids, rough portages, etc, other boat traffic), as well as and the timing and location of breaks and lunch;
    •      A confirmation that all participants are aware that PFDs (and helmets) must be worn when on the water at all times;
    •      Identifying if there is a lead boat designated which is not to be passed, and the sweep boat and a remind that boats to stay together – especially if paddlers are not familiar with the waterway ;
    •      Identifying who is carrying the first aid kit and any people trained in first aid (in whitewater also identify who has swift water rescue certifications);
    •      Asking any paddlers with a medical condition to let the trip leader know (and anyone else who should be aware of this condition); and
    •     When the temperature is less that 15C, identifying where the hypothermia kit is and any gear that could be helpful.


    Each paddler must have:

    •      PFD, a pealess whistle and paddle (whitewater paddlers also must have a helmet);
    •      Water and snacks; and
    •      Guest paddlers must have signed a guest waiver.

    Each boat must have:

    •      Bailer, throw rope and a waterproof flashlight (if out after sunset); and
    •      A spare paddle in each boat, or a sufficient number in the group.


    The group must have:

    •      A first aid kit; and
    •      A hypothermia kit or procedures in place if water temperature is less then 15C.



    RACCC flatwater boats may not be used to run any rapids. No exceptions.
    White water boats and equipment may only be used by members on the white water list or those participating in qualifying trips/training.
    Helmets and pfd's must be worn on the water and when on the shore scouting rapids.
    Scout and discuss the line with experienced paddlers. The trip leader has the final say on who can run any rapid and the line they can take.


    Standard signals:
    Whistle signals

    •      Heads up / pay attention - 1 blast
    •      Emergency - 3 sharp blasts (repeated)


    Hand / paddle signals:

    •      Stop! – paddle held above the head horizontal
    •      Come ahead – paddle held above the head vertical
    •      Go this way – paddle held above the head angled towards where the boat should go
    •      Are you okay – Tap Head
    •      I'm okay – Tap head


     Returning to the boathouse

    Upon returning to the boathouse after a day on the water, it is important to ensure that all gear is put back and in good condition.

    •      Wet gear should be hung to dry in the designated areas for this; and
    •      Dirty gear should be taken home, cleaned and returned promptly noting what has been removed from the Boathouse on the chalk-board (priocess to be confirmed in the spring).


    Damaged or Lost Gear/Boats:
    Should any gear be damaged, the trip leader or designate must clearly label the damaged gear with tape/sign to prevent further use. Damaged gear should be left (exact location to be updated in the spring). The Assets Coordinator must also be contacted (by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone) and informed informing of exactly what is broken and any details on how damage occurred.

    If equipment is lost the trip leader or designate need to write a note on the blackboard (exact process to be updated in the spring), indicating what was lost along with a contact/trip number. The Assets Coordinator must also be contacted (by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone) and informed informing of exactly what is broken and any details on how damage occurred.

    The trip leader or their designate should also finalise payment for all equipment rentals and ensure this is made to the RACCC promptly. At this time and reimbursements between paddlers (gas money, upfront costs for camping, food) can be sorted out.

    Finally, the trip leader may ask someone in the group to write-up the trip and supply a few photographs for the website, including any changes that need to be made to the route descriptions, put-in sites or new finds along the way.


      Other useful resources




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  • Boat House

    Members of the RA Canoe Camping Club have access to not only an amazing fleet of flat and white water boats, but also a variety of safety equipment and some camping related gear. Everything you need to get out on a trip - from paddles, to tarps, saws, fire irons, first aid kits, hypothermia kits and hospital lists can be found in our BoatHouse!
    Our new boathouse has storage space for our fleet of flatwater and whitewater boats, along with a variety of safety equipment and camping gear.

    Having our own fleet and related equipment is a wonderful resource which relies on the efforts of volunteers to keep all the gear organized and in good shape. If you are willing to help out as a Shed Volunteer, please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



    A team of dedicated volunteers spend time every Tuesday evening in the shed performing inventory and checking or fixing gear. Tuesday nights are also spent confirming reservations, helping trip leaders sign out gear and updating inventory lists to reflect changes in asset conditions.

    If equipment is missing please write a note on the blackboard, indicating a contact/trip number. Send an e-mail to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. informing them of exactly what is missing and any details that are pertinent.

    If equipment is damaged, the damaged gear should be left on the countertop and labeled with the green tape that it is damaged. Please send an e-mail to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. informing of exactly what is broken and any details on how it was damaged.



    Boat reservations can be made in advance by indicating trip number / name alongside the date the binder on the table, underneath the blackboard. Please note that training has priority for boat allocation.

    A full list of boats currently in the fleet, available for rent is updated regularly and available to members, for information on other types of gear, see the attachment below.

    All gear should be returned clean and in good repair.

    Trip forms must be completed to document each time gear and boats are taken from the shed, along with the payment form. These are kept in binders on the counter, underneath the blackboard.

    • RACCC Trip Record Form; This form must be completed for all trips. This form provides a record of all equipment that is used and meets the requirements of a float plan as required by Transport Canada regulations. It is important to record all equipment that is taken on a trip before leaving. This makes it easier to ensure that all equipment is returned after the trip. The record of equipment usage is also used by the club executive when determining what equipment to purchase in the future. The white copy of the form is submitted to the RA with payment, the yellow copy is for the trip leader and the pink copy stays in the book.
    • RACCC Canoe / Equipment Payment Form: This form is only required when fees are due for the use of club equipment. This form is completed by the person making the payment. Payments for club equipment can be made by one person, in which case only one form is completed, alternatively, individuals can pay for the equipment they use, in which case one form will have to be completed by each person. Please note the equipment that is used, the fees for it and the trip number.

    For boat rental payments, you can use the online payment system (please bundle your payments whenever possible to avoid processing fees) or payment can be made by cash, cheque (payable to “RA Centre”) and credit card. Members have the option of writing "Please call" in the space for a credit card number on the Payment Form if they would prefer that the RA phone them for the credit card number.

     Directions to the Boathouse

    The RACCC's temporary storage is located behind the west end of the RA Centre 2451 Riverside Drive (between Bank & Bronson). Please view the orientation document for a detailed description of how to get to the Boathouse. The document also includes photos of the space, where things are stored and how to access the space. The document outlines some additional considerations for our operations at the RA.

     Accessing the Boathouse

    The RACCC shed is accessible to members 24-7 as needed, however, access is controlled/limited to prevent incidents and possible theft. The shed combination lock is changed every week (on Tuesday). Members of the Executive and the Shed Volunteer for that particular week (indicated on the calendar) may provide the access code to Trip Leaders, training coordinators or members as needed.

    Alternately, plan to stop by on Tuesday evenings when shed volunteers organize and inventory the gear list. You can make boat reservations for upcoming trips, even help out with stuffing throw-bags and sorting gear. Tuesdays are an excellent opportunity to meet club members, as trip planning meetings are also normally scheduled on Tuesdays during this time.

    There are some tricks to opening/closing the locks – so it is normally best to get a tour from experienced members to find your way around, the first time.



    Carpooling is encouraged for all club trips. Members usually meet at the Boathouse to coordinate equipment and leave vehicles. The Boathouse site is a loading zone only, so please park in the regular RA lots.

    If you are leaving your vehicle for an extended period (longer than a day) please ensure you leave a message with the RACCC’s contact,Jill Pomeroy (613-736-6205, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), indicating the trip number, expected return date and license plate number so that their security personnel know why your vehicle has been left (and don’t tow it)!

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  • Training Documents
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