Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - General

FAQs - General

General questions about the RACCC

Membership in the RACCC runs 12 months from the time you join. An adult membership in the canoe club is $49.

To become a member of the RACCC, you must also join the RA. To join the RA and the RACCC, call the Registration Line at 613-736-6224 (Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., payment by credit card only) or visit the East Desk of the RA at 2451 Riverside Drive (7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. seven days a week).

Your RA membership gives members access to a vast array of clubs (including the RACCC) and activities at preferred rates, helps to maintain and develop outstanding facilities and services and allows members to take advantage of RA Member Benefits.

Click here for more information on joining the club.

RACCC was founded as a Y program in 1952 and transferred over to the RA Centre in 2012. RA membership fees include benefits such as insurance coverage for the RACCC activities. The RA also supports the club by providing administrative support, access to facilities for meetings and trainings, and space for the Boathouse.

RACCC is a place to meet other paddlers and go paddling, to build friendships and skills and have fun canoeing. RACCC membership provides access to:

  • Club trips, training and social events throughout the year;

  • Canoe and camping equipment (including a fleet of flatwater and whitewater canoes, and touring kayaks);

  • The club website at www.raccc.ca (including the event calendar, handbook, trip reports, maps and additional references); and

  • List of club members.

Yes. There are training and trips for all levels, beginners to advanced, from those who have never been in a canoe, to people who have canoed all their lives. Members’ abilities range from beginner paddlers to extremely skilled paddlers.

Being a member of the RACCC opens up participation in club events and access to boats and gear. However, there is a nominal cost for renting boats and gear as well as costs associated with trips and training. RACCC is not a professional commercial guiding company. All trips are led by volunteers and run collaboratively, with all trip members sharing costs and responsibilities. This keeps costs low and trips accessible. Trip and training costs cover:  transportation, food, camping fees, cook stove fuel, boat rentals, etc.

RACCC membership is required to participate in any training. To participate in a trip, a RACCC membership or an invitation from a club member plus the purchase of a guest membership is required.

Membership also provides access to the members-only section of the website (at www.raccc.ca) where additional resources are available. Members also receive the RACCC newsletter, CanoeBytes by email with updates on trips and other paddling realted actvities.
 

After the Membership Coordinator enters your information on the RACCC website he/she will send an email (within a few days) with confirmation of registration as well as a username and password to access all of the information on the club website. Detailed information about upcoming trips and training is posted in a members only section of the website. Logging in will give access to see additional information as well as resources for members only.

For assistance, please contact membership@raccc.ca.

RACCC has trips, training and social events throughout the year (paddling and non-paddling seasons). A range of both flatwater and whitewater trips are included: evening trips, day trips, weekend trips, and multiday trips. Trips are rated from “easy to challenging.” For more information on programs, please see the website:

The RACCC also has a range of boats (flatwater, whitewater and kayaks) and camping gear. RACCC members can rent gear for all club organized trips. For more information on gear or to volunteer, please contact assets@raccc.ca.

The RACCC offers regular orientation session during which new members can learn about the club’s equipment and the process for signing up for trips. Orientation is also a good opportunity to meet returning and new members. Check out the calendar for information on when the next session will be held.

If you are new to canoeing or new to Ottawa, consider taking some training with the club. The RACCC offers courses for beginners, intermediate and experienced paddlers. See our training site for more information. RACCC training is only open to members.

Finally, start paddling with the club. The best way to get involved and meet other members is to paddle.

To find out about trips and paddling opportunities, log in at www.raccc.ca (using the new username and password) and follow the links to the calendaror the appropriate forum, where trips are posted. Whitewater trips tend to be posted under “last minute whitewater” trips on the Whitewater Forum. Flatwater trips are listed in the calendar with a few last minute trips listed on the forum.

RACCC Members also receive the club e-newsletter, CanoeBytes, by email. Canoebytes includes articles and a calendar of upcoming events.

Volunteering is central to the operation of the club and is another great way to get involved with the club, get connected, make friends plus find paddling partners.

All trips are posted to the calendar with autonotifications to the approproate forum. If you are interested in a trip register directly using the register featured on the calendar. If this isn't working for you, or you have additional questions, contact the pertinent trip leader. His/her name and contact information will be easy to find on the trip notification. Some trips will have a maximum capacity or be appropriate for advanced paddlers only – the trip leader will inform you if the trip is full or recommended to certain skill levels. Need more assistance? Contact the coordinators for more information:

Both the Flatwater and Whitewater programs have their own trip rating codes. The code is designed to rate the difficulty level of each trip. It is important that members check the skill level of the trip and assess their own capabilities before choosing trips. If you have any questions or doubts about the nature of the trip, contact the trip leader or the flatwater or whitewater coordinator, as appropriate.

For safety, RACCC whitewater trips are open only to members on the RACCC’s Whitewater List. These are members who have demonstrated basic skills competency through a "check out trip" training with RACCC, or other certifications. For information on the Whitewater Program and how to qualify for the list, see the Whitewater program webpage or email whitewater@raccc.ca

RACCC has an amazing training program designed for beginner paddlers or accomplished paddlers alike. Whether flatwater or whitewater paddling, training also incorporates safety and trip planning. Training opportunities are listed on the training page. To register for training, go the RA Centre website page “PlayRA"” and look under Canoe Camping.

 

Registration for training is on a first come first served basis. Courses open for registration early spring, with additional space opened during the Open House. A wait-list will be created for courses that are over-filled. Unless otherwise stated, official registration is through the RA's registration system.

 

See our Training sectioni n the Members’ Handbook (only available for members) for more information, including the RACCC cancellation policy.

To bring a non-member friend, a guest membership must be purchased. Non-members can only attend trips when accompanied as the guest of a member and with the permission of the trip leader. A club member may take up to two guests who are 18 or older on a club trip, subject to permission from the trip leader. The club member is responsible for his/her guest.

Guests have the same responsibilities and obligations as a club member while on the club trip. Guests must register, sign an informed consent form and pay the guest membership fee:

  • Adult, evening and one day, $ 5 HST incl.

  • Adult, weekend (2 to 3 days), $ 10 HST incl.

  • Adult, beyond a weekend, must buy a Annual Membership

One Guest Membership Fee may be applied towards the purchase of an Annual Membership by contacting the Membership Coordinator within two weeks of the Guest Membership purchase.

For whitewater trips, only club members who have met the skills qualifications and are on the Whitewater List may paddle club boats or use other club whitewater equipment.

The Family Program is designed for children's participation with an adult’s supervision (parents or guardians). Children (under 18) are considered to be guests and under the supervision of their parents or guardians. Contact the Family Program Coordinator: family@raccc.ca

Some RACCC’s adult trips are family friendly. Contact the Trip Leader to find out.

Trip participants share costs such as canoe rentals from the club, transport, food, camping fees, etc. This makes most of our events affordable for all club members.

For training courses, there is a reasonable fee, plus participants also cover the costs for the instructors’ food and camping fees.

This region is canoe heaven, with provincial parks, lakes and rivers abounding.

  • Evening trips are usually 20-30 minutes away from the RACCC Boathouse, within the Ottawa area or in Western Quebec (e.g. Ottawa River, Meech Lake, Rideau River, Rideau Canal, Gatineau River, etc.)

  • Day trips are usually within 30 minutes to 1.5 hours drive in Ontario or Quebec.

  • Week long trips are within half to one day drive: in Ontario, Quebec, or the U.S.

Every trip must have a trip leader. Trip leaders are experienced volunteers. It is expected however that all participants collaborate on the trips, with everyone contributing to their abilities.

A number of club members are also volunteer instructors for the training courses. They volunteer their time because they love to help others learn how to paddle. Volunteer instructors are not paid to offer the training however their costs (camping, food, etc.) are covered by students.

Beginner and Intermediate level courses are taught by RACCC Instructors with Paddle Canada certifications. Some courses have assistant instructors - they may or may not have Paddle Canada Certifications, but bring exceptional skill and experience as paddlers and instructors.

Advanced courses are taught by renowned paddlers that live in this region. Some courses (safety training courses) are offered by reputable third-party companies in the Ottawa Valley.

  • Flatwater refers to paddling in lakes and waterways without current or slow moving current. For more information see Flatwater Program.
  • Whitewater refers to paddling in rivers with current and rapids. For more information, see Whitewater Program.
  • Tandem canoeing involves two paddlers: a bow paddler (front seat) and stern paddler (back seat).
  • Solo Canoeing involves one person paddling the canoe (usually seated in the middle of the canoe).

No. Everyone on RACCC canoe trips wears a life jacket or a personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water. Non-swimmers need to wear their PFD when near water for everyone's safety. However, being a swimmer does help one’s confidence and comfort level when participating in water sports. 

All RACCC members are encouraged to improve their swimming skills.

The club has canoes (flatwater, whitewater, tandem and solo), two touring kayaks, paddles, camping equipment and a (limited) supply of PFDs available for club members. The RACCC fleet of canoes is available to RACCC members to rent for club trips and training events.

It is recommended to purchase a personal, well-fitted paddle and life jacket. RACCC training courses for beginners include tips on how to purchase the right size and style of paddle, PFD and helmet (for whitewater). Participants will need their own pack, sleeping bag and mattress for overnight canoe trips.

Local outdoor stores have equipment to rent.

If equipment is available beyond club training and trips, club members may request use of this equipment for private trips. This is considered a privilege, with priority given to RACCC members who have contributed their time and expertise to the club. Borrowing equipment for private trips is at the discretion of the appropriate Coordinator (Flatwater, Whitewater and Family) who must be contacted in advance for their permission.

The equipment (canoes, paddles, helmets, etc.) for whitewater paddling is different than that for flatwater canoeing. RACCC has whitewater tandem and solo canoes that members can use for training and trips, and a limited number of paddles and helmets. The club encourages each whitewater paddler to have their own correctly sized whitewater paddle, helmet and PFD.

RACCC’s introductory whitewater training courses include tips on how to purchase the right size and style of paddle, PFD and helmet (for whitewater).

You do not need to have a partner to sign up for trips or training. The club has over 300 members of all ages and experiences. Many members need a paddle partner and there is usually someone to paddle with. Trip leaders can help find a paddling partner if you let them know you do not have a partner, or participants can post a request on the Forum. Instructors will also match you up with someone or paddle with you if you sign up for a course without a partner.

The easiest way to find a partner is to get involved in the club and meet other members. Members can join in the orientation evenings, take some training, go on some trips. These are great ways to make connections and find paddling partners!

There are no hard and fast rules about this. It is more a question of maintaining happiness and safety within the group (for both people and dogs). Trip leaders have the choice to welcome dogs or request that they are left home. This is done on a case by case, depending on the situation. Considerations include, but are not limited to:

  • Are there any participants with allergies to, or a fear of, dogs on the trip?

  • What is the nature/capability of the dog?

  • What is the wildlife situation expected on the trip (threats to the wildlife or to the dog)?

  • Are pets allowed at the venue?

There have been many RACCC trips where dogs were welcomed, and some where they were not for a variety of reasons. RACCC members who are dog owners should always check with the trip leader if they wish to bring their pet.

Yes! There are a number of outdoor supply stores that provide discounts. (e.g. Trailhead/Paddleshack, Bushtukkah, Auto Racks). Bring your RACCC membership card with you and ask for the discount.

More details are available here.