Outdoor Education (Canoeing)

Canoe training and single day trips which travel within 2 hours from the arrival of emergency medical assistance.

Secondary - Curricular 2022

  • For single day trips which travel more than 2 hours from the arrival of emergency medical assistance, consult Outdoor Education (Canoe Tripping).
  • White Water Canoeing, White Water Kayaking, and White Water Rafting are not appropriate activities at the secondary level.
  • Consult Risk Management.
  • This activity page must be presented to the activity provider prior to the activity taking place. The activity provider must meet the minimum requirements listed on this page. For more information on planning trips using outside providers, consult Outside Activity Providers.

Equipment

  • Determine that all equipment is safe for use (for example, no sharp corners, cracks, or splinters). Students must be encouraged to report equipment problems to the teacher.
  • Comply with the Minimum Safety Equipment Requirements in Transport Canada's Safe Boating Guide.
  • Correctly fitting and Transport Canada approved personal flotation device (P.F.D.)/lifejacket with whistle attached must be worn by all participants and properly secured at all times when:
    • near the water (for example, on a dock or at a shoreline where the depth of the water is deemed a risk)
    • in the water (for example, swimming)
    • on the water (for example, canoeing)
  • There must be two paddles per canoe, with some spare paddles taken along in case of broken or lost paddles.
  • Paddles and canoes must be checked for cracks, splinters and leaks.
  • A repair kit must be available.
  • A means of hydration (for example, direct access to potable water, water filter(s), water purifier(s), chemical purification treatment) must be available, accessible, and appropriate for the activity, location and duration of the trip.
  • A set of maps for canoe trip location including marked access and potential evacuation locations must be available. A GPS unit may be used as an additional navigational tool, but must not be used in place of print maps. An identical map set should also be available to the principal/designate and local emergency contact (for example, park official, area police station).
  • The loading of a canoe with people and/or gear must not exceed the manufacturer’s load capacity rating.

Refer to the First Aid section for first aid equipment requirements.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

  • Students must be provided with a clothing and equipment list prior to the activity.
  • A process must be established to check student clothing and equipment prior to the trip.
  • Determine that all necessary clothing and footwear are included prior to departing on the excursion.
  • Clothing (in layers where appropriate) and footwear (that is, closed-toed shoes that provide traction when on land) appropriate for the activity, location and environmental conditions must be worn.
  • Dry change of clothing kept in a watertight bag/container.
  • Rain gear is encouraged.
  • Articles (for example, jewellery and clothing) that could become tangled, caught or cause injury or restrict the student in the event of an emergency must not be worn
  • When long hair poses a safety risk it must be secured. Devices (for example, hair pins, elastics and barrettes) used to tie back long hair must not present a safety concern.

Facilities

  • Determine that all facilities are safe for use. Students must be encouraged to report facility problems to the teacher.
  • Only established canoe trip routes must be used.
  • Canoe route and water conditions must be appropriate to age/skill level of students.
  • Trip guide must be familiar with the route (for example, length of route, terrain).
  • Check with local authorities for current information regarding route safety.
  • Appropriate environmental and sanitary practices (for example, washroom routines) must be taught.

Environmental Considerations

  • When environmental conditions may pose a risk to student safety (for example, thunderstorms [lightning] or student(s) with asthma, triggered by air quality), teachers must take into consideration their school board/school’s protocols and procedures related to:
    • environmental conditions (consult Weather); and
    • insects (for example, mosquitoes and ticks [consult the school/school board’s protocols and/or regional Public Health Department’s website]).
  • Students must receive instruction on safety procedures related to environmental conditions and be made aware of ways to protect themselves (for example, sun burn, heat stroke).
  • At all times the school board’s weather and insect procedures are the minimum standards. In situations where a higher standard of care is presented (for example, outside activity providers, facility/program coordinators), the higher standard of care must be followed.
  • Trip guide and teacher must:
    • be aware of and respond to changing weather and water conditions prior to and during canoe training and the trip; and
    • cancel, postpone or alter the excursion if conditions put students’ safety at an elevated level of risk (for example, wind, temperature, lightning storms, fog).
  • Visibility of 500 m (1640’) is required.
  • If hazardous weather suddenly approaches, leave the water immediately.
  • Daylight canoeing only except under emergency situations.
  • Navigation lights (for example, waterproof flashlight) are required if operating at night or in restricted visibility.

Special Rules/Instructions

  • Be aware of students whose medical condition (for example, asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. Consult Medical Conditions.
  • Students must not participate in the activity until they receive information on concussion prevention specific to the activity, inherent risks of the activity (for example, outline possible risks and ways to minimize the risks), and procedures and rules for safe play. Students must receive instruction on the importance of reporting symptoms related to a suspected concussion.
  • Refer to school board policies and procedures (i.e., transportation, excursion/field trip) for communication with parents/guardians, the location of an off-site activity, means of transportation, supervision ratios, and parent/guardian permission.
  • Parents/guardians must be informed that all students will wear a correctly fitting and Transport Canada approved PFD/lifejacket, with whistle attached, when near, in or on the water.
  • Activities must be modified according to the age, ability level, language, and experience of students, number of participants, and the facility available.
  • Previous training, fitness level, and the length of time and intensity of physical activity must be taken into consideration.
  • Activities must be based on skills that are taught.
  • Skills must be taught in proper progression.
  • A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.
  • When a student displays hesitation (verbally or non-verbally) with participating, the teacher must determine the reason(s) for doubt. If the teacher believes that a potential hesitancy during the skill could put the student at risk, the student must be directed toward a more basic skill, or be permitted to select a role within the activity at their comfort level, including the choice to not participate.
  • Prior to participation, the teacher must reference and apply their school board's policy on equity and inclusion as it affects student participation and makes appropriate accommodations/modifications to provide a safe learning environment. Consult the Intent subsection within the About section.
  • Adequate liquid replacement (personal water bottles, water fountains) must be accessible for students before, during, and after physical activity to prevent dehydration.
  • A lead boat and sweep boat must be assigned. A signal system must be in place (for example, whistle calls) for communication between boats.
  • A principal/designate in the school, and each teacher (and trip guide [where appropriate]) on the excursion must have: a map of route and an excursion itinerary including an emergency action plan (for example, supervisory chain of command, emergency evacuation plan, emergency access points, local emergency contact phone numbers).
  • The loading of a canoe with people and/or gear must not exceed the manufacturer’s load capacity rating.

Canoeing Skills

  • Prior to starting the canoe trip, the teacher will ensure that the students have been prepared with the theory and practice of canoeing.
  • The practice of skills must occur in a pool, shallow water, or sheltered bay.
  • The practice of skills can occur prior to the day of the trip or on the day of, before setting out on the trip.
  • Students must demonstrate the knowledge and ability to properly:
    • Use and fit of personal protective equipment (for example, P.F.D.)
    • Lift, transport and lower the canoe (for short or great distances depending on the trip requirements)
    • Launch and remove the canoe to and from the water
    • Enter and exit the canoe
    • Position themselves (as well as gear when necessary) in the canoe
    • Hold and use a paddle
    • Be part of a rescue, and assist others, in the case of an overturned canoe
    • Propel the canoe in a desired line forward and in reverse
    • Bring the canoe to a controlled stop
    • Turn the canoe in either direction
    • Displace the canoe sideward in both directions
    • Safely land the canoe (shore and/or dock)

Supervision

  • All activities must be supervised.
  • The level of supervision must be commensurate with the inherent risk of the activity. The level of risk is related to the number of participants, the skill level of the participants, the type of equipment used, and environmental conditions.
  • On-site supervision is required.

Refer to the Swim Test section for the swim test supervision ratios.

Supervision Ratios for Instructional Time

  • 1 supervisor per 8 students
  • 1 instructor per 25 students
  • 1 water safety supervisor per 25 students

Refer to the definition of Instructional Time.

Qualifications

Refer to the Swim Test section for the swim test aquatic instructor qualification requirements.

Refer to the Swim Test section for the swim test lifeguard qualification requirements.

Instructor Qualifications

  • For an Ontario Camping Association (OCA) member waterfront setting (for example, local pond or lake in a sheltered, confined spot), instructors must have one (1) of the following certifications, or a certification of an equivalent or higher level:
    • ORCKA Camp Canoeing Instructor
    • Paddle Canada Waterfront Canoe Instructor
  • For all situations beyond the training of the Camp Canoeing Instructor, non-OCA member sites and for flatwater canoeing in a non-wilderness environment, there must be one instructor with a minimum of one of the following current qualifications:
    • ORCKA Basic Canoeing Instructor
    • Paddle Canada Introduction Instructor Canoeing Lake Water or Moving Water

Water Safety Supervisor

  • At least one (1) trip guide, assistant trip guide, teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer, or instructor with one (1) of the following current certifications must fill the role of Water Safety Supervisor for the Trip Group:
    • Bronze Cross
    • Wilderness Water Safety
    • Whitewater Rescue Technician
    • Swiftwater Rescue Technician
  • A student may not act as the water safety supervisor if they are participating in the activity.

First Aid

  • A working communication device (for example, satellite or cell phone, or satellite GPS messenger) suitable for the activities/locations must be available. This device must be maintained, waterproofed, protected and dedicated for emergency communications only. The phone number for the device, and phone numbers for emergency services and school contact people (for example, the principal) must be included with the phone.
  • At least one teacher, trip guide, instructor, or supervisor must have a minimum of a current (not more than three years prior to the day on which the holder is on duty) first aid certificate (standard or higher) issued by one of the following agencies: St. John Ambulance; Canadian Red Cross; Lifesaving Society; Canadian Ski Patrol; or an organization whose certificate is deemed equivalent by the medical officer of health in the local health unit.
  • Follow the school's first aid emergency response (consult First Aid Plan and First Aid Emergency Response) and the school board’s concussion protocol (consult Concussions).
  • An emergency action plan and response to deal with evacuations and lock downs must be followed and communicated to students.

Safety Craft

  • If instruction is taking place in a pool, no safety craft is required.
  • A safety craft is a designated craft that is rescue-capable, taking into consideration necessary factors (for example, distance from shore, weather, water and wind conditions), and contains at least one instructor, trip guide or individual who meets the first aid certification.
  • A safety craft must be in the water and accessible while students are canoeing. The safety craft need not be motorized. If the safety craft is a motorized craft then the operator of the motorized safety craft must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. The operator of the safety craft, whether craft is motorized or not, must have experience in navigating the craft.
  • The safety craft can be the watercraft that the instructor/guide is operating.

Swim Test

Swim Test for Watercraft

  • Prior to the activity, students must successfully complete the following swim test in its entirety, without any stops, in sequence, with or without a personal flotation device (P.F.D.):
    • Rolling entry (backwards or forward) into deep water at 2.75m (9’) minimum depth
    • Tread water for 1 minute
    • Swim 50m (164’) continuously any stroke
  • The test must be administered by a certified aquatic instructor or a certified lifeguard (the test is based on the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive™ Standard).
  • The swim test must be completed within the school year in which the activity is taking place.
  • In lieu of completing the swim test, students may provide proof of Bronze Star certification or higher.
  • Results of the swim test must be documented and communicated as per school board policy (for example, to the student, teacher, principal, parents/guardians, trip guide(s), lifeguards, aquatic instructor, and outside provider [if applicable]).
  • All teachers, trip guides and parent/guardian/volunteers must be aware of those students who required a P.F.D./lifejacket to complete the swim test.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery for the Swim Test

  • Appropriate swimwear must be worn.

Aquatic Instructor Qualifications for the Swim Test for Watercraft

  • An aquatic instructor must possess both an aquatic instructor certificate and a lifeguard certificate that are dated not more than two years prior to the date on which they are required to instruct and lifeguard. If the aquatic instructor does not hold a lifeguard certificate, a certified lifeguard must also be on the dock/shore during the swim test.
  • Aquatic Instructor Certificates for Waterfronts:
    • Canadian Red Cross - Water Safety Instructor Certificate (This certificate is only valid until December 31st, 2022 as the Canadian Red Cross swimming and lifeguarding programs have ended and certifications will expire December 31st, 2022 (consult Canadian Red Cross is winding down its swimming and lifeguarding programs for more information))
    • Lifesaving Society - Instructor Certificate
    • YMCA - Instructor Certificate
  • Verified copies of certification must be available in the swimming area.

Lifeguard Qualifications for the Swim Test for Watercraft

  • A lifeguard must be 18 years of age or older and possess a current (the date on the certificate must not be older than two years) lifeguard certificate issued by one of the following organizations:
    • Canadian Red Cross – Pool/Waterfront Lifeguard (This certificate is only valid until December 31st, 2022 as the Canadian Red Cross swimming and lifeguarding programs have ended and certifications will expire December 31st, 2022 (consult Canadian Red Cross is winding down its swimming and lifeguarding programs for more information))
    • Lifesaving Society – National Lifeguard – Pool/Waterfront
    • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care
  • A student may not act as a lifeguard if they are participating in the activity.
  • Lifeguard certification is the only acceptable standard in a recreational camp waterfront scenario.
  • Verified copies of certification must be available in the swimming area.

Supervision Ratios for the Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water

  • There must be a minimum of 2 certified aquatic instructors or lifeguards at the waterfront or in the water.
  • Supervision ratio is 2 certified aquatic instructors or lifeguards per 1 to 25 students.
  • For every additional 25 students, an additional certified aquatic instructor or lifeguard is required.

Information for Parents/Guardians

  • A consent form must be completed, signed and returned, giving permission for the student to participate in a swim test and in canoeing.
  • All students will wear a correctly fitting and Transport Canada approved PFD/lifejacket, with whistle attached, when near or on the water.
  • Students must complete and pass the following swim test in its entirety, in sequence and without any stops, with or without a PFD:
    • Rolling entry (backwards or forward) into deep water at 2.75m (9’) minimum depth
    • Tread water for 1 minute
    • Swim 50m (164’) continuously any stroke

Information for Students

  • Prior to the trip, students must receive explicit instruction by a trip guide or teacher on the following:
    • Suitable clothing systems (for example, fabrics, recommend layering principles, avoiding cotton, appropriate items) and packing
    • Canoeing equipment
    • Environmental concerns (for example, wildlife, weather, low impact camping, poison ivy/oak)
    • The trip itinerary (route, distances, evacuation points)
    • An adequate supply of safe water for one day (the group must have a water purification method and must be made aware of water sources prior to embarking on trip)
    • Water safety for canoeing and swimming (if there will be swimming on the trip)
    • Safety procedures related to:
      • severe weather conditions (for example, wind, lightning [consult Weather]); and
      • ways to protect themselves from environmental conditions (for example use of hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, personal water bottles, insect repellent, appropriate clothing).

Definitions

  • Assistant Trip Guide:
    • An individual who has the certifications, knowledge and skills required to assist the Trip Guide during a canoe trip.  The Assistant may be responsible to lead and supervise a sub-group during parts of the trip. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, a parent/guardian/volunteer or an outside provider, and must be approved by the school/board.
  • In-charge Person:
    • Some activities refer to an “In-Charge” person. While the teacher is in-charge and responsible for the overall safety and well-being of students under their care, sometimes there are other personnel who must be identified as “In-Charge” related to specific situations (for example, a pool lifeguard). In activities where an “In-Charge” person is designated, that person, in consultation with the teacher, must make final decisions regarding safety of the students
  • Instructional Time:
    • Instructional time is defined as time during which there are organized activities or instructions. Examples of instructional time are lessons, events, practice, and games.
  • Instructor:
    • An individual who provides instruction on skills and possesses the required certifications. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer or an employee of an outside provider.
  • Lifeguard, Assistant Lifeguard and Aquatic Instructor:
    • Refer to the Qualification section.
  • Outside Activity Provider:
    • An outside facility contracted by the school/board to provide activity services.
  • Parent/guardian/volunteer:
    • An adult who has been approved by the principal and has been instructed on responsibilities (for example, monitoring [supervision]).
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD):
    • According to Canadian Red Cross, “A Canadian approved PFD is designed to keep you afloat in the water. PFDs were designed for use in recreational boating and are generally smaller, less bulky and more comfortable than lifejackets. They have less flotation than lifejackets, and have limited turning capacity, but are available in a variety of styles and colours.”
  • Supervision:
    • The vigilant overseeing of an activity for regulation or direction. Activities, facilities, and equipment have inherent risks, but the more effectively they are supervised, the safer they become.
    • The Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education designate three categories of supervision, Constant visual supervision, On-site supervision, and In-the-area supervision. The categories take into consideration the risk level of the activity, the participants’ skill level and the participants’ maturity. The three levels of supervision described are not hierarchical but represent the type of supervision that an activity requires and the type of supervision that is inherently possible.
  • Supervisor:
    • A supervisor is a teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer, or trip guide. This term is used only in relation to supervision ratios.
  • Teacher:
    • A person with a current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers, under contract by the school/board. This person is legally responsible for the students.
  • Trip Guide:
    • An individual who has the required certifications and/or knowledge/skills of the route and activity. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, a parent/guardian/volunteer or an employee of an outside provider, and must be approved by the school/board.
  • Types of Supervision:
    • Constant Visual Supervision:
      • Constant visual supervision means that the teacher is physically present, watching the activity in question. Only one activity requiring “Constant visual” supervision may take place while other activities are going on.
      • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For high jump, the teacher is at the high jump area and is observing the activity.
      • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For parachute, the intramural supervisor is at the event and is observing activity.
    • In-the-area Supervision:
      • In-the-area supervision means that the teacher could be in the gymnasium while another activity is taking place in an area adjacent to the gymnasium. In-the-area supervision requires the teacher to be readily accessible.
      • In-the-area supervision occurs:
        • in activities in which students may be out of sight for periods of time and the location of the teacher is not nearby (for example, alpine skiing, cross-country running). At least one of the following criteria must be in place:
          • The teacher is circulating
          • The location of teacher has been communicated to students and volunteers
        • in single activities and those that may be combined (for example, other in- the- area activities such as badminton, table tennis, handball – wall) with the following criteria in place:
          • The teacher must be circulating between the activities and readily accessible
          • The teacher informs students of the location of the activities
      • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For distance running, the students are running around the school and at times may be out of sight.
      • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For a scavenger hunt, the students are running around the school grounds and at times may be out of sight.
    • On-site Supervision:
      • On-site supervision entails teacher presence but not necessarily constantly viewing one specific activity. Momentary presence in adjoining rooms (for example, equipment room) to the gym is considered part of “on-site supervision”.
      • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For a relay, the students are practising on the track and can be seen by the teacher who is with the high jumpers.
      • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For relay games, the students are participating on the playground and can be seen by the intramural supervisor.
  • Water Safety Supervisor:
    • An individual who has the certification needed to supervise swimming and wading activities while on trip.

Wed, 08/24/22 02:08 pm

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