SA-1 Saturday Day Hiking - Cornell Outdoor Education

River Canoeing
Cornell Outdoor Education
Phillips Outdoor Program Center
B01 Bartels Hall, Campus Road
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-6183
Program Coordinator:
Sarah Myers [email protected] (607)255-3802
Class Schedule: refer to
Class Description: Take advantage of the spring runoff, and explore the local creeks and rivers by canoe. This class
includes a pool paddling session, an introductory canoeing lesson on Beebe Lake, a one-day river trip and a weekend canoe
camping trip. You will be introduced to river dynamics & safety, paddling strokes & maneuvers to use in current, and camping
skills that you will use on your overnight excursion. You will find yourself anticipating what might be around the next bend as
you navigate your canoe downriver with a partner. This is a unique opportunity to experience the rivers in a small class setting.
Learn new skills, meet new people, and experience the rebirth of nature this spring.
Pre-requisites: Students must be comfortable recreational swimmers. Successful completion of Cornell Outdoor
Education’s Recreational Canoeing Class or similar canoeing experience is required to enroll.
Attendance Policy
COE requires that students attend the first class meeting because of the critical logistics, policy, liability, and safety information
that will be covered. If you do not show up for the first class you lose your right to retain your spot on the roster, and we may
enroll another student in your place. In this event you will still be held responsible for full tuition fees, and may receive
unsatisfactory grading. If you are on the waiting list, you will only have a chance of being added to the class if you show up to
the first class meeting and a student on the roster is not present.
We expect all students to be on time and ready to participate at the start of class. Students must actively participate in all offered
class meetings to earn a satisfactory grade for PE credit. Because of the nature of this class, missing critical skills that occur in
progression will prevent you from continued participation in the class.
Cell Phone use is not permitted during class.
Please take time to review additional Cornell Outdoor Education Course Policies.
Things to Bring to the First Class
Swim suit & towel
Synthetic shirt (optional, but will keep you a bit warmer)
Water bottle & snack
Strap for glasses or goggles to protect contacts
Completed Medical Form
River Canoeing Curriculum
Students should have fun and develop an appreciation for river canoeing
Students should gain an understanding of basic canoeing skills as identified in the core curriculum
Students should learn about the dynamics and precautions of paddling on moving water
Excitement for further pursuit of river canoeing
CURRICULUM NOTE: We recognize that weather, conditions, and student characteristics (previous experience, physical ability,
group dynamics, etc.) will partially dictate what can be covered in a given class. This is an introductory course and topics covered
may include the following:
___ Emergency procedures
___ River rescue priorities (people, boats, gear)
___ Prevention of common paddling injuries: keep in “paddler’s box,” hypothermia, tick checks, etc.
___ Lightning protocol
___ Self rescue in moving current
___ Use of throw ropes
___ Obstacles and hazards on the river:
rocks, cold water, strainers, bridges abutments, low head dams, undercut rocks, lightning
 EQUIPMENT (Introduction to the function, sizing, and proper use of the following)
___ Canoe, Paddles, PFD’s
___ Personal items: proper clothing (dressing for a swim), protective footwear, whistle, dry bags, etc.
___ Launching & landing, tie down on trailer, carries & portaging
___ Trim, sitting vs. kneeling, J-lean/edging
___ Roles & responsibilities of bow & stern
___ Body position: torso rotation & face your work
___ Power Strokes: forward & reverse
___Turning & Correction Strokes: draw & cross bow draw, sweep & reverse sweep, pry, J-stroke, duffek, cross duffek
___ Flatwater maneuvers: forward & back, stopping, spins, sideways, turns, carving
___ Moving water maneuvers: ferries, eddy turns, peel-outs, braces, C-turns, S-turns, surfing, attainment
___ Rinsing boats after use to reduce chance of spreading invasive species from one body of water to another
___ Scouting (from boat/from shore)
___ Lead and sweep boats, managing boats through a rapid
___ Communication: paddle/hand & whistle signal
___ River features: eddy lines, upstream/downstream Vs, chutes, waves, holes, horizon lines, pillows, cut/point bank
___ International scale of river difficulty and finding current river levels & beta, launch access
___ River etiquette: fisherman, other groups, trash clean-up, LNT
___ Campsite selection & tarp/tent set-up
___ Stoves (safe kitchen set-up, repairs)
___ Hygiene & sanitation, water purification
___ Food planning & storage & cooking for a group
___ COE mission “Teamwork, leadership, and growth through
active learning”
___ Experiential learning, comfort zone, and challenge by choice
___ Full value contract & expedition behavior
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