Whitewater and Kayaking Merit Badge
Explore the Arkansas River in Colorado
The River Runners Whitewater and Kayaking Merit Badge Clinic covers all practical (on-river/in-kayak) requirements for the BSA Whitewater Merit Badge and Kayaking Merit Badge using inflatable kayaks. This four hour clinic is held on the Arkansas River from the River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort in Buena Vista, Colorado.
Troops should plan on four to six hours of preparation prior to the clinic. Scouts must meet all requirements in order to be signed off by a River Runners merit badge counselor. Book any date May 1 – Labor Day with a minimum four Scouts (maximum 10 Scouts per clinic/20 Scouts per day).
“My son has earned over 105 merit badges and the instruction, time, effort and completeness that River Runners delivered was one of the best merit badge experiences so far.” – Jim R., Shawnee Mission, Kansas
BSA Merit Badge Clinic – $60/Scout
Price includes taxes and fees. Discounts are not available for this program.
- Expert instruction and sign off by BSA certified Merit Badge Counselor
- Four mile class II inflatable kayak trip on the Arkansas River
Discounts are not available for special add-on rates.
- 10 mile class III-IV Browns Canyon rafting trip on the Arkansas River – $45/Scout
- Catered riverside lunch – $8/Scout
The Whitewater Merit Badge Starts at Home
Your troop will need to spend four to six hours preparing for the River Runners Merit Badge Clinic on your own to meet all requirements. The BSA Whitewater Merit Badge and Kayaking Merit Badge are not for every Scout. Know the limits of each Scout in your troop.
Each Scout must do the following prior to the clinic:
- Scout leader must provide BSA Swim Classification Form. All participants must be a first class swimmer.
- Each Scout must provide proof of current certification in CPR and First Aid.
- Read individually and discuss as a troop the BSA Whitewater Merit Badge Handbook.
- Read individually and discuss as a troop the BSA Kayaking Merit Badge Handbook.
- Practice and be ready to demonstrate the trucker’s hitch and bowline knots.
- Review and compare BSA Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater safety guidelines.
- Prepare a written plan for your kayaking trip and submit to your local council. (River Runners will provide a list of considerations and logistics to aid in this requirement).
Make River Runners Your Colorado Base Camp
Group Camping on the Arkansas River
All River Runners Whitewater Merit Badge Clinics are held at the River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort, which is also the launch site for Browns Canyon rafting trips. This facility features three group campsites, sand volleyball, horse shoes, catch and release fishing, private shower facilities, rafting shop and riverside grill. Group campsites are $60 per night and can accommodate up to 20 campers. It is recommended that you book months in advance to make River Runners your Colorado Base Camp. If we are all booked up, don’t worry, our reservation staff can recommend other camping areas near River Runners.
Boy Scout Whitewater Rafting Colorado
In addition to the Whitewater Merit Badge Clinic, River Runners offers a wide range of Boy Scout whitewater rafting trips in Colorado for your next troop outing. Choose from half day, full day and overnight whitewater adventures on the Arkansas River from the River Runners Riverside Rafting Resort or the Royal Gorge Rafting Center.