Introduction to Boating Safety- By Elaine Gold

Grove City YMCA member Elaine Smith has been working hard on obtaining her Gold Award for Girl Scouts. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest and most prestigious award in Girl Scouting, comparable to the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. Each year, the Gold Award is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who have planned and executed significant Take Action projects in response to pressing community needs. A young woman who has earned the Gold Award has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect outstanding leadership and citizenship skills.

Girls who pursue their Gold Award aspire to transform an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with measurable, sustainable and far-reaching results. The Gold Award is awarded to fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts annually. Each Gold Award Girl Scout spends 1 – 2 years on her project. Approximately one million Girl Scouts have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent since 1916. ​

Elaine spent more than 200 hours developing and implementing the boating class at the Grove City YMCA. One badge she can earn through her work being published on a public forum. When we heard this, we thought, no better place to publish safe boating practices than at the Y! Below is information she has gathered about Canoe Rules and safe boating. Congratulations on earning your award, Elaine! 

"My name is Elaine Smith and I am a sophomore at Bishop Ready High School. After obtaining my ARC lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR, AED, oxygen and small-craft safety-canoeing certificates and my ODNR boating certificate, I had the opportunity to run some boating safety education classes to children participating in the Grove City YMCA summer camps on Rotary Lake. The campers utilized the YMCA core values (caring, honesty, respect and responsibility) and applied these concepts to ten safety rules while learning how to canoe. Teamwork was emphasized to move canoes, both on and off the water. Much fun was had while learning to paddle and maneuver out on the water."

Below are the 10 rules to safe canoeing:

  1. ALWAYS wear your live jacket properly
  2. NEVER stand up in the canoe
  3. NEVER enter the boat without the instructor present
  4. When entering and exiting; use three points of contact
  5. Respect the equipment
  6. Respect other visitors
  7. Paddles should never be above you knees (unless in an emergency)
  8. No swimming/no swamping
  9. Stay inside the boundaries
  10. HAVE FUN! 

Thank you to Suzie and the Grove City YMCA for allowing Elaine to do the summer of boating classes, to show some of what she taught, and to drum up business for next year's boating classes. 

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