The requirements for Rowing merit badge were revised effective January 1, 1998.

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while rowing, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating as motionless as possible.
  4. Review and discuss Safety Afloat and demonstrate the proper fit and use of personal flotation devices (PFDs).
  5. Do the following correctly in either a fixed seat or sliding seat rowboat:
    1. Launch and land from and to shore.
    2. Row in a straight line for a quarter mile. Stop, make a pivot turn, and return to the starting point.
    3. Backwater in a straight line for 50 yards. Make a turn under way and return to the starting point.
    4. Properly moor or rack your craft. Demonstrate your ability to tie the following mooring knots: clove hitch, roundturn with two half hitches, bowline, and hitching tie or mooring hitch.
  6. In a fixed seat rowboat, do the following:
    1. Come alongside a dock and help a passenger into the boat. Row 50 feet, stop, pivot, and come back to the dock. Help the passenger from the boat.
    2. Show sculling in good form over the stern for 10 yards. Turn under way, and return to starting point.
  7. Alone, or with one other person who is a swimmer, tip over a rowboat.* Turn it right side up, get in, and row or paddle 10 yards with hands or oars. Tell why you should stay with a swamped boat.
  8. Alone in a rowboat push off from shore or dock. Row 10 yards to a swimmer. While giving instructions to the swimmer, turn the boat so that the swimmer may hold onto the stern. Tow him to shore.
  9. Show and explain the proper use of anchors for rowboats.
  10. Describe the following:
    1. Types of craft used in commercial, competitive, and recreational rowing.
    2. Four common boatbuilding materials. Give some good and bad points of each.
    3. Types of oarlocks used in commercial, competitive, and recreational rowing.
  11. Discuss the following:
    1. The advantage of feathering oars while rowing.
    2. How to handle a rowboat in a storm.
    3. How to properly fit out and maintain a boat in season, and how to prepare and store a boat for winter.
    4. How to calculate the weight a boat may carry under normal conditions.
    5. The differences between fixed seat and sliding seat rowing.
    6. The different meaning of the term "sculling" in fixed- and sliding-seat rowing.
    7. The health benefits from rowing for exercise.
* This requirement can be met in shallow water.
Make your own free website on