Friends of the Kaw canoe floats are exciting and
challenging. We recognize the importance of providing a safe environment
where participants are at ease with themselves, and are able to
learn group and leadership skills.
The program offers a unique opportunity for students to work
together toward a common goal, and achieve a sense of accomplishment as a
group, in a relatively short time. Most students are unfamiliar with this
experience so canoeing is a great arena for creating bonds and friendships in a
noncompetitive environment and experiencing the local river environment.
More information on safety, maps to boat ramps, information on weather and water levels, and river hazards can be found on the Friends of the Kaw main website. Friends of the Kaw float policy and calendar can also be found on the main website.
- Demonstrate the interdependence of eco-systems within
- To challenge students to work together and learn the
importance of communication, respect, & community.
- To give students the responsibility for their immediate
impact on the environment.
- To help propel students towards a sustainable
- To build bridges between what is learned in the classroom
and what goes on in the natural world.
- Interpretative Hikes
- Initiative tasks
- Micro Environment Discovery
- Survival Skills
- Story Telling
- Food chain dynamics
- Wild Edibles
- Group Building Games
- Conduct experiments
- water & soil tests
- animal tracks & scat
When well planned and connected with the curriculum, student
field trips provide a rich source of learning opportunities for students. The
Friends of the Kaw provides this administrative procedure to set out all the
issues that should be considered by trip leaders before any field trips are
- Competent adult
leadership and supervision appropriate to the number and age of students and
the nature of the trip must be assured in advance.
- One of the adult
supervisors on the field trip shall be designated as the trip leader.
- At least five
school days before the event, parents shall be informed of the nature, purpose,
anticipated costs and extent of a field trip, and signed permission forms shall
be obtained on behalf of students under eighteen years of age (an example is
given below in the attachment section).
- A student of the
age of majority shall be required to sign a permission form before going on a
- All permission
forms shall include the following statement: Trip leaders should be
aware of special health conditions which might affect the progress or welfare
of the students while on this activity.
- First aid kits
shall be available on all field trips.
administrative procedures and codes of conduct on student deportment shall
apply for the entire period of any field trip.
- For all local
field trips, the ratio of adult supervisors to students shall be at least 1:7
for Intermediate and Senior students.
- Definition of a Canoe Trip and Canoe Activity
- A canoe trip is
defined as a trip which uses canoes as a principle means of transportation.
- A canoe trip
leader is a capable canoeist and who is experienced in canoe trip planning and
control of school-aged students while on water.
- The canoe trip
leader should hold or be familiar with current Standard First Aid Certificate
and current National Life Guard Certification swimming award or equivalent.
- The canoe trip
leader is the person in authority during pre-trip planning and while on the
- Field Supervisors
shall be at least 18 years of age. They shall be selected by the canoe trip
leader must have prior canoeing experience, must possess water safety skills,
and should have some experience with the age group of the students going on the
- Field Supervisors
under the direction of the trip leader shall assist in all aspects of the trip
to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
The required equipment is as follows
Personal protection equipment:
- One Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device or life jacket of appropriate size for each person on board;
- One buoyant heaving line of not less than 15 m in length.
- Each canoe group shall carry spare paddles.
- Canoes shall stay in a section with supervisors positioned where they can most effectively assist any participants in distress.
- Personal flotation devices or life jackets shall be worn at all times in the canoes.
- When water and/or weather conditions become unsafe, the trip leader shall order the group to go to the shore and stay there until the conditions improve.
- Safety signals, both oral and visual, must be worked out in advance and all participants must be fully briefed on these signals.
Sample Format – School Float trips
If bussing is arranged:
- Assign canoe
partners before leaving –Trip Leader will approve canoe partners or make
changes if necessary before the trip begins.
- Field Superviosrs
will be assigned by Trip Leader prior to the float.
- Two paddlers to a
canoe plus one passenger if needed. If there are experienced paddlers assign
them to the inexperienced paddlers.
- Arrange to meet
at boat ramp.
- Unload canoes
from boat trailers.
- Distribute life
jackets and paddles.
- Trip Leader
covers canoe/river safety and rules of conduct and basic canoeing skills.
- First canoe
launches and wait to side while everyone else is launched into the water (first
canoe should be an experienced field supervisor who then is prepared to assist
as other canoes are launched).
- Student canoes
stay in between the lead and last canoes.
- Stop on a sandbar
for lunch and Trip Leader gives environment/water talk.
- Launch canoes
from sandbar, continuing to stay between the lead and last (sweep) canoes.
- Take out at the
designated Boat Ramp.
- Help load canoes
onto the trailers and return life jackets and paddles to trailer.