frequently asked questions

• This is a co-ed program; males & females participate in most activities side by side.

• Each participant MUST be a registered member of any Boy Scout Troop or Venture Crew 488.

• Each participant MUST be at least fourteen (14) years of age by July 1 of the current year.

• Participants in the Canoe Trails programs are considered Youth until the age of 21.

• All participants MUST pass the swim test.

• All participants MUST pass a physical exam.

• All participants MUST maintain up-to-date BSA clearances and assigned trainings.

• Each participant must be in good standing with the Crew Advisors, trip leader, and treasurer before going on the trip to Canada.

• Each new participant (known as a Candidate) must satisfactorily complete the training requirements for each phase of training before being permitted to progress to the next phase of training. All training requirements must be met before the participant is eligible for consideration to participate in the wilderness trip.

• The training schedule has four (4) mandatory, monthly training weekends. The training season begins with a Candidate Orientation at the end of February. During the months of March, April, May, and June candidates will learn new skills and field test the clothing and camping equipment they will take to Canada. The first phase concludes in June during the 2nd Tionesta weekend. If the candidate has completed the training goals and satisfied all other requirements, he or she will be invited to go on the trip to Canada. Check out the Resources page for more information about the schedule, the Training Manual and the Training Checklist.

• A participant who successfully completes all training and a trip to Canada can earn the title of Voyageur. A second year of training and a second trip to Canada will provide the participant with greater wilderness skills and leadership development opportunities.

2024 Adult / Youth BSA registration fees$75 / $133
New members of BSA pay a one-time application fee$25
Canoe Trails Annual Dues$25
Canoe Trails New Candidate fee$40
4 Training camp-outs (includes food + travel)$120 (+/- $40)
7-day Canoe Trails trip (includes food + travel)$400 (estimated)
Personal clothing, equipment & gear (highly subjective)$400 (estimated)
Contact an Advisor to privately discuss financial aid opportunities.

• Canoe Trails will provide canoes, paddles, personal flotation devices (PFDs), tents, backpacks, and other outdoor equipment.

• Depending on what you have in your closet and what kind of camping equipment you already have, you might need to purchase, acquire, or borrow a few recommended items. During your training, you will spend time with Voyageurs who review the clothing and camping gear you already own and will make recommendations specific to your needs. Check out the Clothing & Equipment spreadsheet, the CLOTHING or EQUIPMENT pages for a detailed list of recommendations.

• Preparing meals for 18+ people who are burning a lot of calories in the wilderness can be a challenge. On a canoe trip, you want and need good tasting, nutritious food, and plenty of it – but you also must consider the weight, fragility and bulk of the food itself.

• We prepare simple, one pot meals for dinner that are very popular. These group meals are easily cooked and require minimal effort to clean-up afterwards. Dinners usually consist of a protein, a carbohydrate, a vegetable, a beverage and a desert. Breakfast is usually a hot cereal and lunches are simple meals which require minimal preparation. Please consult a Voyageur or check out the Resources/Training Materials tab/Training Manual for a list of possible meals.

• Special dietary needs or preferences can be a challenge to accommodate in a setting where food options are limited and the food preparation area is primitive. Accommodations have been made for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and other diets. Please contact a group leader to discuss options prior to joining.

• Boys tent with other boys, girls tent with other girls, men tent with other men, women tent with other women.

• We carefully review tent assignments prior to each camp-out and provide an appropriate 2, 3 or 4-person tent.

• Use of a personal hammock may be approved by the group leader if the individual demonstrates adequate skill in setting it up.

• When nature calls, and unless otherwise specified, males go to the left and females go to the right while in camp, on a shoreline, or on a hike.

• Our program is Coed, and our leaders are required to complete the BSA Youth Protection training program and adhere to a strict policy for managing an environment with mixed genders. Adult female leaders must accompany young girls and adult male leaders must accompany young boys. Adults must always be accountable for the welfare of the youth.

• Submit a request to join Canoe Trails via the “HELLO!” form. If your request is received after February of the current year the next opportunity to join will occur sometime early in the following year.

• Attend the Candidate Orientation in February (see calendar.) The meeting will be held at The Barn, 298 Division Lane, Beaver, PA, 15009.

• Please bring a parent/guardian with you if you are under the age of 18. You will need to review, sign and submit various forms if you intend to join.

• This is considered to be a “mandatory” meeting for new participants. However, if you are uncertain about your interest in joining, you are welcome to attend the meeting without an obligation to join.


Feel free to send us your questions, share comments about a past trip, or offer feedback about the program. One of our volunteer adult leaders will respond as soon as possible.

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