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 Canoeing
Troop 721 Milford, CT -  Canoeing
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History  |  Equipment  |  Trip Prep  |  On the Water  |  Strokes
History of Canoeing The canoe is one of the oldest forms of transportation, probably second only to the raft. Dugout canoes were being manufactured at least 8,000 years ago. But lighter, more maneuverable canoes were developed much more recently in North America by covering a frame with animal skins, fabric, or bark. The birch bark canoe used by Native Americans was adopted by French explorers and fur traders during the 17th century. Despite its frail appearance, it's a very strong, durable craft. Its shallow draft will carry through white-water rapids that would demolish most boats, and it can be easily portaged around totally impassable rapids or across stretches of land from one body of water to another. The Eskimo kayak, which has a partly enclosed deck with openings for the paddlers' seats, was discovered by Europeans somewhat later. While the canoeist uses a single-bladed paddle that's similar to the oar used in rowing, the kayak paddle has a blade on each end and is gripped in the middle.
A Scottish lawyer, John MacGregor, was chiefly responsible for establishing canoeing as a recreational sport. In 1845, he designed a type of canoe, the Rob Roy, which had a deck and was equipped with a mast and sail as well as paddles. MacGregor went on a whole series of cruises in Europe and the Holy Land beginning in 1849, and he wrote books and delivered many lectures about his trips. MacGregor and other enthusiasts in 1866 founded the Canoe Club, which became the Royal Canoe Club in 1873. Competitive canoeing began with the club's first regatta in 1867. The New York Canoe Club was founded in 1871 and was quickly followed by many similar organizations on the East Coast. BSA Troop 721 Home Page They organized the American Canoe Association (ACA) in 1880. The Canadian Canoe Association was founded in 1900.
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