Boating Safety Course 2013

Camp Rodney has the largest boating fleet of any Boy Scout summer camp in the U.S., at over 300 watercraft. And they offer the relatively hard to find (and sometimes but not here expensive) Motorboating Merit Badge.

There is no additional fee for the Motor Boating merit badge, but Rodney does require two things:
a) that you have a valid Motorboating License, and
b) that you wear proper footwear.

In Pennsylvania, Boating Safety Education Certificates are required:
  • To operate a personal watercraft
  • For persons born on or after January 1, 1982, to operate boats powered by motors greater than 25 horsepower.
A PA license is reciprocal with any state approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Valid PA Motorboating License. These are good for life once obtained. Note Maryland and Pennsylvania boating licenses are reciprocal so the PA license will work at Camp Rodney. The total cost for the license will be $10 if you join the troop on 6/9/13.
  • If you will be 12 years old by camp or older, you can join Mr. Barsh on Sunday June 9, 2013, as they go to Allentown to take a one day Boating Safety certification course. The cost is free, but after you complete the course successfully you will need to mail $10 to Pennsylvania to get your permanent license.
The course will be from 9 am to 5 pm at Peters Marine Services in Allentown.

We will leave promptly at 7:45 am from St. John's church, returning at 6:15 pm. You can bring a lunch to eat during the break, or there is a McDonald's across the street. One cool thing about this course, it is being given at a boat dealer, so there are allot of boats to check out in the showroom. Please bring a water bottle and snack, even if you plan on buying lunch. Sign up ASAP for the June 9th Safe Boating Class with Mr. Barsh by calling 610-433-1606. Tell them you are with Troop 98.   If you sign up for this course, please also let Mr. Barsh know that you are going!
  • You can also take another public Boating Safety class that might be on a more convenient date by going to THIS LINK.   The fees there range from free to $60 or so, all plus the $10 card. On 6/9/13 you will see the Peters Marine Services course that Troop 98 is attending.
  • Finally, scouts wishing to obtain their Boating license can also take an online class linked from  Following its successful completion for $35 to $40 (you pay only when successful), the scout mails in $10 in for the permanent license.
** No matter which of the three choices you use to get the license, it takes two weeks or so to receive the actual card from Pennsylvania, so please allow a few weeks after you send in the $10 before camp starts. **

Proper Footwear. Rodney is very stringent on scouts wearing the appropriate footwear while boating and in the water. The boys need "boat shoes" to participate in the Motorboating Merit Badge (and Bay Walk). "This refers to the footwear required to be worn while boating or wading in the bay." The rule:
"These must be closed-toed and can be old sneakers, boots, or shoes to be worn only for this purpose. Wet shoes that are worn around camp will cause blisters. Aqua socks, sandals, and open-toed shoes are not acceptable as "boat shoes" and will prevent Scouts from participating in any programs or the bay. Crocs™ that are closed-toed and will not slip off your feet are acceptable."

Seems like old sneaks dedicated to be wet often or almost continuously are best. Many of the neoprene slip on water shoes are probably not allowed as they do not like "aqua socks"

To operate Jet Skis at Rodney you must have a valid boating license - and be 16. Highly recommended for our older scouts attending Rodney. Again, there is no additional fee.

Any questions see or call Mr. Barsh!