Correct about what? No cubs in canoes? (While that was @DonovanMcNeil’s first reply, he later amended it.)
As I understand the Age Appropriate Guidelines, older Cubs (grades 2-5) can participate in paddle sports, including canoes and Kayaks, and younger cubs (K-1) can still be “passengers”.
Specifically from the current GSS Safety Afloat section…
Cub Scout activities afloat are limited to council, district, pack, or den events that do not include moving water or float trips (expeditions).
And under swimming ability…
For activity afloat, those not classified as a swimmer are limited to multiperson craft during outings or float trips on calm water with little likelihood of capsizing or falling overboard. They may operate a fixed-seat rowboat or pedal boat accompanied by a buddy who is a swimmer. They may paddle or ride in a canoe or other paddle craft with an adult swimmer skilled in that craft as a buddy.
I believe this is a change from earlier guides that completely prohibited Cub canoeing outside of Council/District events. In fact, I think the (very dated) online training module for Safety Afloat still says this.
But I never quite understood this… back in the 80’s I did a lot of canoeing as a 1st-2nd grader in a YMCA youth program (canoeing with my dad of course). And then when I joined Cubs, we didn’t do any.
All that said, it’s really impossible to parse the guidance in the GSS and SA training. It would be nice if the guidance was clearer on what’s really required to take a bunch of families on a float or canoeing trip, especially when you’re arranging with a company or canoe club that families could just go to on their own as individuals anyway. If we make it onerous to arrange that as a Pack activity (i.e. requiring lots of lifeguards and adult swimmer tests), we’re missing the… well, boat, on what could be a fun outdoor family activity.
I do like @KevinCarlyle’s idea of councils running canoe trips or events for Packs. That’s basically what our old Y did, and would certainly help with the safety oversight.