Constitution and Regulations


 In the late 1940’s a group of YMCA members under the leadership of Louis Bonnenfant, the YMCA Physical Education Director at the time, began making a series of canoe trips mainly in the area of Algonquin Park.  This informal arrangement carried on until 1953 when the group decided to formalize and share their adventures with others by forming the Ottawa Y Canoe Club.

The Club grew steadily over the next decades until in 1980 it enjoyed a membership of approximately 120. It has continued to grow until at the time of this writing has slightly more than 300 members. The Club currently offers a wide variety of recreational trips organized under flat water, white water and family programs. This is complemented by a well rounded training program.

With its varied programs, completely run on a voluntary basis by Club members, the Club offers all members of the community an opportunity to participate in recreational canoe tripping in a safe, well organized environment. In a continuation of this tradition the Club of today delivers on the YMCA-YWCA motto – We Build Strong Kids… Strong Families… Strong Communities.

~ E. G. (Ted) Blake

Update as of Nov 1,  2012 - YCCC transitioned to RACCC. Here is the link to the RA Canoe Camping Club Bylaws presented, ratified at the 2012 Spring Business Meeting. Upon the official transition - these  replace the YCCC Constitution.


Club Policy on Intoxicants

 As the paddling season is under way and the club is getting ready to open up, it is a good idea to review the club policy on intoxicants (drugs and alcohol).

 In short, people are not allowed to consume intoxicants within 8 hours of driving a car or engaging in paddling activities.

 The full policy as well as the club’s governance documents are available on our website at

RACCC Operating Guidelines Updates - March 2018 - Training Subsidies

At the February 23 2018 RACCC Executive Meeting, a vote was taken to accept a revision to Section 5.e) of the Club Operating Guidelines (see attachment) on Training Subsidy Allocation.   These changes are highlighted in red.  Additional rules are provided for receiving a subsidy for First Aid Training or River Rescue Training. These rules are somewhat less stringent than for other courses because first aid and river rescue training benefits all members on a trip, regardless of whether or not the first aider or river rescuer is a leader. After the February 23 executive meeting, some very minor adjustments to the changes highlighted in red were made and approved by the executive via email.  These additional changes are highlighted in blue.

Proposed Changes to RACCC Operating Guidelines - October 2015

Proposed changes to the RACCC Operating Guidelines are summarized below. Changes are underlined. See also the attachment containing the RACCC Operating Guidelines where the changes are flagged and the attachment where the changes are not flagged.

Section 1b

Prior to leaving on the trip or course, the trip leader or instructor will communicate trip or course details to a designated emergency contact, including put in and take out locations and projected times, and number of trip or course participants, and will also fill out a sign out sheet either electronically or at the boathouse.

Section 2b

Canoes and other equipment will only be available for use on private trips after the requirements for club training and club trips are filled. Unless special arrangements have been made, equipment for private trips can only be reserved 48 hours before the trip starts.

Section 3a

Listed below are additional rules which relate to guests on WW trips.-approved by exec May 2015

  1. A participating member to a WW outing can sponsor one guest. In that role, the sponsoring member must ensure the guest has the qualifications required to participate on the proposed outing.  The member, is responsible for the guest’s safety and security on the river.
  2. The sponsor must ensure the guest’s WW canoe/kayak is in good condition with appropriate flotation, skirt (if applicable) and all the regulatory equipment in good working condition; Pfd, helmet, whistle, throw rope, bailer, etc.  If at any time leading up to the departure the trip leader feels the guest’s equipment is inappropriate they have the right to dismiss the guest’s participation in the activity. 
  3. To sponsor a guest, the member must be known to be very comfortable with the proposed river; enough to take responsibility for his/her own safety, the safety of his/her guest and not to place other club participants at an increased risk. Final judgement on the member’s ability rests with the Trip Leader, in coordination with the WW coordinator or his/her delegate.
  4. Agreement must be obtained prior to the activity from the WW coordinator or one of his/her delegates.
  5. All appropriate guest forms must be signed and fees paid before the guest is allowed on the water.
  6. Guests are not allowed to use club canoes.

 Section 3b

The guest and annual membership dues (individual and family) will be presented as part of the draft annual operating budget at the Annual General Meeting for endorsement by the membership followed by presentation to the Manager Recreation Club Services for approval as part of an Association-wide budget by the RA’s Board of Directors. Reference to Spring Business Meeting removed.

Section 4a

Fiscal year changed to be January to December.

Section 4b

Reference to Spring Business Meeting removed.

Section 5e

Reference to Spring Business Meeting changed to AGM.

Section 6a

Members are expected to take all reasonable care of club equipment and canoes.  Participants on any organized activity will be responsible to the club for damage to or loss of club canoes or equipment including depreciation.

Section 6b

Members are responsible for any loss or damage to club equipment that they use that is beyond normal wear and tear including depreciation.

Some guidelines for the assessment of damage are as follows (below all new):

  • The assets coordinator along with the appropriate coordinator (Training, WW, FW or Family) should consider the following parameters in their assessment:
    • The nature of the event in which the incident occurred: Club trip, Private trip, Training event
    • The level of risk taken by the people involved
  • Except in exceptional circumstances, recovery costs less than 100% will only be considered for beginner training. In the context of beginner training, some wear and tear is expected.  It is recommended that the committee uses a simple rated recovery cost: 100% responsible, 75% responsible, 50% responsible or 25% responsible.
  • Note: in any cases of damage recovery, the minimum level of responsibility to be covered by the people involved is 25%.
  • Note that in all cases, the “Club insurance” when agreed upon by the participants still applies.
  • The training program can make a set budgeted annual contribution to the Assets budget to help pay for repair and replacement of equipment in general to help compensate for possible wear and tear during training.

Section 8j

Duties of Outreach Coordinator erroneously included those of the Social Coordinator so the description was corrected.


RACCC Bylaws and Operating Guidelines Updates November 2015

At the November 3 2015 AGM, the membership voted to accept a revision to the club bylaws (see attached revised bylaws).  These revisions still have to be approved by the RA Board of Directors.

At the November 18 and 30 2015 executive meetings, Emil presented revised versions of Section 6b of the Operating Guidelines to take into account the directions from the membership at the AGM. With minor editorial revisions, as discussed at the executive meetings, the amendments were accepted (see attached revised guidelines).

Proposed Changes to RACCC Bylaws - October 2015

Proposed changes to the bylaws are summarized below. Changes are underlined. See also the attachment containing the bylaws where the changes are flagged and the attachment where the changes are not flagged.


- change any references to "the club" to "the RACCC"

- change any references to "the Association" to "the RA"

ARTICLE 2 - Aims and Objects

Section 1 - "the opportunity to organize and participate in environmentally sound recreational canoeing, kayaking  and canoe camping."

ARTICLE 4 - Club Executive

Drop Website Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator and add Outreach Coordinator as agreed to at the 2014 AGM.

ARTICLE 5 - Powers and Duties of the RACCC Executive

Section 6       The operating year of the RACCC shall be January 1st to December 31st. The membership year of the club, however, shall be April 1st to March 31st.

ARTICLE 7 - Meetings

Section 1 - Indicates that the AGM is to occur in the fall rather than November.  Strike reference to the Spring Business Meeting.

ARTICLE 8 - Election of Officers and Coordinators

Removed requirement for nominations to have signatures.  Made Section 1 and Section 2 consistent in requiring the nomination be endorsed by two members and the nominee.

Section 1        The Executive shall, prior to the Annual General Meeting, appoint a Nominating Committee. The Committee will receive nominations of RACCC members endorsed by two members of the RACCC and the nominee for the RACCC Executive for the ensuing year, and ensure that they meet the requirements.  A list of the nominees shall be made available to members with the Annual General Meeting notice.

Section 2        Additional nominations of RACCC members from two members of the RACCC and the nominee, shall be accepted if forwarded to Nominations Committee in time for inclusion with the Annual General Meeting notice, or if presented from the floor at the meeting, if the nominee is present at the meeting.