: DO I have to earn the BCU 2 STAR before attempting the 3 STAR?
Yes it's best to earn your skills. A little history, 2 years ago the BCU had changed the Star skill awards some.
If you remeber the old awards, 2 Star was not much at all, really just getting started stuff. Then 3 Star was really hard to get through, then 4 star wasn't that touch, then 5 Star was very very hard to get through. Assentially the new system has a smoother learning curve to get paddlers ready for the next step. Which if your wanting to move through a formal program or just wanting a good base line to start exploring on your own.
So the New 2 Star award is like the old 3 Star in many ways, full of all the strokes and making them work properly, rescues,and adding alittle open canoe work so you don't forget your past.
The New 3 Star is taking all the strokes and rescues learned in 2 star and then move them into a journing enviroment in moderate conditions(force 4, sea state 3, moderate tidal enviroment), adding in the beginnings of leadership, navigation, and judgement.
Hope this helps
The Connyak BBS