Summer Aquatics Safety

Updated June 2011

Many units are taking advantage of the summer weather to participate in aquatics activities. Swimming in the backyard pool, at the nearby lake, or at a municipal swimming pool are all fun summer activities. Some units may also be taking boating trips on lakes and rivers. When participating in aquatics activities, unit leaders are reminded that they must follow the principles listed in Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. Online training is available for Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat

Aquatics Supervision: BSA Swimming & Water Rescue and BSA Paddle Craft Safety.  These training courses will help train unit leaders in the skills needed to conduct swimming and boating activities that are safe as well as fun, exciting, and rewarding. Contact your local council aquatics committee to find out how you can take one of these courses.

National Safe Boating Week: Wearing a life jacket can dramatically decrease your chances of drowning while boating. During National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27, 2011), you learned about steps you can take to protect yourself and those you love from drowning while boating. Wear a life jacket! More than 90 percent of people who have drowned in a boating incident were not wearing a life jacket.   

You can stay safe while on the water and reduce the risk of drowning for yourself and those you care about. Tips from the CDC’s Injury Center can help you ride the wave to safe boating:  National Safe Boating Week.

Finally, a common question received is: "Do we have to have a trained adult leader if we are at a commercial or public pool or when using an outfitter?" The answer is yes. A current Safe Swim Defense and/or Safety Afloat commitment or training card (less than two years) is required even when a unit is swimming at a public pool or when using a guide service.