Aquatics Resources

Accessing the Training

Aquatics Committee Structure for Local Councils

Learn about the duties outlined for a Local Council Aquatics Committee and how to integrate their efforts in your local council structure to support all aquatics activities.

Aquatics Staff Guide

This guide was put together by the National Aquatics Task Force to help you, a member of your camp’s aquatics staff, do your job better. You should work with your aquatics director and camp management to use this document as a guide to your development as a staff member.

Aquatics Supervision Guide New

Aquatics Supervision: A leader’s guide to youth swimming and boating activities, formerly only available for purchase from online or storefront Scout Shops, is now available for free digital download and may be printed locally.  The guide supports the BSA Aquatics Supervision Swimming & Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety programs and serves as a resource for the aquatics special awards. 

Aquatics Supervision: Swimming & Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to questions about the new aquatics courses.

BSA Lifeguard Application, No. 430-033 

This application is for those who participate and have completed the training for BSA Lifeguard, provided only by someone who is currently trained as BSA Aquatics Instructor or as BSA Lifeguard Instructor.

BSA Lifeguard Instructor Manual (2017) 

The primary purpose of this training program is no longer to provide units with the skills necessary to conduct safe swimming and boating activities. This revised BSA Lifeguard program is now focused on the need to provide professional lifeguards for BSA-operated facilities, council aquatics committees, and year-round aquatics programming with training that meets the requirements of government agencies at regulated swimming venues. The program is open to all registered adults and older youth (age 15 and older). BSA Lifeguard is recommended for aquatics staff lifeguard training and for those who wish to work as lifeguards for BSA year-round aquatics programs, or who are supporting council aquatics committees, as the next step beyond the Aquatics Supervision programs for unit leaders.

Paddle Craft Safety

BSA Paddle Craft Safety expands Safety Afloat training to include the skills and knowledge needed for a unit leader to confidently supervise canoeing or kayaking excursions on flat water. The following materials are required to conduct the course.

Swimming & Water Rescue

Training for BSA Swimming & Water Rescue provides BSA leaders with information and skills to prevent, recognize, and respond to swimming emergencies during unit swimming activities. It expands the awareness instruction provided by Safe Swim Defense training. The following materials are required to conduct the course.

Kayaking BSA

Kayaking BSA provides an introduction to kayaking skills and safety procedures and serves as a program opportunity for Scouts BSA and Venturing units in camp or out.

Local Council Aquatics Committee

This document describes the suggested organizational structure for your local councilis committee who coordinates and oversees all aquatics activities for Cub Scouting, Scouting, and Venturing.

Safety Afloat

Safety Afloat 
Safety Afloat has been developed to promote boating and boating safety and to set standards for safe unit activity afloat. (Take the course; link below.) 

Safe Swim Defense

Safe Swim Defense 
Safe Swim Defense is a plan for conducting swimming activities in a safe manner. (Take the course; link below.)

Scuba BSA

Scuba BSA introduces qualified Scouts BSA, Venturing, and registered adult participants to the special skills, equipment, and safety precautions associated with scuba diving.

Snorkeling Safety

Snorkeling Safety is the recommended procedure for conducting group snorkeling at a private or public pool, wilderness pond, stream, or wherever the water looks inviting enough to take a dip.

Unit Swim Classification Record 2019

To record the classification of nonswimmers, beginners, and swimmers.

Boardsailing BSA Award Application

National Aquatics Workshop Materials

Here are some of the presentations from the 2018 AQUATICS WORKSHOP at the Florida Sea Base. The workshop included great discussions about current aquatics areas of focus and a sharing of ideas. Many of the presentations made during the workshop are listed in the resource section below. We hope you gained good information and a renewed perspective for aquatics programs in your council.

1. PowerPoint update of Aquatics Activity Awards and Aquatics Supervision

2. North Florida Council Aquatics Camp

3. Red Cross Aquatics Updates

4. National Capital Area Council Aquatics Programs flyer

5. Sea Scouts Today presentation

24th World Scout Jamboree Aquatics Update

7. American Canoe Association Paddlesports Statistics and Updates

Here are some still relevant sessions from the 2016 AQUATICS WORKSHOP

1. New and Creative Aquatics Programs and Best Practices From Councils

2.  New Cub Scout Aquatics Program and Requirements      

3. Important American Red Cross/BSA Agreements and Programs 

4. Health and Safety Moments and Incident Reporting

5. A Great Eagle Scout “Loaner Lifejacket” Project

6. List of Aquatics Merit Badge Review Dates and Lead Subject Matter Experts

7. Moving Water Promo Video