2020 Virtual Aquatics Conference Wrap up

Over 400 Scouters from all four regions attended the first ever Virtual Aquatics Conference.  This Zoom webinar-based conference held seven, 90-minute sessions over the course of four weeks in late September to mid-October. The aim of the conference sessions is to bring the BSA aquatics community up to date with changes and current activities associated with the BSA aquatics program as well as receiving input from the scouting community to the BSA National Aquatics Sub-committee for consideration and future action. By moving to a Zoom webinar offering, we were able to reach a much broader audience than the traditional in-person biennial event.

Door prizes were awarded to live attendees (randomly selected and mailed) and post conference ‘cracker barrels’ were held after each session in four google meet chat rooms.

If you missed the conference, recordings of the conference sessions are available on the Scouting.org Aquatics pages at the following link:

https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/aquatics/2020-national-virtual-aquatics-workshop/

Session topics (also hyperlinked):

Session One

  • Conference Welcome
  • Overview of BSA Aquatics Since 2018This session reviewed and discussed the changes to BSA Aquatics that have occurred in the last two years.
  • Outdoor Program Group UpdateThis session highlights the programs and initiatives from the outdoor program group.
  • American Red Cross UpdateIn this session, Todd St. Clair from the ARC gives some updates on the American Red Cross Programs.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Rae T., Cameron H., Jonathan B., David O., Bill F., and Andrea G. Thank you to the American Red Cross for providing the door prizes.

Session Two

  • BSA Aquatics Activity Awards – An overview of all seven of the Aquatics Awards.
  • Covid-19: Aquatics Best Practices and Lessons Learned, a moderated panel discussionIn this session, panel of four Aquatic and Camp directors shared their best practices and experiences in the Aquatics areas from the 2019 season. Thank you to Chris P. from Camp Mack Morris, Lita C. from Camp K-M, Richard T. from Camp Geronimo, and Phillip W. from Beaumont Scout Reservation for participating in the panel.
  • Florida High Adventure Sea Base – Updates from the Sea Base.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Lita C., Tom B., Aaron V., T.W. Cook, Austin S., and Willie R. Thank you to the Florida High Adventure Sea Base for providing the door prizes.

Session Three

  • Building an Aquatic Staff: A long term processThis session examines the solutions and best practices to alleviate the annual search for an Aquatic Director problem, combatting the national lifeguard shortage, and how to establish continuity in your camps’ aquatic staff.
  • Customer Service in AquaticsThis session discusses the aquatics programs from a customer service perspective. Maintaining the positive staff attitude and maintaining safety.
  • Northern Tier High Adventure – Updates from Northern Tier.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Shane T., Chris M., Robert H., Chris A., James M., and David L. Thank you to the Northern Tier High Adventure for providing the door prizes.

Session Four

  • Whitewater RaftingThis session will review the BSA’s resources and policies on Whitewater Rafting and talk about the Whitewater Rafting Award.
  • American Canoe Association Update – In this session, Robin Pope provides an update on the ACA.
  • The Summit High Adventure Base – Updates from the Summit.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Mark B., David S., Keith M., Alexander G., Shari H., and Laury H. Thank you to the American Canoe Association for providing the door prizes.

Session Five

  • Aquatic Staff Guide – Revision rollout. This session introduces the newly revised Aquatic Staff Guide, a 2019/2020 project of the Aquatics Subcommittee.
  • Effective Aquatic Committee’s, a moderated panel discussionIn this session, a panel of successful Council Aquatic Committee Chairmen share their best practices and lessons learned in developing and maintaining a high functioning Council Aquatic Committee. Thank you to Jay F. from Virginia Headwaters Council, Jane K. from North Florida Council and Mike M. from National Capital Area Council for participating in the panel.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Ruth A., Chris W., Grace P., Bob R., Matt V., Harry E. Thank you to The Summit High Adventure for providing the door prizes.

Session Six

  • Sea Scouts Updates – Kathy Weydig provides an update on the Sea Scouts program and training opportunities.
  • Swimming Instruction and Stroke Mechanics for ScoutsThis session provides an analysis of swimming strokes and uses video to focus on practical techniques for effective swimming stroke assessment.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Jenny P., Connie K., Joe F., Ben C., Mark B., and Alan M. Thank you to the Outdoor Programs Group for providing the door prizes.

Session Seven

  • Key Note Speaker – Al Lambert, Assistant Chief Scout Executive and National Director of Outdoor Adventures joined us on Session 7 to give us an update on a wide range of current scouting topics including Covid-19, Bankruptcy update, High Adventure Bases, Family Adventure Initiative, excitement for the first class of female eagle scouts, getting back to the outdoors, and much more.
  • Congratulations to our door prize winners: Jenna K., William S., David G., Allen H., Susan H., and Joe B. Thank you to the Outdoor Programs Group for providing the door prizes.