Eight Point Safe Swim
The first thing that
should be learned before doing any water activity is the Safe Swim Defense
Plan. There are eight factors involved:
SUPERVISION: A responsible adult in complete charge and has water safety
FITNESS: Every boy should have a physical examination each year.
3. SAFE AREA:
Marked-off swimming area. Not more than 3 1/2 feet deep for non-swimmers;
shallow water to just overhead depth for beginning swimmers; and water not
over 12 feet for swimmers. The total swimming area should be checked out for
any dangerous objects hidden in the water (glass, cans, deep spots in shallow
areas, rocks in diving areas, etc.)
4. LIFEGUARDS ON
DUTY: Two who are capable swimmers stationed ashore with lifelines such as
100 feet of No. 5 sash cord).
Someone who can see all swimmers from shore.
GROUPS: Divide Scouts into learners (non-swimmers), beginners, and
swimmers. Make sure each group stays in its area.
7. BUDDY PLAN:
Pair every boy with a buddy in his own ability group. Make sure each buddy
understands that he is to be on constant lookout for his buddy and vice-versa,
and that they are to stay near each other at all times. Buddies join and
raise hands together every time they hear the call "buddies." They check in
and out of the water together.
8. DISCIPLINE: Be strict but
fair. Play no favorites. All Scouts and parents must understand the need for
obedience to the instructions of swim leaders.
Aquanaut Hints from Circle 10 Council
As a general rule,
every boy likes water as long as it isn’t in a bathtub. Swimming is one of
the best sports that a boy can be involved in. It is one of the few sports in
which every muscle in our body is exercised. This activity badge is designed
to get a boy well-grounded in basic water safety procedures and help him learn
to swim. Through learning to swim, each boy will gain a sense of
self-achievement, as well as gaining a life saving skill.
Make a sincere effort
to be trained in the BSA “Safety Afloat” program. Information can be found in
the Cub Scout Leader book. If that is not possible, try to find someone who
is trained to attend the Webelos meetings to cover this badge. Possible
places to swim include city park recreation departments, Camp Wisdom pool, or
a pool at a family residence. Remember to provide lifeguards. Get permission
slips for the outings and file a tour permit.
Each Scout needs to
know and understand about the buddy system. Sometimes it helps to let them
know that when they become Boy Scouts the buddy system it still required at
the council camps, and that if the big boys do it, it is important for them to
prepare and follow that instruction.
It is also wise for
them to know that to save someone they do not need to jump in. Reach, Throw,
Go can be followed. It is discussed below. Boating can be taught at a regular
den meeting instead of at a pool or other water facility. Try to have more
than one type of personal flotation device, PFD, for them to see. They need
to know that different PFDs can help different sized people, and to know which
is best for their respective sizes.
Pack Pool Party
A fun idea for a pack
meeting is to place the boys’ awards in zip lock bags, you may want to double
them with something to weight the bag down, toss the award into the pool and
have the boys dive in to retrieve his award. Other ideas can include adding
floating items to the water that the boys need to retrieve, such as throwing
in plastic-sealed frozen Popsicles, or an oiled watermelon, which can make
Inner Tube Strength
Inner tubes are great
muscle-builders. It’s possible to get used bike tubes; try them for these
Cut the tube’s circle
in half, and then loop it behind your hips, gripping the loose ends with both
hands. Keep your elbows at your sides and stretch the tube forward as far as
you can. You should do this eight to ten times.
If you have two bike
tubes, loop both of them around as upright pole, then lie face down and slip
each foot through the loops of rubber. Pull against the tube, one leg at a
time, with tubes resting just around the heels. A-half dozen tries at this
exercise will do as a start. You can increase the number of “pulls” after a
Some boys may not be
able to swim yet. Floating exercises can help overcome fear or unfamiliarity
Turtle Float -
In waist-deep water, take a deep breath. Reach down and wrap arms around
knees. Hold the knees. Your body will bob to the surface and float.
Float - In waist-deep water, take a deep breath, reach down and grab
ankles. Hold ankles. Your body will bob to the surface and float.
- After doing the turtle float, extend arms and legs. The next step is to add
a swimming kick to move through the water!
The following are some good beginner's games: Catching ball in shallow water,
Passing water ball while standing in water, Tunnel ball--passing ball back and
between the legs, Cat and Mouse (cat outside circle), mouse inside, Spoon and
Ping-Pong ball relay, Kickboard race for 10 to 25 yards, Relay race in shallow
water. Have a swimming game of “Horse” for the swimmers. Leader calls
out a stunt. Swimmers performing it remain in the game -- others are
Examples: Swim with one arm out of water (sidestroke), Swim on back with both
arms out, Duck dive (surface dive), Log roll (arms and feet extended, roll the
body), Front somersault, Pendulum float.
Aquanaut Hints from Crossroads of America
This activity badge involves water fun. Some boys may be
good swimmers, but others may need considerable help. Encourage them to
practice anytime. Start with a fun water game. Play the games suggested or
ones your boys may think of. Observe the boys carefully and determine who may
need help and encouragement to be better swimmers.
If you have non-swimmers, find a certified instructor to
teach them. See "Cub Scout Water Fun, No. 3220, for instruction ideas and
steps. Have this person instruct and demonstrate safety rules and rescue
methods. Have boy’s practice towing a buddy with a pole and throwing a rope
and towing a buddy after he has grabbed the rope. Have boys practice methods
and procedures. Give each boy a chance to practice.
If the boy learns to swim, teach them boating
fundamentals, he will have completed two individual sports that are required
for the Sportsman badge. But he must be able to know the rules, know the
equipment and demonstrate to a reasonable degree that he can do this. Do not
expect perfection, if you know your boys, you can know if they are doing their
Crossroads of America
Make a simple buddy board and have buddy tags for all the boys.
Insist that they are used each time they go swimming; each boy is responsible
for his buddy.
Take your den swimming and classify the boys according to
swimming ability. See how many can pass the 100-foot requirements.
After your boys are
classified, play some water games and observe the boys carefully. Determine
which ones need help and encourage them to become better aquanauts. If you
have no non-swimmers, get another father to help you.
Have someone demonstrate the use of mask, tins, and snorkel.
Have boys take turns using the equipment, or have them use their own. Start
off with fins and show them the difference in speed with and without them.
Have the boys practice seeing in the water with the masks and learning how to
Next, the boys try the snorkel in shallow water (learning to
breathe) before venturing out where the water is deeper.
Have the boys learn the basic rescue methods. Have them practice
a reaching rescue with a shirt, pole, or by throwing a rope, ring buoy or
If a rowboat is available, have boat safety methods and rowing
techniques demonstrated by an expert. Give the boys a chance to practice
Explain how to set up a safe swim area and then have the boys
set one up.
Have someone tell the boys about "How to Help Yourself if in an
The three basic rules: don't panic, think and save your
strength. Explain what you do in case of cramps, currents, undertows, under
water obstructions and how to use clothing for flotation.
Today, swimming and
water safety go hand in hand and it is important that all Webelos Scouts can
swim but are water safety conscious. Being at home in water is self-defense
against water tragedies. With more pools being built each year and with
easier access to swimming areas, boys need this skill!
requirements are simple and are the most important of all Webelos requirements
as lives depends on them. Swimming is one of the skills that once learned,
lasts a lifetime and provides excellent exercise. Read the pages on this
activity in the Webelos Scout Book, and then get your boys into the water. The
Aquanaut badge is designed for good swimmers. Before attempting to do any
games for this badge, it is important to not that all Cubs should be aware of
all safety rules regarding swimming and boating. They should swim in a
well-supervised area with permission from their parents.
One of the main
points of this badge is to teach safety rules. These rules will be found at
every Scout waterfront. The rules may not particularly impress a Webelos
Scout this year at the neighborhood pool where he swims daily, but next year
at summer camp, their value will become apparent to him.
Rules For A Safe Swim
Crossroads of America
Secure adequate(safe) facilities.
Use the Buddy system.
use ability groups. Have qualified instructor for the learners.
Maintain good discipline, follow rules.
Ensure all are physically able
Have a qualified adult in charge
Safe Swim Spots
Crossroads of America
The best place to
swim is one that has qualified lifeguards. If there is "no" supervision,
always make sure you go with a buddy, never alone.
It's pretty creepy to swim through
weeds as they can get tangled in your legs and cause trouble. If you get
trapped, don't struggle...take it easy with slow movements to free yourself.
After Dark -
Don't do it, ever!
Sometimes you run into these in
rivers. It's best to stay away though. If you are caught, don't swim against
it, swim the flow and diagonally until you reach the shore.
Crossroads of America
For each statement, circle the correct answer, Do
DO DON'T 1. Show off in the water.
DO DON'T 2. Dive into strange or shallow
DO DON'T 3. Go in swimming right after
DO DON'T 4. Have your family physician tell
you of any problems found in your fitness checkup.
Crossroads of America
Divide group into two teams. Station one boy from each
team on the shore. Give him a bath towel. The other team members stand in
shoulder-deep water, facing the shore. On signal, the boy on shore runs into
the water, heaves an end of the towel to first teammate, and pulls him to
shore. Boy just rescued jump back into water and rescues next boy, etc.
Crossroads of America
Assign a small area of the poolside to each player.
Scatter a dozen or more small corks or blocks of wood on the water close to
the far side of the pool. On signal, each player dives into the pool and
brings back corks one at a time and places them in his assigned area. The
player who I retrieves the most corks wins.
Bobbing For Apples
Crossroads of America
Surely you have tried
this at Halloween...but it's much more fun in the swimming pool. The only
change in the rules is that the boy must grab onto the apple from underneath
Frog In The Sea
Crossroads of America
This is a ideal pack game that can be played in a yard or
in shallow water. Players form a circle around five 'frogs' who sit with
their feet crossed. The players in a circle skip (if on land) or walk (if in
the water) close to the frogs and try to tap them on the head as they repeat
the words, "Frog in the sea, can't catch me". The frogs try to tag the
players without rising or uncrossing their feet. If a player is tagged, he
changes places with the frog.
Shallow-Water Scavenger Hunt
Crossroads of America
Place a number of objects (all different) in shallow
water and then line up the boys on the water's edge. Call out a specific
object that is in the water ... flat stone, golf ball, piece of brick, etc.
The boys then go into the water to try to find that object and return it to
was printed in Baloo last June but I felt it was worth repeating)
CPSC Warns: Pools Are Not the Only Drowning Danger at
Home for Kids
Data Show Other Hazards Cause More than 100 Residential Child Drowning Deaths
May 23, 2002
Release # 02-169
CPSC Media Contact: Mark Ross
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1188
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Young children are irresistibly drawn to water, and
tragically, about 350 children under age 5 drown in swimming pools each year.
But even if you don't have a pool, your young children may not be safe from
drowning. At next month's World Congress on Drowning, the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will present data showing that about
one-third as many children (an average of about 115 annually) drown from other
hazards around the home as do in pools. CPSC has received reports of 459
young children who drowned in bathtubs, buckets, toilets, spas, hot tubs and
other containers of water in a 4-year period between 1996 and 1999.
"While many of us are aware of the dangers a backyard
pool poses to young children, not everyone knows about other drowning hazards
around the home," said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. "CPSC is alerting
parents and caregivers to drowning hazards that might not be so obvious, to
help prevent these devastating losses."
Children drowning in bathtubs account for about two-thirds of the 459 reported
drowning deaths in the home. The majority of these bathtub deaths occur when
the caregiver is not present. In the time it takes to step out of the room to
get a towel or answer the phone, a young child can drown. In at least 29 of
the 292 bathtub drowning deaths reported to CPSC between 1996 and 1999, the
victims were using bath seats.
Many parents and caregivers may not realize the danger buckets pose. From 1996
through 1999, CPSC received reports of 58 children under age 5 who drowned in
5-gallon buckets. Even a small amount of liquid can be deadly. Of all
buckets, the 5-gallon size presents the greatest hazard to young children
because of its tall, straight sides. That, combined with the stability of
these buckets, makes it nearly impossible for top-heavy infants and toddlers
to free themselves when they fall into the bucket headfirst.
Toilets can be overlooked as a drowning hazard in the home. The typical
scenario involves a child under 3-years-old falling headfirst into the
toilet. CPSC has received reports of 16 children under age 5 who drowned in
toilets between 1996 and 1999.
Spas and Hot Tubs
Spas and hot tubs, typically located near or sometimes inside the home, pose
another hazard to young children. CPSC is aware of 55 children under age 5 who
drowned in spas and hot tubs between 1996 and 1999.
Though not as frequently involved in deaths, other products around the home
containing water can be drowning hazards. The most common of these are buckets
with a capacity different than the 5-gallon size. Additional drowning deaths
have also involved landscape ponds, sinks, and fish tanks, among other
CPSC offers these tips to help prevent young children from drowning:
- Never leave a baby alone in a bathtub for even a
second. Always keep the baby in arm's reach. Don't leave a baby in the care
of another young child. Never leave to answer the phone, answer the door,
to get a towel or for any other reason. If you must leave, take the baby
- A baby bath seat is not a substitute for supervision.
A bath seat is a bathing aid, not a safety device. Babies have slipped or
climb out of bath seats and drowned.
- Never use a baby bath seat in a non-skid,
slip-resistant bathtub because the suction cups will not adhere to the
bathtub surface or can detach unexpectedly.
- Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of
liquid unattended. When finished using a bucket, always empty it
- Store buckets where young children cannot reach them.
Buckets, accessible to children, that are left outside to collect rainwater
are a hazard.
- Always secure safety covers and barriers to prevent
children from gaining access to spas or hot tubs when not in use. Some
non-rigid covers, such as solar covers, can allow a small child to slip in
the water and the cover would appear to still be in place.
- Keep the toilet lid down to prevent access to the
water and consider using a toilet clip to stop young children from opening
the lids. Consider placing a latch on the bathroom door out of reach of
- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) -- it can be
a lifesaver when seconds count.
Consumers with residential pools need to be aware of all the safety tips
regarding in-home hazards, and also be aware of how to protect young children
from the dangers a pool poses.
The key to preventing a swimming pool tragedy is to have layers of
protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent
access, using door and pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being
prepared in case of an emergency. CPSC offers these tips to prevent pool
- Fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and
installed completely around the pool. Fence gates should open outward from
the pool and should be self-closing and self- latching. The latch should be
out of a small child's reach.
- If your house forms one side of the barrier to the
pool, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with
alarms that produce a sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.
- A power safety cover -- a motor-powered barrier that
can be placed over the water area -- can be used when the pool is not in
- Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a phone
is poolside with emergency numbers posted.
- For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool
should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.
- If a child is missing, always look in the pool first.
Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Pool alarms can be used as an added precaution.
CPSC offers free publications consumers can use to help prevent child
drowning: "Safety Barrier Guidelines for Pools," "How to Plan for the
Unexpected," "Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas
Safer," and "Prevent Child In-Home Drowning Deaths." Copies of these
publications can be obtained here on CPSC's website, or by writing to
"Prevent Drowning," CPSC, Washington, D.C., 20207.
To establish a link from your web site to this press release on CPSC's web
site, link to the following address: