Boy Scouts of America
These aquatic courses help boys of varied scout levels make progress toward their merit badges. Scouts must present their BSA merit badge completion cards for the instructor/counselor to sign. Each program is scheduled for 90 minutes and takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the number of participants. Programs include up to 30 minutes of recreational swim time following completion of the course material by all participants. Pool size and depth requirements listed after each course description.
$250 per course
Minimum 6 participants; maximum 10 participants
One instructor, one lifeguard, and all necessary program and lifesaving equipment provided
$25 per each additional participant
Maximum 20 participants per course
NOTE: Backyard Lifeguards aims for a teaching ratio of 1 instructor to every 6-10 participants. Additional instructors provided as needed based on the size of the group and age of participants. Course fees include a non-teaching lifeguard stationed on the pool deck, required by the Boy Scouts of America organization.
Tiger (Grade 1) and Wolf (Grade 2)
Fun in the Water/Basic Swim Skills
While practicing toward the goal of continuously swimming 25 feet and treading water for 15 seconds, scouts will enjoy games and activities that promote leadership, teamwork, and safe decision-making in and around the water. Topics include personal water safety and basic rescue skills. Pool must be at least 30 feet long and have an area at least five feet deep.
Bear (Grade 3)
Elective 19: Swimming
Scouts will complete the requirements of this badge, which includes jumping and diving into deep water, swimming on the front and back, and floating. Other topics to be discussed and practiced include rules of basic swimming, the buddy system, and ways to respond to a water accident. Pool must be at least 30 feet long and have an area between six and nine feet deep.
Webelos (Grades 4 & 5)
Scouts will jump, float, and swim (on front and back) independently and while wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). Safety skills include survival floating, surface dives, and reaching and throwing rescues. All scouts will have an opportunity to attempt the BSA “Swimmer” test. Pool must be at least 30 feet long and have an area between six and nine feet deep.
Requirement 7: Basic Water Safety
Scouts will discuss safe swimming and jump feet-first into water deeper than their height, swim 25 feet on the surface, turn sharply and resume swimming back to the starting place. Then they will practice water rescue methods including reaching and throwing assists from the deck. Pool must be at least 30 feet long and have an area at least five feet deep..
Swimming Merit Badge
Each of the following merit badge requirements is conducted as a separate course.
Requirement 4: Survival Skills
After jumping feet-first into deep water wearing clothes (swim trunks, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, belt, socks, and shoes), scouts will learn to remove shoes and socks, inflate the shirt and pants, and float using the shirt and pants for support. Pool must have an area between six and nine feet deep.
Requirement 6: Lifejacket Skills
Scouts will float face-up in a resting position for at least one minute and survival float for five minutes. Then, while wearing a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD), they will demonstrate the H.E.L.P. and huddle positions and explain their purposes as they relate to water safety and preventing hypothermia.
Requirement 7: Deep-Water Skills
Through a variety of games and activities, scouts will practice underwater swimming and learn the feet-first and head-first methods of surface diving to bring an object up from the bottom. Pool must have an area between six and nine feet deep.
Lifesaving Merit Badge
Each of the following merit badge requirement combinations is conducted as a separate course.
Requirements 3, 4 & 6: Reaching and Throwing Assists
Scouts will identify items for use in a non-contact rescue. They will practice reaching rescues using various items such as arms, legs, towels, shirts, paddles, and poles, followed by throwing rescues using lines, ring buoys, and free-floating supports. They must place at least one such aid within reach of a practice victim 25 feet away. Pool must be at least 30 feet long.
Requirements 7 & 8: Rescues with Equipment
Scouts will practice equipment-based rescues for a conscious practice subject 30 feet away using a proper entry, strong approach stroke, and rescue tube or buoyant rescue aid, while providing instructions and encouragement to the victim. Scouts will also explain and demonstrate removing street clothes in 20 seconds or less and using a non-buoyant aid, such as a shirt or towel, to tow the subject to safety. Pool must be at least 40 feet long.
Requirements 9 & 10: Rescues and Escapes without Equipment
Scouts will practice rescues for a conscious practice subject 30 feet away without equipment, using only instructions and encouragement to provide assistance. They will learn to perform an armpit tow and cross-chest carry to bring a victim to safety, and learn to escape a victim’s grasp on their wrist and head. Pool must be at least 30 feet long and have an area between six and nine feet deep.
Requirements 11, 12 & 14: Unconscious, Submerged, and Immobile Victims
Scouts must recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using feet-first and head-first surface dives, then demonstrate rescue techniques for an unconscious practice subject and removing that subject from the water. Scouts will learn to identify the signs and symptoms of a spinal injury, support a face-up victim in shallow water, and turn a subject who is face-down to a face-up position while maintaining support. Pool must be at least 30 feet long with an area between eight and ten feet deep.