Go Swimming

Have fun in the water

Swimming is a great physical activity that may produce Aquaman like powers such as breathing underwater and talking to fish!

Who Can Participate?

All youth in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing as well as adults are eligible to participate in swimming activities if they've passed one of the following BSA swim classification tests.

BSA Swim Classification Test

All participants are designated as swimmers, beginners, or non-swimmers based results from the standardized BSA swim classification tests. Each swim group (Swimmer, Beginner, and Nonswimmer) is assigned a specific swim area with depths matching those abilities. The classification tests should be renewed early in the season each year.

  • Swimmers pass this test:Jump feet-first into water deep enough to go over your head. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy resting stroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating. The designated swimmer area may be up to 12 feet in depth in clear water and should be defined by floats or other markers.
  • Beginners pass this test: Jump feet-first into water over the head in depth, level off, and swim 25 feet on the surface. Stop, turn sharply, resume swimming and return to the start place. The designated beginner area must be enclosed by physical boundaries and should contain water of standing depths but may extend to depths just over the head.
  • Nonswimmers: For those that are unable to pass the beginners swim test, the designated area will be no more than waist deep and should be enclosed by boundaries such as a shore, a pier, or lines.

Swimming Safety

At least one adult leader that is 21 or over must supervise the activity and be trained in BSA Safe Swim Defense (an online training that takes about 1 hour to complete) with another adult to provide two-deep leadership that's required for all Scouting activities.

Each participant must complete the BSA swim classification test within the past year.

Where To Go Swimming

An official council summer camp is the perfect place to go swimming. Trained staff supervise, allowing adult volunteers to swim too, with trained lifeguards present.

Local swimming pools are a good place to have swimming activities because of the controlled environment with lifeguards on duty.

If you plan to swim at an unsupervised (no lifeguard on duty) location, then BSA Safe Swim Defense training and principles must be followed.

Go Swimming