Swim Checks

The Boy Scouts of America has the best aquatics safety record of any organization. In accordance with BSA's Safe Swim Defense guidelines, any campers engaging in swimming or boating activities must complete the BSA Swimmer Test each year. Although you may have taken the test on your own earlier in the year, the aquatics staff prefers to test each Scout and adult individually.

Each camper is paired with a certified lifeguard who is the camper's "buddy" during the test. Those who do not pass can still participate in most swimming and boating activities, but with restrictions.

Most of the aquatics classes require first passing the Swimmer Test. Those who do not pass are encouraged to enroll in Learn-To-Swim, period 3 or 4. Anyone, regardless of swimming ability, can still participate in Polar Bear Swim and free swim, and Scouts can re-attempt the Swimmer Test as many times as necessary.

Swimmers pass this test: Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth. 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 backstroke. 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.

Beginners pass this test: Jump feetfirst 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 starting place.

Anyone who has not completed either the beginner or swimmer tests is classified as a learner.

Scoutmasters: If you are unsure whether some of the Scouts in your troop will be able to pass the Swimmer Test, we recommend you take your troop to an aquatics center or pool with an on-duty lifeguard staff to try the test before camp.