Safety Afloat

Safety Afloat

The troop is going canoeing on Nims Lake at S-F Scout Ranch in a little over a week, so one of the scouts lead a Safety Afloat seminar at the last meeting.

Safety Afloat is the list of rules for boating activities laid out in the Guide to Safe Scouting. For a boating activity to be an official BSA activity, those guidelines must be followed. A good practice is to present the Saftey Afloat guidelines at a meeting before the activity. Then present them again at the waterfront before embarking on the boating outing. A handout can help scouts when presenting this information, since the complete rules in the Guide to Safe Scouting are very long.

Printable copy of  Safety Afloat Presentation

Boy Scouts must understand Safety Afloat rules to fulfill

  • First Class requirement 9a: Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
  • Canoeing merit badge requirement 4: Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to canoeing activities.
  • Motorboating merit badge requirement 4d: Promise that you will follow BSA Safety Afloat guidelines. Explain the meaning of each point.
  • Rowing merit badge requirement 4: Review and discuss Safety Afloat and demonstrate the proper fit and use of personal flotation devices (PFDs).
  • Small Boat Sailing merit badge requirement 4a: Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.
  • Water Sports merit badge requirement 4a: Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to Water Sports.
  • Whitewater merit badge requirement 2a: Review and compare BSA Safety Afloat and the American Whitewater safety guidelines and demonstrate your understanding of these principles by answering questions from your counselor.

Cub Scout leaders should be aware that Cub Scouts can only participate in boating activities at council or district events. There is a list of age-appropriate guidelines in the Guide to Safe Scouting if you are not sure what your Cub Scouts are allowed to do.

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