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Swimming Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

BSA has created updated versions of the Troop Program features for Scouts BSA. The Swimming program feature is available in digital format on the BSA website or can be purchased as a publication from you local Scout Shop.

Main Ideas

This program feature helps Scouts learn how to safely enjoy fun and physical activity in the water. Scouts also need to know how to swim to enjoy other aquatics activities such as boating and paddling. The program feature includes some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings:

  • Safe Swim Defense
  • The importance of the buddy system
  • The Guide to Safe Scouting
  • Swimming strokes

Troop Meetings

Suggested troop meeting ideas are grouped by essential, challenging, or advanced. Here are a few you can see in the guide.

  • Review how an aquatics area complies with Safe Swim Defense (essential)
  • Sketch an ideal aquatics area (challenging)
  • Discuss life-guarding and practice rescue techniques (advanced)
  • Take the beginner swim skill test (essential and challenging)
  • Explain how buddy check works (essential and challenging)
  • Demonstrate line rescue as a tender and a rescuer (advanced)
  • Learn about stroke techniques for elementary backstroke, sidestroke, and front crawl (essential)
  • Practice floating (essential)
  • Swim 150 yards (challenging)
  • Teach the trudgen and the back crawl (advanced)
  • Learn about line rescues and floating (essential)
  • Practice reach and throw rescues (challenging)
  • Practice clothing inflation for staying afloat in a survival situation (advanced)

Games and More

There are also several games suggested to keep things interesting at your troop meetings.

  • Name that Safe Swim Element
  • Marco Polo
  • T-Shirt or Life Jacket Relay
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Underwater Swimming Event
  • Pool Races
  • Noodle Race

The plan even provides Scoutmaster’s minutes and ceremonies for meetings.

Troop Swimming Outing

Then there is the “Main Event”. Once again, there are suggestions for essential, challenging, or advanced. Details and planning aids can be found in the online guide.

  • Take a day trip to a swimming pool or water park (essential)
  • Have an overnight campout which features aquatics activities (challenging)
  • Hold a aquatics Olympics weekend with camping and swimming competitions (advanced)

Find some related helps and achievements for this troop program feature below.

Piranha Ball

This is another fun game to play in the water, especially for swimmers of varying skill levels.

Here are some merit badges and other awards which can be earned while doing this program feature:


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