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Webelos Aquanaut Adventure for 2024

This for the 2024 program year Cub Scout updates. This new program takes effect on June 1, 2024. See more details about the overall program updates here.

The Webelos Aquanaut Adventure helps young Scouts develop important skills and confidence in the water. In this adventure, Webelos learn basic swimming techniques and safety procedures. They also understand how to respond in water-related emergencies. This experience is key to making them feel more comfortable and capable around water.

Webelos Aquanaut Pin

Safety is a major focus of the Aquanaut Adventure. The Scouts are taught how to prepare for a swim, including understanding safety rules and the right way to help someone in trouble without putting themselves at risk. These are valuable lessons that extend beyond swimming and can help them in many areas of life.

Through this Aquanaut adventure, Webelos work on their personal fitness. Swimming is a great exercise for building strength and endurance. By trying to tread water and taking the BSA swimmer test, they challenge themselves and improve their fitness levels. These activities encourage a healthy lifestyle and show the benefits of staying active.

Finally, the Aquanaut Adventure emphasizes teamwork and cooperation through the Buddy System. This system teaches Scouts to look out for each other, promoting responsibility and mutual care. These are core values in scouting that help build strong, supportive community ties. The adventure not only enhances their swimming skills but also reinforces the importance of working together and supporting one another.

Requirements for the Webelos Aquanaut Adventure

Webelos Aquanaut Adventure Requirements

This Adventure may be earned by completing the requirements below OR passing the BSA Swimmer Test OR taking swimming lessons from a qualified instructor.

  1. State the safety precautions you need to take before doing any swimming  activity.  
  2. Explain the meaning of “order of rescue” and demonstrate the reach and throw rescue techniques from land.
  3. Learn how to prevent hypothermia.
  4. Attempt to tread water.
  5. Attempt the BSA swimmer test.
  6. Have 30 minutes, or more, of free swim time where you practice the Buddy System and stay within your ability group.  The qualified adult supervision should conduct at least three buddy checks per half hour swimming.  

Resources for the Webelos Aquanaut Adventure

Safety Resources

Before any activity, check the SAFE Checklist to make sure everyone is safe. Everyone involved in Scouting America activities should know the Guide to Safe Scouting and other relevant guides or books. Also follow any state or local rules that are more strict than Scouting America rules and guidelines.

Swimming Safety

Every swimming activity must have an adult supervisor who is at least 21 years old. This person should understand and accept the responsibility for the safety of those they are watching. They must also be trained in the BSA Safe Swim Defense’s eight points.

Before starting:

  • Finish the 26-minute Safe Swim Defense training.
  • Make sure there are enough adult rescuers to have one rescuer for every 10 Cub Scouts.
  • Get buddy tags for everyone going into the water, both kids and adults.

During the Aquanaut Adventure:

  • Explain the Safe Swim Defense points before starting the activity.
  • Keep giving careful and constant adult supervision and maintain order.
  • If swimming outside, make sure all Cub Scouts put on sunscreen.

Swimming Safety

Before jumping into any swimming activity, it’s crucial for Webelos to learn about safety. This helps them enjoy swimming while staying safe. They should always swim in designated areas supervised by adults who know how to swim and can perform rescues. They should understand the importance of having a swimming buddy and not swimming alone. Knowing these safety rules not only keeps them safe but also teaches them responsibility.

  • Safety Skits: Have the Scouts act out different swimming scenarios in small groups. They can show right and wrong ways to behave at a pool or lake.
  • Safety Rules Relay: Set up a relay race where Scouts must complete a task and then recite a safety rule before tagging the next person.
  • Spot the Danger: Use pictures or set up scenarios around your meeting area where something is unsafe (like a pool without a fence). Scouts need to identify and explain the danger.
  • Buddy Check Tag: Incorporate the buddy system into a game of tag, where Scouts can only run if they are in pairs, emphasizing the need to stick with a buddy.

By turning learning into play, Webelos will better remember these important safety tips and have fun at the same time.

Water Rescue Techniques

In the Webelos Aquanaut Adventure, it’s crucial to teach Scouts how to respond if someone is in trouble in the water. The “order of rescue” is a series of steps they should follow to help safely.

  1. First, they should try to reach the person with something like a stick or a towel.
  2. If that’s not possible, they should throw something that floats to the person. This method ensures the rescuer stays safe while helping others.

Read more about water rescue techniques.

  • Rescue Relay: Set up a relay where each Scout must use a rope or pole to reach a target on the ground, simulating the reach technique. After “rescuing” the target, they run back and pass the rope or pole to the next team member.
  • Throw Bag Toss: Practice throwing a life-saving ring or a bag filled with something light. Mark a target area where Scouts should aim to land the throw, helping them learn to judge distance and strength needed.
  • Rescue Race: In teams, Scouts use different objects to perform a reach and throw rescue on a pretend victim. They can use items like pool noodles, throw bags, or ropes. The first team to successfully “rescue” their target wins.
  • Safe Rescue Skit: Scouts create skits showing the right and wrong ways to perform reach and throw rescues. This reinforces the learning and gives them a chance to correct mistakes in a controlled environment.

These activities for the Aquanaut adventure make learning about water rescue techniques fun and interactive, ensuring Scouts remember these important skills.

Hypothermia Prevention and Treatment

Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing the body temperature to drop dangerously low. It can happen in cold water, so it’s important for Webelos to know how to prevent and treat it.

Prevention includes wearing the right clothing like wetsuits or thermal layers and staying dry. If hypothermia does occur, treatment involves gently warming the person and getting them to a warmer place.

Read more about the prevention and treatment of hypothermia.

Learning to Tread Water

Treading water is a basic swimming skill that allows you to stay in one place in the water without swimming in any direction. It’s an essential survival skill, helping you conserve energy and stay afloat if you need to rest or look around.

To tread water effectively, you kick your legs in a scissor, flutter, or rotary motion while moving your arms in a horizontal back-and-forth or circular motion. This keeps your head above water and gives you stability.

  • Tread and Pass: While treading water, Scouts pass a water ball or another floating object among them without letting it sink or moving from their spot.

This Aquanaut activity enhances the Scouts’ ability to tread water and also adds an element of fun and challenge to their learning process.

Attempting the Swimmer Test

The swimmer test is designed to assess a Scout’s swimming ability and comfort in the water. It is an important test that helps ensure safety during aquatic activities.

The test involves three main parts:

  1. Jumping into water over the head in depth, then swimming 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more recognized strokes (such as the front crawl, breaststroke, or sidestroke).
  2. Swimming 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke.
  3. The swimmer must then float on their back for one minute.

Completing this test moves a Scout from beginner to swimmer status, allowing them to participate in more challenging and deeper water activities.

  1. Floating Fun: Have a floating contest where Scouts try to maintain their back float for as long as possible. This not only practices the skill but does so in a fun, competitive way.
  2. Swim Tag: Play a game of tag in the shallow end of the pool where Scouts can only use the strokes from the swim test. This helps improve their endurance and technique in a playful setting.

By integrating these fun and engaging activities into the Aquanaut adventure, Webelos will be better prepared and more confident in attempting the BSA swimmer test.

Practicing the Buddy System

In the Webelos Aquanaut Adventure, Requirement 6 focuses on practicing safe swimming habits, especially using the Buddy System. This system pairs Scouts together to keep an eye on each other while swimming, ensuring no one is left unattended.

The requirement includes 30 minutes or more of free swim time, where they must stay within their skill levels and participate in buddy checks conducted by an adult supervisor three times per half hour. This practice helps ensure all Scouts are safe and accounted for during swimming activities.

  • Buddy Swim Races: Organize races where buddies hold hands or a pool noodle between them and must swim together from one side of the pool to the other. This promotes teamwork and staying together.
  • Buddy Check Scavenger Hunt: Scatter waterproof items around the pool. Buddies must work together to collect them and bring them back to the starting point. During the activity, conduct buddy checks to ensure everyone is safe.
  • Sync or Swim: Buddies choose a swimming stroke and try to synchronize their movements as closely as possible. This game encourages communication and coordination.

These activities for the Aquanaut adventure keep the focus on safety and cooperation, making the Buddy System an integral part of the swimming experience and enhancing the Scouts’ ability to look out for one another.

Safe Swim Defense: Safe Swim Defense provides the steps which a BSA unit must take to safely participate in an activity which involves swimming.

BSA Swim Test: The BSA swim test is used to determine ability level so that participants can swim in an area which is appropriate for them.

Water Rescue Methods: Water rescue methods are methods used to rescue someone who is in trouble in the water.

Sharks and Minnows: Here is a game to go with this adventure.

SCOUT Water Safety Chant: This helps Scouts learn the rules for safe aquatics activities.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Webelos Aquanaut Adventure

What do Webelos learn in the Aquanaut Adventure?

Webelos learn how to swim safely, help others in the water, and stay fit.

What is the ‘order of rescue’ they need to learn?

The ‘order of rescue’ means trying to help someone in trouble in the water without entering the water first. They learn to use reach or throw methods from the shore.

How do Webelos practice treading water for the Aquanaut adventure?

They practice staying in one spot in the water, using their arms and legs to keep their head above water.

What is the BSA swimmer test?

The BSA swimmer test checks if a Scout can swim 75 yards using approved strokes, swim 25 yards using a resting backstroke, and float on their back for one minute.

Why do we use the Buddy System in swimming?

The Buddy System pairs up Scouts to keep an eye on each other. It makes sure everyone is safe and helps in case of emergencies.

What should a Webelos do if they are not confident in swimming?

They should start with basic swimming skills and gradually build up. Always swim where a lifeguard or an adult can see them.

How many buddy checks are needed during the swim time?

At least three buddy checks are needed every half hour of swimming.

Can non-swimmers participate in Aquanaut activities?

Yes, non-swimmers can learn and participate in activities that suit their swimming level and help them improve.

Dive Right In

The Webelos Aquanaut Adventure is a fun and educational experience designed to teach young Scouts important swimming and safety skills. This adventure focuses on helping Webelos feel comfortable and safe around water. They learn various swimming strokes, safety rules, and rescue techniques.

Firstly, the adventure teaches them to recognize and follow safe swimming practices, ensuring they know what to do before they even get into the water. They discuss the importance of the buddy system, which helps them look out for one another and understand team responsibility.

Next, they explore the “order of rescue” methods, learning how to help someone in trouble without endangering themselves. They practice these rescue techniques on land first, which prepares them for real-life situations. They also learn how to prevent and treat hypothermia, a critical skill for any water activity.

In addition, Webelos attempt the BSA swimmer test, challenging themselves to master different swimming strokes and demonstrate their ability to float and tread water. This test boosts their confidence and swimming capability.

Overall, the Webelos Aquanaut Adventure is not only about swimming—it’s about building fitness, learning teamwork, and developing lifesaving skills that will stay with them for life.


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