To complete the requirements for the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment, a Scout or Venturer must be a proficient swimmer, have some lifesaving skills, complete the mile swim, and spend some time enjoying aquatics adventures such as swimming, paddling, fishing, or scuba diving.
The National Outdoor Awards recognize young men and women in Scouts BSA and Venturing who go beyond in their quest to enjoy the outdoors. There is a center emblem which is presented with the first award and then a segment for each discipline which is completed. The segments are displayed around the center emblem. Additional devices can be worn if the the Scout or Venturer completes even more aquatics adventures from the National Outdoors Award Aquatics list.
National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment Requirements
A Scout, Sea Scout, or Venturer, may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Aquatics upon successfully completing the following requirements:
- Earn the First Class rank, Sea Scout Apprentice rank, or complete Venturing Ranger Award requirements 1-6.
- Complete the requirements for the Swimming merit badge and either Lifesaving merit badge or Venturing Ranger Lifesaver elective. (For Sea Scouts, swimming merit badge requirements are an Ordinary rank requirement, and lifesaving merit badge requirements are an Able rank requirement).
- Complete the requirements for the Mile Swim BSA Award.
- Complete the requirements for at least one of the following: Canoeing, Fishing, Fly-Fishing, Kayaking, Rowing, Scuba Diving, Small-Boat Sailing, Water Sports, or Whitewater merit badges or Ranger Award Fishing, Scuba or Watercraft electives. Complete at least 25 hours of on-the-water time, applying the skills that you learned in the merit badge or Ranger elective.
- Complete at least 50 hours of any combination of swimming, canoeing, fishing, fly-fishing, kayaking, rowing, scuba, small-boat sailing, stand up paddleboarding, water sports, or whitewater activity under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including time spent in requirements 2 through 4.
A gold device may be earned for each additional 25 hours of aquatics activity listed in requirement 5 of the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment Requirements. A silver device is earned for each additional 100 hours of aquatics activity. The youth may wear any combination of devices totaling his or her current number of hours of aquatics activity.
Related Resources for National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment
Scuba is a fun way to explore the underwater world. Members of Scouts BSA, Venturers, and adult Scouters can earn the Scuba BSA award by learning to dive safely and putting their skills to use. Since scuba is one of the ways to complete requirements for the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment, these two awards go well together.
The Stand Up Paddleboarding Award recognizes Scouts who have developed the skills to safely enjoy the aquatic activity of paddleboarding. You can work on the requirements for this award along with the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment.
The 50 Miler award recognizes young men and women in Scouts BSA and Venturing who hike, paddle, or ride a total of 50 miles over at least 5 consecutive days. The trek must be completed without using motors. So you can to this in conjunction with the requirements for the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment.
Scouts who swim a mile under the supervision of a certified BSA Aquatics Instructor may be presented with the Mile Swim BSA award. The patch is meant to be worn on swim trunks, on the left side. This is earned as requirement 3 for the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment.
The Kayaking BSA Award recognizes Scouts and Venturers who have developed the skills for a safe kayaking experience. So this goes well with the requirements for the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment.