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.
Use this information as a supplement to a Safety Afloat seminar. See the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting for the complete list of rules for Safety Afloat.
- Supervisor must be age 21 or older
- Supervisor must understand and knowingly accepts responsibility for the well-being and safety of those in his or her care
- Supervisor must be trained in and committed to compliance with the nine points of BSA Safety Afloat.
- Supervisor must be skilled in the safe operation of the craft for the specific activity, knowledgeable in accident prevention, and prepared for emergency situations.
Personal Health Review
- Each scout and adult should present a health history form
- Forms should be reviewed by the supervisor and any potential risks must be addressed.
- You must be classified as a “swimmer” (by passing the BSA swimmer test) to participate in boating activities.
- If you are not a swimmer, you may ride in a rowboat or motorboat with an adult who is classified as a swimmer or you may ride in a canoe, raft, or sailboat with an adult certified as a lifeguard or lifesaver.
- You must wear a PFD (personal flotation device) when participating in boating activities.
- You must have a buddy.
- Every boat must have a “buddy boat”.
- You must know how to handle your boat and be familiar with safety and emergency procedures.
- Plan ahead. Develop a float plan with your schedule and itinerary.
- Include contingency plans in case conditions change.
- Be aware of the weather.
- Know the local regulations.
- Share your float plan with parents and local authorities.
- Your equipment must be in good repair
- Your equipment must be appropriate for the type of craft and the water conditions.
- Equipment must be appropriate for the people using it.
- Rules are not meant to be broken.
- Scouts must follow the directions of the supervisor.
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