BSA Groups shall use Safe Swim Defense for all swimming activities.  Adult leaders supervising a swimming activity must have completed Safe Swim Defense training withing the previous two (2) years.

The full Safe Swim Defense training course is now available online. Click HERE to view it.

Safe Swim Defense standards apply at backyard, hotel, apartment, and public pools; at established waterfront swim areas such as state park beaches and Army Corps of Engineers lakes; and at all temporary swimming areas such as lakes, rivers or oceans.  Safe Swim Defense does not apply to boating or water activities such as waterskiing or swamped boat drills that are covered by Safety Afloat guidelines.  Safe Swim Defense applies to other non-swimming activities whenever participants enter water over knee deep, or when submersion is likely, for example, when fording a stream, seining for bait, or construction a bridge as a pioneering project. 

Safe Swim Defense training may be obtained from the BSA online learning center at www.olc.scouting.org, at council summer camps, and at other council and district training events.  Confirmation of training is required on all Tour Plans for trips that involve swimming.  Additional information on various swimming activities and venues is provided in Aquatics Supervision, No. 34346.


What does this training not include?

Although Safe Swim Defense procedures require leaders to have the skills to effectively supervise a swimming activity and recognize an emergency when it occurs, skill training is not part of the basic Safe Swim Defense online trianing.  However, when you obtain a commitment card at the end of the online training, you are certifying that you have the necessary skills.  These rescue and safety skills for swimming activities can be obtained by attending an Aquatics Supervision: Swimming & Water Rescue course.  The Swimming & Water Rescue course provides BSA leaders with information and skills to prevent, recognize, and respond to swimming emergencies during unit swimming activities. It expands the awareness instruction provided by Safe Swim Defense training.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SWIMMING & WATER RESCUE. 

Who can instruct this training?

Safe Swim Defense trainings can be taught by individuals who have been authorized by the council.  The council will identify aquatics resource individuals as Safe Swim Defense instructors.  For example, the council may select those with aquatics experiences such as aquatics instructors, district/council training staff, and unit leaders.  If you are interested in becoming a Safe Swim Defense instructor, please contact us today at aquatics@grandcanyonbsa.org

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Contact Information

(602) 955-7747
(602) 955-0570 (Fax)


2969 N Greenfield Rd
Phoenix, Arizona 85016-7715


Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(excluding Holidays)

GCCBSA is a 501c3 organization

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