The full Safety Afloat training course is available online.  Click HERE to view it.

For registered adults and youth with the Boy Scouts of America: This training is available for units chartered by the Boy Scouts of America. Chartered units are required to have qualified, trained adults in charge of on-the-water boating activities. To have your training recorded as completed in the BSA system, you must follow the instructions below. This training can also be offered to other parents and adult volunteers who are involved with your Scouting unit, but not registered with the program as a member. For unregistered adults and youth: Other individuals and groups can use this training to support a safe boating activity or program. They can use the online version or purchase a copy of the DVD.

Safety Afloat Training for Conducting On-the-Water Activities
Safety Afloat training provides safety guidelines for adults, parents, or youth conducting any boating activity. The training outlines the knowledge, procedures, skills, and preparation needed to prevent and respond to boating accidents. The nine components of the Safety Afloat plan form the backbone of safe boating activities.

At least one adult supervising a boating activity is required to have Safety Afloat training (for chartered Scouting units only). The trained person’s name, as well as the date of completion, is required when filing a tour plan. Safety Afloat training is available in two formats—online and DVD. You can access the online version through MyScouting.org.  Those taking the online version must have an account, but do not have to be a registered member to secure an account. If you are a registered Scout leader, completion of the training will update your personal training record.

It is not necessary to be registered in Scouting to take this training. It can be used by anyone wanting to conduct safe boating activities.  The training should be taken by anyone (adult and youth) supervising any on-the-water boating activities with vessels of all types—paddle craft, sail, or motor.

The nine points of Safety Afloat are covered in depth in this training, along with recommendations on how to obtain the knowledge and skills specified in various points. There is also a knowledge test that each participant takes prior to receiving a card at the end of the training. The training card is valid for two years for all BSA leaders.

Many local councils offer this training in their area for volunteers to attend. The course is also offered at summer camps on a weekly basis or annually as part of the district’ roundtable program. Check with your council for more details.

What does the course include?
Both versions of the training offer video instruction and support of the nine points of Safety Afloat, with a series of questions to be answered to complete the training. The online version will have the set of questions as a part of the training. The DVD version will allow for the questions to be asked, pause for discussion or answering the questions, then click to see what the answer is and an explanation as to why that answer is correct or if it is not correct and why. The video is in two parts and lasts approximately 20 minutes. Questions and answers cued by the instructor will take roughly another 10 minutes. Viewing the video and answering the included questions is sufficient for participants to obtain credit for Safety Afloat training. However, the instructor may also follow the video with a Q&A session or with special material, such as discussing a float plan for an upcoming trip.

What does this course not include?
Although Safety Afloat procedures require leaders to have skill training for the watercraft used in the activity, skill training is not part of the basic Safety Afloat training and is not required to obtain a commitment card. Skill training for canoes or kayaks is provided by Aquatics Supervision: Paddle Craft Safety instruction. The Paddle Craft Safety course  is a recommended training for all unit leaders that will help prepare every participant to confidently supervise canoeing or kayaking excursions on flat water.  While following the guidelines of Safety Afloat, this course will give participants the hands-on training & skills required to safely supervise a unit boating activity (not including white water). CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PADDLE CRAFT SAFETY.

Who is authorized to teach the course?
Safety Afloat training may be offered locally by instructors approved by the council aquatics committee or other council authority.  If you are interested in becoming a Safety Afloat instructor, please contact us today at aquatics@grandcanyonbsa.org.

How will a person completing the training secure a training completion card? 
If you are completing training online, you will be able to print a card at the end of your completed session. If using the DVD in a group or one-on-one session, the instructor will be able to print the cards from the DVD in a PDF format and complete the card for each participant. Presenters/trainers of an inperson Safety Afloat training course should check with their local council to obtain training certificates (catalog No. 34242) and the proper reporting procedures for recording the completion of any participants in the training.

Where is the DVD available for purchase?
The Safety Afloat/Paddle Craft Safety DVD, No. AV?09DVD02 is available through the Boy Scouts of America National Supply Group at your Scout shop or online at www.scoutstuff.org. Some councils will have the DVD available for loan through their office and training or aquatics committee.

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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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