Aquatic activities can be fun and exciting. But, inadequately supervised, they can also be dangerous. BE PREPARED AND BE TRAINED! To assist with aquatic safety for your unit, the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council’s Aquatics Committee is offering the following programs:

Training Offered

Swimming and Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety

Strongly recommended for swimming and boating activities under the new Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. Required for a unit to swim without a lifeguard on Council properties or to boat on Council properties or with Council equipment.

The Swimming and Water Rescue course takes approximately eight hours and the Paddle Craft Safety course (which includes both canoeing and kayaking) takes approximately 12 hours. Certifications last for three years. Paddle Craft Safety will cover both canoeing and kayaking. Certification patches and cards will be awarded upon successful completion of the course(s).

Kayaking Merit Badge Workshop

The requirements for being a kayaking merit badge counselor require certain levels of training. This workshop will provide that training. Be prepared to teach other class members. Participants must possess good kayaking skills and be familiar with the Kayaking Merit Badge pamphlet.

BSA Lifeguard—Basic Course and Recertification

This course may be presented, based on interest. Contact Bill Bode by email ( or phone (813) 382-9262), regarding dates, requirements and details.

Additional Information

Requirements for participation and information on check-in varies by course. Note that all courses will offered at the same time, so you will only be able to take one of them. Please check the Registration and Information Flyer (link below) for more information and instructions.

Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat

Both training programs are available online at html icon and may be offered locally from time to time, check the council calendar.

  1. Log into
  2. BSA Learning Center (on the right side of the page)
  3. Course Catalog (middle top of page)
  4. Select search put in the course code

Safe Swim Defense is SCO_801

Safety Afloat is SCO_802

Aquatics Leaders Needed

Aquatics Instructors are always needed for Cub Day Camps and Summer Camps at Sand Hill Scout Reservation. This would involve becoming a BSA Lifeguard and attending a week long aquatics school. Those wishing to help with Cub Day Camp could attend either the 7-day or a shortened 4-day school and only need to hold a current BSA Lifeguard certification. For more information, please email Bruce Hoover at

Upcoming Aquatics Training

BSA Lifeguard

  • For information on the next course, contact Bruce Hoover by e-mail, or phone 727-307-6268


Have questions or feedback about this page? Last updated May 27, 2020

Please contact the page author with your feedback:

Katie Sheffield