A Water Safety & Swimming Program

Based on a program sent by Kaa at 3rd Karratha Dingo Pack in Western Australia.

NOTE: Cubs will need to bring a spare pair of pants and shirt.
The leaders will need to bring a few PFD's for use by the cubs in Group 2 (preferably one per cub to save time).

Water Safety Discussion

(about 10 minutes, before entering the water)
  • Remind Cubs that we are around water and it can be very dangerous. No-one is to grab anyone else while in the water Ė hands to themselves.
  • Cubs must stay above water and listen to instructions at all times.
  • Ask cubs to answer the following questions:
    1. What is the buddy system?
    2. If at a beach, how do we know itís safe to swim?
    3. How would you enter water where you canít see the bottom (or murky)?
    4. If you needed too, what everyday objects could be used to help rescue someone if they were in trouble?
    5. Should you try and cross a river if it is flooding?
    6. Who should you "look out for" first if you come across someone in difficulty in the water?
Break into two groups.
Group 1. Younger, less confident swimmers (Bronze Boomerang Level)
Group 2. Older more confident swimmers (Silver and Gold Boomerang Levels)
Leaders/Parent helpers should be split between the groups.

Group 1

Covers the requirements for the Level 1 Swimmer Badge
  • One at a time Cubs are to jump feet first into the water at the deep end and then swim to the shallow end, using any stroke that they can. Try to encourage them not to stop.
  • Have Cubs walk back to deep end and all hop in the water, when ready have them move away from the edge and tread water for one minute.
  • Move to small pool once above activities completed.
  • Have Cubs swim on their backs for one length of the small pool.
  • Have Cubs change into pants and shirt, then ask them to hop in the water to get an understanding of how heavy clothes can be when wet.
  • Break Cubs into two teams while still wearing their wet clothes.
  • Split teams in half and and have half of each team move to each end of the pool (long length ways).
  • Running race in the water with clothes on. Kids to start out of the water. When it is their turn, have them slide into the water safely and then run to the other end. They must be out of the water before the next person can start off again.
  • Repeat race without wearing wet clothes.
  • At the end of both races, ask kids if it was easier with or without clothes (& discuss why).
  • All cubs are to float on their back to see who can do so the longest (Minimum time reqd is 30 seconds).

Group 2

Covers the requirements for the Level 2 Swimmer Badge.
  • Have Cubs put on pants and shirt.
  • Ask Cubs to do a shallow dive off the start blocks (deep end of pool).
  • Cubs to take off long pants and shirt while in the water. No touching the sides.
  • Once that done, have them get out of the water and put clothes back on.
  • Have Cubs shallow dive off the start blocks and swim to the shallow end of the pool in any stroke they want too. Encourage them not to stop.
  • Cubs to then walk to the deep end again and tread water for 1 minute.
  • Have Cubs remove wet clothing.
  • Have each Cub swim 100 metres freestyle without stopping.
  • Have Cubs swim 100 metres breaststroke (or backstroke if they prefer).
  • Have Cubs get out of water and discuss examples of how they might rescue someone that was in trouble and have them demonstration one.
  • Cubs should then demonstrate how to place the rescued person in the Recovery Position and discuss getting adult help.
  • Move to small pool once above activities completed.
  • Divide Cubs into sixes and have running race, as per race rules in Group 1.
  • Cubs should put on a PFD and enter the water in the deep end, then float in the Heat Exposure Lessening Position for 2 minutes. (see the badges page for details if needed).
  • Time permitting Ė have a competition to see who can float the longest.

NOTE: if this takes place in salt water, double the times for both treading water and floating on their back for both groups.

Depending on the time you run your program, you can have free-time swimming at the end, or have the cubs get out, dry & dressed to enjoy a BBQ tea (A leader/parent could be cooking the snags while the program is running).

In addition to the Swimmer badges, the above programs cover parts of the Safety section (Buddy System & Water) of the 3 Boomerang levels

  • All- 4.a
  • Gold - 4.d
  • Silver/Bronze - Part of 4.d


© 2007 Ian Moggs, all rights reserved.

Last updated 17th May 2011.

Email me anytime - i2 @ robian .net (without the spaces).