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Camp Algonkin has a complete waterfront including swimming and boating areas. These areas, as well as all aquatic activity in camp, are conducted using the Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat programs of the Boy Scouts of America. The Waterfront Director, as a certified Aquatics Instructor through the BSA National Camping School, will serve as the qualified supervisor for all swimming and boating done in camp. All water activities will be done under the supervision of the Waterfront Director and the waterfront staff.

The waterfront program in Camp Algonkin is designed to accomplish and support the five purposes of the Scouting aquatics program. These are:

  • Give Scouts self-confidence and skill in aquatics.
  • Instruct Scouts in self-preservation, the care and use of aquatic equipment, and simple rescue methods.
  • Promote aquatic recreation.
  • Develop physical strength and coordination.
  • Aid units in planning and conducting a safe, year-round aquatic program.

Unit leaders must help assure Scouts do not swim at any place on the reservation that is not under the Waterfront Director’s supervision.

Merit Badges

It is helpful for any Scout planning on taking a waterfront merit badge to hold a current CPR certification, but not required. A CPR review course is offered on Wednesday afternoon to satisfy merit badge requirements. However, if a Scout does not wish to take part in this time-consuming activity and is a holder of valid CPR certification, they must present their certification card directly to their counselor in order to be passed on the requirement.

Aquatics Supervision

Aquatics Supervision: Swimming and Water Rescue and Aquatics Supervision: Paddle Craft Safety cover skills needed to meet Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat policies applied at the unit level.  Anyone interested in either of the Aquatics Supervision training courses will make arrangements with the Aquatics Director on Sunday directly following the Leaders Meeting.  Those participating must be 16 years of age or older.  Both certifications are valid for three years.   

Mile Swim BSA

The Mile Swim BSA program is designed to be a conditioning program to promote good physical fitness and safe practices in distance, open-water swimming. The conditioning program requires the participant to swim 1/4 mile on Monday during open swim, 1/2 mile on Tuesday during open swim, and a full mile in open water on Thursday evening. Participants, whether youth or adult, are required to complete all phases of the conditioning program as well as provide a rower and spotter to accompany them in a boat on Thursday evening. It is highly suggested that the person selected to be a rower has some rowing ability.



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