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PinkPajamas

Lifeguard vs Aquatics Supervisor

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Hello!

I'm new to the BSA, my daughter is currently a Bear and next year my twin boys will be Lions....so I've got (hopefully) two decades of scouting ahead. I have the time and resources this year to attend our council's aquatics training weekend(s) and living in SWFL with access to year round water activities make this training particularly useful. My dilemma is which type of training do I do first, lifeguarding or aquatics supervisor (rescue and paddle craft). Both require frequent recertification. Our Weblos den leader is currently trained in both, so there isn't an immediate need for either training.

Mostly looking for advice on what other people found to be the most useful training.

Thanks!

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Welcome to the forum, @PinkPajamas.

As for which training to do, which might be more useful after the webelos den leader leaves? Or just plan on doing both of them over 2 years and have fun picking.

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PP, welcome to the Forums.  Hope you find a comfortable virtual log around our eCampfire….  

As a past Lifeguard (waaaay back), I would advise doing the gradual rather than the all at once thing.  If you are a competent swimmer, get BSA Lifeguard certified first.  If done correctly, you should also get a Red Cross cert too.  This will naturally lead to the  Waterfront Aquatics Manager Supervisor (or whatever it is called these days).  You've got time.  The Lifeguard thing can lead to a part time job (?) but the Supervisor thing is meant for folks that want a longer term gig.  

Good luck to you and your Scouts.  KiS, MiF.,,  

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1) WELCOME TO DA FORUMS! ( and yes that is me shouting my welcome at you ;)

2) Maybe I can help.

BSA Lifeguard, and some places offer duel ARC Lifeguard certification, is a nationally recognized, professional lifeguard certification that equips folks to work at pools. It is heavily based on the ARC Lifeguard course, using their videos and books if I remember correctly. When I did BSA Lifeguard, If I wanted to pay the extra money and take the ARC Lifeguard test, I could be duel certified. ARC Lifeguard is a more recognizable certification, and some states do not recognize BSA Lifeguard ( an aside, some states also do not recognize Lifeguard Instructor Certification as a "Lifeguard Certification" i.e. NJ). The emphasis is on pools with one canoe rescue when I did BSA Lifeguard a few years back. It also requires a specific number of hours. As SSScout said, it can lead to a job, especially for youth doing a duel BSA/ARC Lifeguard certification.

 

The two separate Aquatic Supervision Courses, Swimming and Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety , are not professional certifications. They are step above Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. They are designed to give Scouters the skills for beach front swimming activities and conducting boating activities, specifically canoeing, kayaking, or both depending upon the course. That includes rescues. Again if memory serves, the two Aquatic Supervision courses are using some of the Waterfront Aquatics Manager Supervisor material, but as it relates to BSA. AND IT IS NOT CONSIDERED A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION ( caps for emphasis, not shouting.

 

I've done all three. The Aquatic Supervision certs are 3 years, while BSA Lifeguard is 2 years. I had overlap. I plan to recertify in the Supervision courses as they appeal more to Scouting than the Lifeguard class.

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@PinkPajamas, welcome to the forums and thanks in advance for all you will do for the youth!

All the cool kids have BSA Guard. :D

Yes re-certifying requires a commitment. Especially the older you get (or is it the younger the instructors get?) and the harder it is to complete those sprints. At our boy scout camp, both can be earned in the same week. But, my time has become spread so thin, that I'm having difficulty freeing up a week to do it.

If you can't do both in one fell swoop, I'd recommend you get BSA Guard first, then add the other one at a later date.

Then, and this is the crux of the matter, find time to assist at aquatics areas. That's how you stay fresh.

If this isn't practical because someone else can't watch your kids, then focus on them. They are priority #1. Get them trained. There is no greater peace of mind than knowing that your kids can get themselves out of a rip current. Swimming 100 yards in a strong manner in the right direction solves lots of problems. As they mature, keep challenging them and in the process sharpen your skills. Then if the dark day comes when forestalling death is in your hands, the odds will tilt in your favor if the four of you are competent.

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On 2/6/2019 at 9:12 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

The two separate Aquatic Supervision Courses, Swimming and Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety , are not professional certifications. They are step above Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. They are designed to give Scouters the skills for beach front swimming activities and conducting boating activities, specifically canoeing, kayaking, or both depending upon the course. That includes rescues. Again if memory serves, the two Aquatic Supervision courses are using some of the Waterfront Aquatics Manager Supervisor material, but as it relates to BSA. AND IT IS NOT CONSIDERED A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION ( caps for emphasis, not shouting.

I might be mistaken about this, but my understanding is that the two Aquatic Supervision Courses are aimed at adult scouters only while the BSA Lifeguard is appropriate for either adults or youth age 15 or older.

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16 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I might be mistaken about this, but my understanding is that the two Aquatic Supervision Courses are aimed at adult scouters only while the BSA Lifeguard is appropriate for either adults or youth age 15 or older.

Actually the BSA Aquatics Supervision courses are valid for 15+  year olds as well. The reason why I recommend BSA Lifeguard to youth and young Scouters is that there is a demand for lifeguards, especially at college pools. I know once I finished my Work Study Hours, instead of being layed off until next semester, I kept working, and getting to keep my pay. :)

Another reason for 15-17 year olds to get BSA Lifeguard is that under some federal OSHA laws, you got to be 18+ to work waterfronts. I am told that is one reason why many Scout camps are building pools. It also explains why basic lifeguard certifications no longer deal with waterfronts, and you have to take the Waterfront Aquatics  advance cert courses.

Talking to someone who was on the national aquatics committee, I was told the Aquatics Supervision courses were created so that units had folks with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to take their units on the water since BSA Lifeguard is more pool/ formal swim area oriented.

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21 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Talking to someone who was on the national aquatics committee, I was told the Aquatics Supervision courses were created so that units had folks with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to take their units on the water since BSA Lifeguard is more pool/ formal swim area oriented.

Sadly, our local council never offers the Aquatics Supervision courses (heck, they don't even have an Aquatics committee). 

The Aquatics Supervision courses look pretty good. Participants need to get in the water and actually practice recommended response methods. It's practical, relevant, and actually does show a scouter how to supervise aquatic activities. Night and day different from Safe Swim Defense, which is nothing but a worthless panacea that scouters do online as a mere check-off, without ever having to even see a river or lake.

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On 3/13/2019 at 6:30 AM, mrkstvns said:

The Aquatics Supervision courses look pretty good. Participants need to get in the water and actually practice recommended response methods. It's practical, relevant, and actually does show a scouter how to supervise aquatic activities. Night and day different from Safe Swim Defense, which is nothing but a worthless panacea that scouters do online as a mere check-off, without ever having to even see a river or lake.

I know when I did the Aquatics Supervision courses, we were drilled on SSD and SA every day. For me and a few others 2x a day since we were taking both courses. But yes, skills are gone over and over. Lots of drills. For those with little to no experience it is great.For those with some experience, great refresher.

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Well I survived the first weekend of lifeguard training and have some nasty bruising to show for it. Now I just need to memorize everything in the American Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual and BSA Aquatics Supervision manual 😬 

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