- All water-related activities must be guarded by enough certified lifeguards to ensure safety. There should be NO "unguarded areas" during water activities. A staff member who serves as lifeguard must be certified through one of the following:
- American Red Cross Lifeguard Training or Advanced Lifesaving
- YMCA Lifeguard
- Lifeguard BSA
- The National Lifeguard Service’s registered lifeguard certificate (Canada)
- The Royal Life Saving Society’s Canada Bronze Medallion and aquatic instructor’s certificate
- Water Safety Instruction (WSI) certification
- Equivalent Certification
- A current certification must be verified at the event with a copy of the certification document.
- Lifeguards must be registered children and youth workers or registered children and youth worker assistants. See Registered Youth Worker requirements.
- Lake Activities: While rowing, boating, water skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, floating, sailing, or tubing on a lake, a certified lifeguard must be present and all participants must wear their PFDs at all times while in the boat or in the water and must maintain a visible link with the lifeguard.
- River Activities: While rowing, boating, canoeing, floating, or tubing on a river, a certified lifeguard must be present with the group and all participants must wear their PFDs at all times while in the boat or in the water.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) must be worn at all times while participating in rowing, boating, water skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, floating, or tubing activities. In addition, PFDs must be worn by all participants while in any boat less than 26 feet in length. All PFDs should be U.S. Coast Guard or Canadian Coast Guard approved proper size, type, and fit for each user. These must be Type I, II, or III PFDs designed to support the weight of each user.
When participating in a water-related activity at another site or location:
- The activity must be guarded, but the qualifications of the lifeguards provided will be determined by the operator of the venue.
- By traveling to their site, we lessen our potential liability because they are the host and have complete control over the physical properties, buildings, equipment, and supervision.
- To participate in one of these listed activities at their location, follow all rules established by the operator and follow these steps:
- Contact the establishment and learn about their particular requirements concerning age, height, experience level, etc., and about their waiver and release policy. If waivers are required, make arrangements to have them completed prior to the group visit, especially if minors are in attendance that require parental approval.
- Observe the activity and the location, looking for environments or practices that would make this an unsafe activity for your group.
- If there are none, and you decide to participate, also use our waiver and release form.
- If you have any questions about higher-risk activities at another site, please contact us to discuss.
Boating and water-safety regulations differ among government jurisdictions. It is the responsibility of the campground boards and camp directors to understand and follow all local and state requirements.