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Camp Safety Education

Summer camps often involve waterfronts activities or day trips to swimming pools. Camp leaders supervising aquatic activities need to have procedures in place to ensure campers are safe in and around the water. To promote drowning prevention, the Lifesaving Society of BC & Yukon recommends camps implement following water safety guidelines:

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Swim Assessments

  • Camp directors must ensure all campers participating in water activities receive swim assessments prior to entering the water.
  • Lifeguards facilitating swim tests must have rescue aid on their person and be rescue ready
  • All children’s (aged 18 and under) swimming activities must be supervised by a current National Lifeguard (NL) certified guards who are at least 16 years old.
  • Children who cannot pass the facility swim test must remain in the shallow end of the pool and remain directly supervised by their group caregivers, camp leaders/councillors
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  • Camp leaders must supervise their group at all times
  • Children who are 6 years of age or under must be supervised in a ratio of 4:1 without life jackets or 8:1 with life jackets
  • Children 7 years or older who can pass the facility swim test, must be accompanied and supervised in a ratio of 8:1
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Buddy Systems

  • Camps should promote a buddy system, assigning each camper with a buddy
  • Buddies should be paired according to swimming ability
  • Buddy Checks should be frequent, allowing Camp Leaders to count/check the number of buddies pairs in the water, and ensure campers’ safety

For more information, please read the following Camp Safety documents:

Day Camp Swim Test Day Camp Supervised Swimming Safeguard
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