Buddy Up!

While visiting many camps, the most dangerous thing I witness repeatedly is lifeguards and waterfront directors who have no idea how or why they do buddy checks, and what they are supposed to be looking for. It almost always goes like this: Me: “Why do kids swim with buddies?” Lifeguard: “It only takes half as long to count them during buddy checks.” Here’s the crux: no matter how often buddy checks are conducted (every 10 minutes, every 5 minutes, etc.), …


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2 comments on “Buddy Up!

  1. Jim De Bonet on said:

    For many years the Boy Scouts of America has required conducting buddy checks as part of their Safe Swim Defense/ Safety Afloat Aquatic program whether it be at camp or out on the trail when on a hike or camp out. At the same time, leaders are required to be trained in the eight points of Safe Swim Defense, and the nine points of Safety Afloat( a two year certification) before they conduct any aquatic program. This program is required in scouting throughout the country, and has proven to be successful in conducting safe swim and boating programs.
    BSA Aquatic Instructor

  2. Jon Dobosz on said:

    On our lake days, we have buddy-checks every ten-minutes where the entire group gets out of the water to gather on the beach with the counselors they were assigned to that day. We also have counselors along the edge of the water to help the lifeguards monitor the kids. It seems to work out well, and keeps both swimmers and staff engaged during the entire day.

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