Lifesaving Merit Badge

Prerequisites must be completed prior to the first class date! Proof of completion will need to be sent to us prior to the first class.

-Safe Swim Defense must be completed! A copy of the Safe Swim Defense certificate from
-Swimming Merit Badge must be completed! A copy of your Swimming Merit Badge Blue Card.

Notes to Counselor in Merit Badge Pamphlet: The Merit Badge Booklet is given to each scout in our program!

The requirements for the Lifesaving merit badge are designed to prepare a 12- to 14-year to respond safely and effectively to water emergencies. Each year, Scouts of all ages encounter such emergencies and successfully perform scores of water rescues.

As counselor, it is your responsibility to approve only those who fulfill the merit badge requirements. You should give each Scout a reasonable opportunity to retake any formal written or skill tests, and ideally continue to provide guidance until all candidates have earned the badge. Provided they are good swimmers, most Scouts who make a conscientious effort should earn the lifesaving merit badge without too much difficulty.

At the very lease, a Scout who is having difficulty with any element must be helped to understand why his or her performance is not yet acceptable. A misconception is often worse than no training at all. It is the responsibility of the counselor to ensure that each Scout knows and understands what he or she can safely and properly do in a rescue situation.

The techniques deemed proper are those outlined in this pamphlet. It is BSA policy that requirements be followed exactly as written. However, you have some flexibility in presentation and emphasis when more then one technique will satisfy a given requirement.

The Scout should be shown and practice several options, but it is most important that he or she understands the basic concepts: not to jump or dive into water of unknown depth, to stay always aware of the victim’s location, to move safely and quickly, and to keep control of the rescue aid. If the Scout recognizes and understands those concepts, then he or she is much more likely to make a safe and effective entry in a rescue situation.

This merit badge pamphlet presents a comprehensive discussion of concepts and techniques that the requirements alone cannot provide.

Use the text, along with the requirements, to construct a detailed course outline. Also, encourage each Scout to read and study the pamphlet. It helps if the troop, camp, or counselor maintains lending copies of the pamphlet and distributes them either before or during the first training session.

Because earning the Lifesaving merit badge involves swimming assists, the Scout is expected to have strong swimming skills before attempting the requirements. Use the swimming prerequisite to review each Scout’s skills before accepting the Scout as a candidate for merit badge instruction. If a Scout has marginal swimming skills, weigh any commitment to provide remedial swimming instruction against that Scout’s chance of success in the time available for instruction. Denying a Scout an immediate but inappropriate opportunity may better serve the overall aims of Scouting.

Offer training on a flexible schedule to a single buddy pair or small group, or on a more formal basis to a larger group at prearranged times. No definite time limits are established. The minimum time required for training is that which leaves the Scout prepared. Factors such as class size, participant maturity, number of instructors, and prior instruction in CPR will influence the time needed.

Most Scouts can adequately absorb the material in six 90-minutes sessions or five two-hour sessions. For this age group, several short sessions over a week or two weekends are better than a single 10-hour day. Most of the time should be spend with in-water instruction, practice, and review. If available, a classroom setting can be used to cover concepts, CPR, and first aid.

Lifesaving Merit Badge is offered on Sundays, January-April. The maximum class size is 35 Scouts. Lifesaving Merit Badge consists of 8 classes (7 Pool & 1 Lecture Class)! Please see calendar for location.

We give each Scout their merit badge blue card back at the last class.

Any Scout can sign up for Lifesaving Merit Badge but should have strong swimming skills.

Some of the more difficult requirements for Lifesaving Merit Badge are:
-Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
-Recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using a feet first surface dive & a headfirst surface dive.
-Perform equipment-based rescues for a conscious practice subject
-Perform non-equipment rescues for a conscious practice subject

We will have some time if a Scout has trouble with requirements, to practice and try again.

It is very important to attend all the classes for lifesaving. We practice every rescue several times before we do any of the tests. It is very hard to make up the requirements for lifesaving since it has a lot of requirements and it is an in-depth merit badge.

Schedule: ( Pool Class / Lecture Class )
01/08/23 5:30P to 8:00P – Safe Swim Defense (Prerequisites), Earn the Swimming merit badge (Prerequisites), Reaching Rescues, Throwing Rescues, & Recover a 10 lb. weight Feet first/Head first
01/22/23 6:00P to 8:00P – In-Person Rowing Rescues & Avoiding Contact/Lead-and-Wait
01/29/23 6:00P to 8:00P – Explain Buoyant Aids
02/05/23 6:00P to 8:00P – Demonstrate Rescues of a Conscious/Unconscious Practice Subject with Buoyant Aids & Demonstrate Management of Spinal Injury
02/26/23 6:00P to 8:00P – Swim Continuously for 400 yards using Proper Strokes/Strong Manner
03/05/23 6:00P to 8:00P – Swim Continuously for 400 yards using Proper Strokes/Strong Manner, Perform Non-equipment Rescues for a Conscious/Unconscious Practice Subject, & Show How to Escape from a Victim’s Grasp Wrist/Front/Rear Holds
03/12/23 6:00P to 8:00P – Make Up Class (Class Isn’t Required!)
04/02/23 5:00P to 8:00P – Drowning Situation/Identify Person/Method of Rescue/Rescue Techniques/Rescues Not Undertaken, Heavy Clothing Removal, CPR, & First Aid.

$40/$50 for Event, Nonrefundable Amount is $5.00!  Transfers/Refunds are allowed for this program.  Lifesaving Merit Badge participants can move to Learner’s Swimming Lessons. Refund % is listed below, First Day of Event is the 1st Class under Schedule!

Lifesaving Merit BadgePercentageRefund Amount
At Least 60 Days Prior100%$35.00
Within 30 Days Prior50%$17.50
Within 15 Days Prior25%$8.75
Within 7 Days Prior0%$0.00

Flyer for Lifesaving Merit Badge
Lesson Plans for Lifesaving Merit Badge