Swimming (Open Water)


  • Aqua Parks
  • Floating water adventure parks
  • Water Slides


This activity refers to all members swimming in rivers, lakes, creeks, dams, waterholes, at the beach and other open water.

Who Can Participate

  • Open to all.
  • Some Activity Providers may have additional age or height restrictions.
  • Participants do not need to be able to swim unaided as long as the appropriate swimming aids are used.
  • If you have any participants with a medical condition that will affect her ability to swim, ensure that you inform the Lifesaver and make provision to allow her to participate safely.

Safety Rules

  • Sun smart protocols should be adhered to.
  • Long hair should be up. Jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets, long earrings, rings and watches, must be removed.
  • Risk Assessment
    • Is this a routine and predictable activity for your unit? – 3 Questions
    • Are you swimming in a new or uncontrolled environment? – Complete a Risk Management Plan
  • At patrolled beaches adhere to the instructions of the lifeguard on duty.
  • Should there be inclement weather the LiC will decide if the activity should proceed or be postponed.
  • Swimming is only permitted when the depth of water is appropriate, considering the swimming ability of the participants.

Supervision Requirements 

Refer to Girl Guides Australia Ratios at a Glance

A lifesaver with appropriate qualifications must be present. Refer to Girl Guides Australia’s Lifesaving Policy to see the specific rules for Lifesavers.

Still water or not fast-flowing

If over shoulder deep, Royal Life Saving Society of Australia (RLSSA) Bronze Medallion; if less than shoulder deep, RLSSA Resuscitation Award or equivalent.

Sea, rivers and other open water

RLSSA Patrol Lifeguard OR Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) Bronze Medallion or higher award.

Surfing beaches

RLSSA Patrol Lifeguard OR SLSA lifesaver on duty.

Aqua parks

RLSSA Patrol Lifeguard OR SLSA lifesaver on duty.

 Leader in Charge

  • It is suggested that the LiC provide ground training prior to the commencement of the activity if relevant.
  • Obtain permission from relevant authorities for access and use of land and waterbodies. Examples are: National Parks, State forests and private landowners.
  • The LiC must ensure that all participants are informed of appropriate clothing and/or personal equipment prior to the activity.
  • The LiC must organise and collect the ADM.27 from youth members and ADM.28 from adults.  The LiC must inform the lifesaver of any health conditions or behaviour issues with participants.
  • The LiC must have an appropriate first aid kit, rescue and emergency equipment suitable for the activity present at the activity venue.
  • The LiC must ensure participants have water and food appropriate to the activity.
  • If the LiC is also the Lifesaver, she must appoint a responsible adult for the onshore supervision of participants.
  • The LiC is responsible for all participants when they are not participating in the activity.

Notification Forms Required


For Approval – Prior to the Activity

  • OUT.01 Camp/Adventure-based/Event: Notification/Application
  • ADM.56B Risk Assessment Plan for Outdoor Activities Events Camps
  • The Activity Provider’s Risk Management Plan

At the Activity

  • Participants are required to have completed: ADM.27 for Youth Members or ADM.28 for Adults
  • Girl Guide Incident Report

After the Activity

  • OUT.03 Camp/Adventure-based/Event Report

Last Modified: 10/09/22 at 12:57 AM