Water Sports Merit Badge
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn when attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the Merit Badge Pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The Merit Badge Pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a Merit Badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Water Sports Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge Workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Water Sports Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this Merit Badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this Merit Badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
Other Water Sports MERIT BADGE PAGES
Water Sports Merit Badge Current Requirements
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Water Sports Merit Badge Workbook
Water Sports Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page

Water Sports Merit BadgeThings to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Water Sports Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Proper and appropriate swimwear

5. Proof of having passed your BSA Swimmer Test within the last 12 months (failure to provide this proof to the satisfaction of the Merit Badge Counselor and/or Class Instructor will negate your eligibility to participate in the class.

6. Permission Slip signed by parent or guardian when and if required, by the facility or location the Canoeing activity is being held at (check with Scoutmaster Bucky if you are uncertain whether a permission slip is needed) 

7. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes.

8. A positive Scouting focus and attitude




1. Do the following:

a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in water sports activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

Scouts should review this requirement component and its elements and be prepared to explain hazards they might encounter participating in water sports activities.

b. Review prevention, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in water sports: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, sunburn, sprains, strains, minor cuts and bruises, spinal injury, and concussions and head trauma.

Scouts should review this requirement component and its elements and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge as well as the ability to identify hazards likely to be encountered in water sports activities.

c. Review the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to water sports.

Scouts should review the BSA Safety Afloat policy prior to the class. It is NOT acceptable to attend the class not having read the BSA Safety Afloat policy and having a general understanding of it and how it applies to this merit badge and canoeing activities. Scouts clearly not having prepared ahead of class will not be allowed to continue participation in the class after arrival until they show their comprehension of this policy.


2. Do the following:

a. Discuss with your counselor the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for water sports, and tell why one must always be worn while waterskiing or wakeboarding. Then demonstrate how to select and fit a life jacket for water sports activities.

Requirement 2a will be discussed in class, however only Scout who actively participate in the discussion and share their findings as required in this requirement will be signed off on this component of the requirement. Scouts should make sure they have a general understanding of how to fit different types of life jackets that they might encounter and be prepared to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding during the class.

b. Review and discuss the Water Sports Safety Code with your counselor. Promise that you will live up to it and follow it in all water work for this merit badge. Review the safety precautions that must be used by the boat operator in pulling waterskiers and wakeboarders.

 Requirement 2b will be reviewed and discussed in the class, however Scouts should prepare by reviewing the Water Sports Merit Badge pamphlet so that they have a strong understanding of the Water Sports Safety Code. It is not acceptable to attend the class not having any prior knowledge or understanding of this Code, Scouts MUST review and understand the Water Sports Safety Code prior to the class.  Class discussion will help strengthen that understanding.

Scouts not meeting the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor in their understanding and willingness to adhere to the Water Sports Safety Code may be asked to not participate further if the counselor feels there may be a threat or challenge to the individual's safety.  This requirement is very important to understand and execute at all times in order to complete other requirements for this merit badge. Be Prepared.


3. Before doing requirements 4 through 6, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test: Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

ALL SCOUTS SHOULD BRING PROOF OF HAVING PASSED THE BSA SWIMMER TEST IN THE PAST YEAR.  (A camp swimmer's tag clearly showing it belongs to the Scout, a signed letter from a certified swimming instructor stating the Scout's competency as measured against the BSA Swimmer's test requirements, or a signed note from a BSA Swimming Merit Badge Counselor or Scoutmaster will suffice - parental notes are not enough for this due to the merit badge requirements.)

Even with this "proof" the counselor(s) reserve the right to retest any Scout that they deem necessary or to satisfy their interest in safety. Scouts not having any "proof" will be required to pass the BSA Swimmer Test prior to starting participation in the class.  Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test may be dismissed from the class at the discretion of the counselor.  Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test and allowed to stay in the class will be limited to "on land" requirements at the discretion of the counselor.


4. Show the following skier signals to the safety observer in the boat: skier safe, faster, slower, turns, back to dock, cut motor, skier in water.

While the merit badge counselor will go over these in the class, Scouts should familiarize themselves with these signals prior to the class.  Scouts will find the most effective way of doing this is by reviewing the section on signals found in the Water Sports Merit Badge pamphlet.


5. Showing reasonable control while using two skis, one ski, or a wakeboard, do EACH of the following:

a. Show how to enter the water from a boat and make a deepwater start without help.

b. Starting from outside the wakes, show you can cross both wakes four times and return to the center of the wake each time, without falling.

c. Show you can fall properly to avoid an obstacle. Also show that you can drop handle and coast to a stop without losing your balance.

Requirements 5 and its components are all skill-based. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover these requirement components, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete each of the requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate these skills to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on each requirement component. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete some of these elements simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted again that these are skill-based elements. All Scouts will have an opportunity to attempt to perform for each of the components, but again success, as determined by the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor, is required to receive sign off on any or all of these requirement components.


6. While on shore, show that you know how to properly adjust the bindings of your ski(s) or wakeboard to fit yourself. Then, in deep water, show you can adjust bindings to fit. Recover and put on your ski(s) or wakeboard that has come off during a fall.

Like requirement 5, there is an aspect of skill involved in completing this requirement.  Scouts will have instruction and guidance in how to perform the stated tasks however only Scouts that are successfully able to complete all elements of this requirement will receive sign off during the class.

this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019