Keowa: Area- Aquatics

      Beautiful Crystal Lake is the home of the Camp Keowa Waterfront where Scouts are offered a chance to develop skills that could serve them anywhere from going out for a fun swim to helping to save someone's life in a tense situation. Whether you're training to become a lifeguard, or you're just trying to learn how to swim, the staff at Keowa have a program designed for you. Even if you're just looking to jump in on a hot afternoon, the Staff also runs open programs for swimming and boating to help cool you off after a hard days work! 
          Our Waterfront staff has been trained to instruct an array of different merit badges and awards that will help you both on your journey through the ranks of Scouting and through your entire life! Crystal Lake, the staff, and our fleet of boats and supplies are here for you to utilize over the course of your stay with us at Keowa. We hope you take advantage of the knowledge and good times the Waterfront has to offer!


Merit Badges

Please Note: All Waterfront merit badges have the pre-requisite of passing the BSA Swimmer Test and demonstrating CPR. Please see the Pre-Requisite Page for the specific details.



Want to practice, diversify and advance your swimming ability? Swimming merit badge will offer the Scout a diverse look at the methods and techniques behind swimming, diving, CPR and more! *EAGLE REQUIRED*


The Waterfront staff will provide you with a comprehensive and in depth look into the methods and techniques of water rescue. These valuable skills include everythings from an arsenal of rescues to CPR to First Aid. *EAGLE REQUIRED*


Looking for the skills to have a great time in a canoe out on the water? The Canoeing Merit Badge provides scouts with all the skills necessary to handle one of these graceful boats with safety and confidence in any situation.

Small-Boat Sailing:

Looking to test your sea-legs? Come down and learn the art form that is sailing. Scouts will learn the intricacies of sailing a small craft and earn the right to enjoy themselves out on the open lake with the help of the wind.


Keowa is proud to be able to offer scouts the opportunity to earn the Motorboating merit badge. Scouts will learn how to navigate a boat through a challenging course as well as demonstrate how to launch, dock, and moor.


Available by request. Up for the challenge provided by our fleet of rowboats? Then check out Rowing! The staff will take you through the techniques and skills needed to become a competent rower. 


Up for the challenge provided by our fleet of rowboats? Then check out Rowing! The staff will take you through the techniques and skills needed to become a competent rower.


Project LEAF

Second Class Aquatic Skills:

Scouts will be taught how to demonstrate their ability within the aquatics area. These skills include: knowing what must be done in order to have a safe swim, passing the BSA Beginner Ability Test, and demonstrating some basic water rescue techniques.

First Class Aquatic Skills:

All Scouts will further develop their ability across all the aquatic disciplines. This will include: passing the BSA Swimmer Ability Test, completing a mock rescue with the use of a line, and demonstrating knowledge of the precautions for a safe trip afloat.


Training Programs

BSA Lifeguard:

Lifeguarding is a difficult, yet immeasurably valuable skill to possess. The BSA Lifeguard program is open to both qualified Scouts and Adults and will take the entire week to complete. It is a physically demanding program but can prove to be one of the most rewarding pursuits that can be undertaken at Keowa! In order to complete the course, you must complete certification in CPR for the Professional Rescuer. More details are available in the following link. *PRE-REQUISITE WORK REQUIRED*

Instructional Swim:

Keowa is a place to learn and develop skills that you maybe didn't have or wanted to expand. This includes swimming of course! If you wish to develop your swimming ability over the course of the week, our Instructional Swimming sessions are for you! Progress from Non-Swimmer to Beginner or even Beginner to Swimmer and develop a valuable and fun skill that will unlock a world of new opportunities for you to have a great time at camp and in life.

Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat:

Scoutmasters looking to develop some of the skills necessary to plan fun, and safe aquatic troop outings will want to attend this course. Both are offered on Tuesday during Siesta. See the Waterfront or Program Director for more details.



Mile Swim:

Looking for the ultimate test of physical endurance and conditioning? Then come down and train for the Mile Swim! The Waterfront staff can help you achieve your goals over the course of the week, then on Friday, attempt to swim the full distance across the length of Crystal Lake! As always, volunteers will be needed Friday to be both Rowers and Spotters to help keep our Swimmers safe!

BSA Snorkeling:

Come down and learn some basic snorkeling techniques with the Waterfront Staff. See the Waterfront or Program Director for additional information. *AVAILABLE BY REQUEST ONLY*


Camp-wide Programs:

Looking to enjoy the beauty of Lake Nianque but not yet ready to commit to any of the programs we've already mentioned? Then check out any of the following things in your free time! Whether it's just to cool off on a hot day, or get out in a boat and have some fun!

Open Swimming/Boating:

Every day from 3:00PM until 5:00PM the Waterfront is open for anyone who wants to jump in and cool off! Boating is available from 9:00AM to 10:00AM and 2:00PM to 5:00PM. Come down, bring your buddy and have some fun!

Tower Duty:

The Waterfront Staff is always looking for a little bit of extra help from our dedicated leaders. If you feel like you can help provide an extra set of eyes see the Waterfront Director. We always appreciate the help.

Camp-wide Games:

Feel like you're the best of the best when it comes to Aquatic skills? Go up against the competition in any one of the challenging games at the Waterfront for the ultimate test!

Polar Bear Swim:

Attention early risers! The Polar Bear swim will be held daily at 6:15 a.m. Each morning (except Thursday) will begin with a calisthenics followed by a quick dip in the lake. Be sure to bring a towel and warm clothes for after the swim. It's not called Polar Bear for nothing! A special patch is available for all those who tough it out. We hope to see you there.