Learn-to-Swim Programs for NYS Children's Camps

Fact Sheet – March 2016

Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code allows non-swimmers to enter water that is chest deep or greater when participating in a learn-to-swim program that has been determined to use a supervision protocol which protects campers from injury or drowning. The programs listed below have been determined to be acceptable.

  • Instructors must possess current certification as a progressive swimming instructor in the program being utilized to teach swimming.
  • Qualified lifeguards must supervise learn-to-swim programs. A progressive swimming instructor may not perform lifeguard duties, unless:
    • currently certified as a qualified lifeguard and
    • he/she is not concurrently performing teaching duties.
  • A Buddy System and Board System (or equivalent) of supervising and checking bathers must be implemented during all swimming activities, including learn-to-swim programs.

Acceptable Programs1
American Red Cross
Boy Scouts of America
Orchard Park Recreation
Starfish Aquatics


  1. Children's camps may utilize learn-to-swim programs that are not listed above to teach swimming at camp; however, non-swimmers must be restricted to water that is less than chest deep at all times.