Back to Blog

Water Safety on Summer Camp Trips

May 20

two boys having fun in a pool showing thumbs upWater field trips are back this summer after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. We are excited to visit Horeb Springs and Sun Prairie aquatic centers, plus many more pools and splash pads in both Dane and Waukesha counties. While we continued to have water fun during summer camps the past two years, nothing beats heading to the pool with friends. Safety is always our number one priority — especially when water is involved.

Wisconsin Youth Company chooses to go through the process of having summer day camp programs accredited by the American Camp Association, in addition to the required license by the State of Wisconsin. ACA accreditation verifies that a camp complies with 300 individual program quality and health & safety standards. Some of these specific requirements that WYC summer camps must meet every time a swim field trip is taken are:

  • One staff person per 8 campers
  • Campers divided into groups based on swim levels

Camper groups enjoy level-appropriate activities at the pool while remaining in close proximity to their counselor. Groups are defined and marked clearly as white, red, yellow, green, and double green. These are defined as:

  • White, non-swimmer: Camper is not allowed to go in the water, but may play in a designated area away from the water.
  • Red, beginner: Camper has little or no swimming experience. They can enter and exit the water unassisted and put their face in water. They must stay in water no deeper than waist level at pool or beach.
  • Yellow, intermediate: Camper can tread water for at least 20 seconds; swim with arm action and some side breathing; and have been introduced to deep water. They may swim anywhere within the designated swim area of the swimming pool with water levels up to 6 feet deep.
  • Green, advanced: Camper can tread water for at least one minute; swim for an extended period of time with arm action and side breathing; and are comfortable in deep water. They may swim in water deeper than six feet.
  • Double green, advanced with springboard and deep water slides permission: Camper has advanced swimming skills, as listed for “Green Level.” If available, they may jump off low springboards and diving platforms no greater than 1m (3.5 feet) from surface of the pool (feet first only and no flips). They may also use water slides dropping into water deeper than six feet.

Additionally, Wisconsin Youth Company only takes water trips to facilities with certified lifeguards on duty, and have zero-depth entry.

Only a few short weeks left until we open summer camp doors and make the best summer memories ever!

Learn more about summer camp programs.