Skip to main content

Swim Scout, swim

Show off your swimming skills by completing these circuits at your local pool.

You will need

  • Pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  • Clipboards
  • Swimwear for the pool
  • Equipment needed for circuits (e.g. a t-shirt and shorts, stopwatch)
Example circuits for different stages
PDF – 73.0KB

Starting point

  • This circuit activity is aimed at supporting everyone to achieve the Swimmer staged activity badge they are working towards. Remember to look at the guidance on swimming before completing this activity. Also have a look at the guidance for non-swimmers if needed.
  • Find your local pool in England, Wales or Scotland using this poolfinder, or use this one for Northern Ireland. Get in touch with them and see if you can arrange a visit. When you visit, have a look at the facilities and share your plans for the activity with staff. See how many lifeguards would be available to help you run it. If you need equipment, they may be able to lend you some, so ask!
  • Think about how you set up your circuits, so that there is a suitable challenge for swimmers of all abilities. Some of the requirements for the stages require skills that may need to be practised before being attempted as part of this activity. Talk with those in the group taking part about what they can achieve in this session and what they may need to revisit in future.
  • Arrange for any additional help from Young Leaders or parents and carers for this activity. You’ll need one adult per activity.
  • Assign a helper to each activity stage. Each helper will need a clipboard, paper and a pen or pencil. They should each draw a table to record the progress of each person taking part in their activity stage.
  • Here are the requirements for each stage that need to be incorporated in the circuits:

Ready, steady, go!

  1. Set up a circuit that fulfils the requirements for the stages everyone is working towards. Swimmers should complete the activities in small groups, with each starting at a different point depending on their experience and level, and to keep everyone moving at the same time.
  1. All swimmers should do a warm-up before doing any circuits. You could run the ‘Stretch and swim’ activity or your own warm-up routine that meets the badge requirements. Try to make sure this is youth-led.
  2. Groups should rotate between the activities, as appropriate. Continue until everyone has finished what they’re capable of doing in the session.


Swimming circuits in this way shows off a lot of important skills. Those taking part will have tested their agility, endurance, stamina and technique in the water. Why are these four factors so important for swimming? How do they help keep yourself and others safe in the water? Who did more than they thought they were capable of, by being brave and giving it a go, and who was able to demonstrate their skills to others in Stage 5? How did this feel?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Near water

Manage groups carefully when near water. The guidance on activities near water will help you to keep your group safe.

Water games and activities

Be careful when doing activities with, in, or near water. Check surfaces and reduce the risk of slipping where possible. Make sure you have appropriate supervision for this activity.