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Backpacking - Fishing - No swimming

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  • Backpacking - Fishing - No swimming

    Hello Scouter’s,
    I have a question. Our troop has a 50 miler coming up soon in the Emigrant Wilderness. And as one of the participating adult leaders I bought up a question, at our monthly ASM’s meeting. About Scouts participating in the 50 miler, should they complete a swim classification test before the trek? This trip has shallow water crossing and at every layover; we will be near some form of water (Lake or stream).
    The reason I brought this up, was for the Scouts who would be trying there skills at fishing, some for the first time. Safety, Safety, but I have a concern that a Scout may head out on a log to free a snag, slip on a loose rock surface and go into the water or even fall in from standing on top of an eroded stream bank. Our group will using the buddy system and discuss safety with the Scout’s. I just figured having the knowledge of the Scouts swimming ability is just another level of safety.
    Well, I must not have been very clear with that question. Because my reply from one of the senior ASM, was swimming was not permitted on any BSA backpacking trip!
    So my question is. Does the BSA forbid swimming while on HAT backpacking trips?
    So I gulped? OK. And I smiled and repeated my question and noted some of the hazards written in the second paragraph above, a second time.
    Perhaps I am being to over cautious…

    Old_Guy

  • #2
    Well, that is a new one on me. No swimming? 50 mile backpacking, and not going into the water a few times to get refresh and clean.

    Yes, I think you can count on a wet foot or two, and even someone falling in. And I would be vary surprise, if the scouts did not want to take a swim every evening. And you should know the swimming level of everyone that is going (Safe Swim practice here). I would guess you probably already know the swimming level of the scouts!

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    • #3
      I would suggest you log into myscouting and take the Safe Swim Defense class it will answer your questions.

      No the BSA does not prevent you from swimming on HAT..... Some of the rules are pretty tough to abide by in the back country...... Water Clarity and the amount of junk in the river would impact my decision.


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      • #4
        What BD said. But regarding your "oops I'm in the water" scenario:

        NEVER GO AFTER A SNAG IN UNFAMILIAR WATER!!!!! (That includes suspending one's self on an outstretched log.)

        The three alternatives: Reach, Throw, and Row. If they don't have a life vest on DO NOT GO even if we're talking about somebody's heirloom lure (which we probably aren't) just tell gramps that you handed it down to posterity.

        Pound that into the boys' heads. Stupid happens fast. The buddy system works best at the prevention stage. At the intervention stage: not so much.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by qwazse View Post
          Stupid happens fast. The buddy system works best at the prevention stage. At the intervention stage: not so much.
          I'll be stealing this line and adding it to my "I can't fix stupid" and "I can't fix dead."

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          • #6
            Thank for all the replies. There will be a leader with Safe Swim Defense certification, and after my question about swimming ability the heat is now down to a simmer.

            Old_Guy

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            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              Awesome. When you get back, please post some thoughts (yours or the boys) on the trip under "Camping and High Adventure"?

          • #7
            You stick a man in a uniform and suddenly he becomes a wellspring of regulations that no one else seems to ever have heard of.

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            • #8
              Well in such a case if you have authorities nearby then it is better to ask then to remove your confusion but as per the taking of decision it was right on your part.

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