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Aquanaut accomodations for special needs kids

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  • #16
    ok cub scouts is do your best. For Aquanaut they would actually have to swim. Now if they start of as a webelos and only can swim say 10 yards and by then end of webelos after working and working and working make it only 75 yards - give it to him. Now that being said he would need to actually get into the pool and work at it and continue to improve.

    a few things... my son nearly drowned as a toddler and would never go in water he couldn't stand in without some sort of a float. Come time for Webelos summer camp and he decides to take the red swim test and jumped into the deepend without a flotation device of any kind. Did he pass? Nope. Was he proud as all get out? Yep. And he worked and worked and took lessons etc... he never did pass the BSA swim test as a webelos. But he earned his Aquanaut because he did his best and he worked hard to improve. Did he finally pass the BSA swim test? Yep! His 2nd year of summer camp as a boy scout he finally passed the test and has every year since then and even earned the swimming merit badge. He never became a good enough swimmer to earn Lifesaving, but he knows the skills to help someone if it was needed.

    Another scout I had never had the opportunity to take swim lessons. He didn't try to earn Aquanaut as a webelos. I did get with him as a boy scout and taught him enough basics that he too passed the BSA swim test and earned the swimming merit badge.

    And finally I have another scout who had cancer as a youngster. His growth development has been affected by this and does not have the physical strength to pass the BSA swim test. It was considered a disability in that they agreed that it would be years before he might possibly be able to pass as written. He did the hiking merit badge last summer and struggled with it but did manage it. Every year he has attempt to pass the swim test mainly to see if he can take a boating merit badge, but so far he has not been able to pass as he still doesn't have the endurance and lacks any body fat to help him stay afloat. And knowing this boy as I do I see him continuing every year to try and pass... every year he makes it a little bit farther and I make sure he knows it, but I know he will be bouncing off the ceiling if he does pass it.

    So anyway... long story short - if he can try as a cub let him try... if he won't then no big deal. But if he won't then be prepared for boy scouts when the BSA swim test is required for 1st class or going through the hoops for a different requirement.


    • #17
      I just reviewed the requirements for this pin. My son never did get this pin as he did not have the skills as a webelo to get it. As a boy scout he saw that the swimming merit badge is needed for many things so he wanted to work on swimming. This spring we ran from my house to the Y (1 mile run) and then swam with him doing 200 yards at least per session. He got his swimming merit badge this year at camp.

      If your son wants it give him the training and the time to get in the water, and earn the pin when he is ready. There should be no award givin where it is not earned.


      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        That's the way it's done

        No snivelers

    • #18
      At our Scout Camp, we don't have a pool. All we have is the lake we fish in. Like many lakes, you can't see the bottom. If you do go into it, all you feel on your feet is slimy algae (which can be heaven or hell for a child with sensory dysfunction that is common to Autism/Aspergers). In my pack, we had a child say he didn't want to get in the water because 'Fish Pee and Poo in it" You know, he's right. We don't want to swim in our potty water do we? Our waterfront coordinator talked to him about how they test the water for bacteria and how the nitrogen cycle works (like in home aquariums) but on a larger pond scale. The boy eventually got in. He has no problem swimming. Aquanaut isn't required for Arrow of Light or Weblos Rank patch. So I wouldn't worry about it too much. Besides, modifications must be in the spirit of what is trying to be accomplished (i.e. a child with a mobility impairment can't take a typical hike, however, the child with the den can 'wheel' a few blocks to another place of interest). Getting in the water is a comfort zone thing imo, a massive change in environment. Only thing that comes to mind would be like indoor skydiving (which I don't know if it would be in the GTSS) or maybe ziplining.