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  1. Scouts with Disabilities

    Where parents and scouters go to discuss unique aspects to working with kids with special challenges.

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    A place to chat about Scouting's biggest gathering


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  1. BSA Knife Policy

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  2. Adult-led troops

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    • The short answer is of course yes, you can give as little or as much of your time as you want to scouting.  It's not indentured servitude.  Others will either step up or not, but, that's on them, not you.
    • I told my parents about the squirt gun ban.  When they picked themselves up off the ground from laughing, they happily filled their kids and their own supersoakers and had a rollicking good time.  But, the BSAs credibility took a hit.  Same thing happens when units openly ignore the membership standards.  
    • Been a scout leader/dad for 2 years, very active, in and out of scouting, But now don't like the programming, and direction its taking, will still continue as my son enjoys the playtime, the meetings are too much like an afterschool program, just more crafts, and stem projects  when asked his favorite part of scouting, its not the camping, or outdoor stuff, its the playtime before and after the meetings, my son loves to camp, just not at scout camps, too tied up with camp activities and not enough playtime, by the time scout season starts in September we will already have completed the bear requirements. can a leader step back and not be as active once you've already given it 100%? is it fair to put the additional burden on others? stepping away from scouting will actually increase time we spend outdoors playing with outdoor skills    
    • GSUSA has a very similar swimming policy to BSUSA regardless of BS or GS policy wasn't followed in that case   this is GSUSA swim policy Safety Activity Checkpoints Identify lifeguard(s). When using a staffed public facility, lifeguards will be provided. At beaches or waterfronts, make sure a lifeguard will be on duty. For swimming on your own, you’ll need to recruit a lifeguard. Ask your council for suggestions. At least one lifeguard (certified in American Red Cross Lifeguard Training) and one watcher are present at all times. Additional lifeguards and watchers may be needed; see the table below. Exception for lake, rivers, streams: At least one lifeguard (certified in American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguard course or the equivalent) is present for every 10 swimmers, plus one watcher. Exception for pools:  For swimming activities in public pools, hotel and cruise-ship pools, and backyard pools, the lifeguards are at least 16 years old and have American Red Cross Lifeguard Training certification or the equivalent.  When girls are wading in water more than knee-deep, an adult with American Red Cross Basic Water Rescue certification or with documented experience according to your council’s guidelines, as outlined in Volunteer Essentials.  Identify watchers. One adult watcher is needed for every ten swimmers. This person assists the group by watching for possible emergencies. Lifeguards and watchers are stationed at separate posts. They stay out of the water, except in emergencies. American Red Cross (ARC) Basic Water Rescue, YMCA Aquatics Safety Assistant, or similar training is the preferred preparation.  Alternately, the lifeguard may be able to give watchers an orientation. Again, check with your council in advance. Swimming Lifeguards and Watchers Ratios Number of Swimmers Lifeguards Watchers 1–10 1 adult (see exception for pools above) 1* 11–25 1 adult (see exception for pools above) 2* 26–35 2 persons, at least 1 is an adult; others may be 16 years of age or older. 3* 36–50 2 persons, at least 1 is an adult; others may be 16 years of age or older. 4* 
      Clearly identify swimming abilities. These could be indicated, for example, with different colored wristbands to signify beginners, intermediate, and advanced swimmers. Swim tests can be conducted in advance, or on the day of swimming. The pool operator or lifeguard may determine the type of swim test, based on the skills needed. Some examples: • In pools, the lifeguard can ask each participant to enter the water slowly, stay close to the edge of the pool, swim from one end to the other, and then float for 30 seconds. • In lakes, the lifeguard can ask each participant to jump into the water, swim for 50 yards, then float or tread water for one minute. • In surf, the swimming test should be held in advance. The lifeguard asks each participant to jump into water over her head, swim 100 yards using a combination of freestyle and elementary backstroke, and then tread water for two minutes. 
      Ensure swimming site safety. Ensure that: • A posting indicates water quality passes local health department tests and sanitation standards.  • Shallow areas are marked “No Diving.” • Diving areas are separate from other swim areas. • Chlorine levels are tested and maintained. Water should be clear. • The area around the pool is free of clutter. • No electrical appliances are anywhere near the pool. • The swimming area should be free from dangerous marine life and clearly marked. • No sharp, rocked, or heavily shelled beach waters should be chosen, if possible. • At water parks, do not dive or run. Most water park injuries are from slips and falls.  • Participants should know their physical limits. Observe a water ride before going on. Use extra care on water slides.   • Monitor time in the water. How long should participants swim? Swimmers’ ability, weather conditions, and water temperature should be considered. Often, 30-minute time periods are plenty.  • Swim only during daylight or in well-lit pools. • Diving is prohibited in waters of unknown depth or conditions. For all diving, the required water depth extends 10 feet on each side of the board or jumping point. If tides, drought, or other forces affect the water depth, it is checked each time before diving is permitted. Girls do not dive off the side of the board. Safety Gear   • Ask the pool operator or lifeguard what’s available: • Reaching pole, rescue tube, backboard, ring buoy, throw bag with line (typically 30 feet) • For open water, a paddle board, rescue can, kayak, or other rescue gear  • Goggles, swim cap, and/or nose and ear plugs for girls who need them 
      These checkpoints should be reviewed with the vendor, facility, or your council as appropriate.  
    • The Troop and Scoutmaster mentioned need to have their fallacies put before them.  The adult leaders are "selling the Scouts a bill of goods".   I rather imagine the story about the swim test must hold true for fire safety, cooking, first aid and navigation.  We hear of these things at summer camp, where a young Scout may be put in charge of a Skill Station or MB class, but not from a Scoutmaster? . .  The false sense of accomplishment will come back to haunt them. Both the Scouts and their Scouters.  Trustworthy?   What does that really mean?  The Troop of my Yooooth took us to a local hotel (1960's) with an indoor pool in the winter.  Spring and summer, fall we were ushered to local "rich " folk that let the Scouts swim in their pools.  We also had Red Cross lessons in a local Country Club pool, when we were not at Scout Camp.  Looking back, I see now it took a fair amount of asking and organizing and scheduling on our parents' part. I guess they thought it was important, being comfortable and safe around the water.  Thank you, mom and dad. 
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