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Posts posted by mashmaster

  1. 41 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:



    ONLY if they are going to a council summer camp.  Any adult with SSD can administer the test for unit activities. But  for summer camp, they need to be credentialed. here is the link to the Aqautics Manual https://www.ncacbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/bsa_swim_classification_test.pdf




    Maybe it is council based, our council only accepts the BSA form which clearly conflicts with the NCABSA form.

  2. Are you sure? per the form https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/outdoor program/aquatics/pdf/430-122.pdf when I look at the form it wants much more than just an adult with SSD


    OPTION A (at camp): The swim classification test is completed the first day by camp aquatics personnel.

    OPTION B (Council conducted/council controlled): The council controls the swim classification process by predetermined dates, locations, and approved personnel to serve as test administrators. When the unit goes to summer camp, each individual will be issued a buddy tag under the direction of the camp aquatics director for use at the camp.

    OPTION C (At unit level with council-approved aquatics resource people): The swim classification test done at a unit level should be conducted by one of the following council approved resource people: Aquatics Instructor, BSA; Aquatics Cub Supervisor; BSA Lifeguard; BSA Swimming & Water Rescue; or other lifeguard, swimming instructor, etc. When the unit goes to summer camp, each individual will be issued a buddy tag under the direction of the camp aquatics director for use at the camp. 

  3. We happen to have a lifeguard and master swim coach in my family, so yearly we conduct the test in a 25 yard pool. We are not looking for how fast they swim other than the fact that some of them we don't pass and tell them to get some more lessons or practice because they stuggle to maintain a reasonable forward pace and are a danger of drowning if they got in a potential distress situation. Same rule works for adults and children. We don't mark off because they did a flip turn because frankly, once they are doing that they can usually swim forever anyway.

    It is completely subjective, and I know many people that have passed the test at the Y that I wouldn't have passed. Summer camps are notorious for passing everyone. Swimming is a life skill that all should learn and know. 

    As a Sea Scout, I promise to do my best:

    • To guard against water accidents
    • To know the location and proper use of the lifesaving devices on every boat I board
    • To be prepared to render aid to those in need
    • To seek to preserve the motto of the sea: Women and Children First.

    Wearing and proper fitting PFD is critical. If you don't know how to tell if it fits please research it. They make a huge difference in survival in a distress situation. If you aren't wearing it, it won't get on you in the time of need.

  4. 28 minutes ago, TMSM said:

    Why not test them when you arrive? The SM can sign off on this. 

    Its important to note that if they fail they go home. 

    The other option is to find a scout friendly pool - hotel, private or lake where you could pre-test


    Scoutmaster can't sign off I believe it is someone that has the proper aquatics certification.

    Most lifeguards at public pools can conduct and sign off on swim tests.

  5. 3 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    We did it, and the Scouts loved it!  Older Scouts got to load and fire a flare gun, and the youngers got to light marine flares (30 Scouts in total).  Most of these we acquired from out of date items that boaters in our unit had.  Many had not checked their boat's gear for some time, and were happy to hand over the expired items for training. (Coast Guard could issue a citation for expired gear, and/or make you return to port to replace...) We put out a Notice to Airmen through the FAA, and called our county emergency dispatch, our neighboring county emergency dispatch, and the state forest fire service.  All gave us a thumbs up and were glad we were giving training to young folks.

    Glad it worked out!  Sounds like y'all took the correct precautions

  6. 1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

    I question that, not that they have been donating their time for a long time, but are they really aware.  And I mean currently aware?

    My concern is that things change.  Many things are constant, but the outside influences can vary.  There are many difference just over the last 10 years in technology and in many ways the expectations of participants.  As these key leaders are more removed from active work with actual Scouts, their frame of reference is not current, not saying bad, just not current.  When was the last time some of them went camping with a troop, ran a pack meeting, worked as a merit badge counselor.

    Their references may be out of date, for example phones.  10 years ago you could call and text, maybe a downloaded game, and networks were sporadic.  The iphone was only introduced in 2007 and with it, an explosion of uses (some good and some not so good).  Now schools, families, and Scout units need to navigate that changed landscape.

    I know two people on the committee. Both of them are extremely active. One of which is involved as an ASM in a female troop. He is also active in venturing and OA.

    Both of them still work with scouts on a regular basis and spend a ton of time weekly with scouts including camping and treks. Have seen them both helping on Eagle projects currently along with working with the youth leadership for Venturing and Sea Scouts.

    They both use digital tools with our unit and others.

    So yes very currently aware. 

  7. 16 hours ago, Momleader said:

    Are they aware that it’s the local leaders who are trying to implement and provide programming to the youth while filling out all their metrics for these JTE and recruitment quotas while working full time, raising their own families,  Selling popcorn, cultivating relationships with schools and chartered orgs and trying to keep current on the training?  This is the hardest volunteer gig there is

    It is just 1 hour a week.....  

    In all seriousness, I don't know if the Churchill group does or not. The committees that are formed to review and recommend the way forward from this report is made up of Scouting volunteers that have been donating their time for a long time so they are aware.

  8. 3 hours ago, PACAN said:


    What does the National Commodore think or know the true membership of the Sea Scouts is?

    Again...how many are post 18? 

    Are the over 18 primary registration Ventures?

    What is the need or ramifications of the Sea Scouts not being attached to the BSA?

    Thanks for any info he is willing to provide.


    I'll ask when I see him next.  I believe the number is in the high 3000's for registrations. Still a small number. I don't know the answers to everything else.

    He did explain to me how Sea Scouts were part of Exploring for many years and advancement worked the same. So that isn't an issue in my mind anymore.

  9. 4 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The leaked document I found on reddit was shown to all BSA staff was released as a definitive document. Not a draft. Now with all the pushback, they are having to backpedal and get their story straight.

    This does not inspire confidence.

    I happened to have a discussion in the backyard of the commodore the day after the leaked document went live. It is a real document but it is only accepted as received.  That is where the confusion is I think. They had already started the formation of a couple of committees at the national level to discuss all the options. So this isn't a backpedal just a communications problem. He stated that someone at National really botched the communication.

    3 hours ago, PACAN said:

    The capping of Sea Scouts, Ventures, OA at 18 is an interesting discussion.

    Sea Scouts...there are less than 2000 in the program..any idea of the numbers of 18 and under youth.    The old Air Scouts program is now really the Civil Air Patrol.   The Sea Scouts could be the same under the USCG.  Does being under the BSA banner really do anything for them?

    Ventures..there are less than 22000 in the program..same question.  Use to be over 260000. 

    OA...since once elected to the OA you are a member for as long as you keep your registration and dues current does it matter where the youth/adult cut off is.   The senior regional leadership all wear Eagle Scout knots and all over 18. 

    Just wondering out loud on a friday.




    You are counting only the primary units for the scouts. There are more Sea Scouts than 2000, but it is the lowest number for sure.  Sea Scouts were part of exploring for years with advancement still happening, so that while a surprise doesn't seem to really be a blocking issue. I wasn't aware of that history and what changes that means. I am less worried about that part now.

    The 18+ rule is the hardest pill to swallow. Many of the Sea Scouts and Venturers turn 18 before leaving or even starting their senior year in high school. This is a huge part of their life and that is ripped away from them. Most of the VOA leadership and Sea Scout leadership comes from the 18+ scouts.  Then there are those that want to reach the ranks/awards of Summit and Quartermaster. Very hard to do before 18.  IMHO, much harder than attaining Eagle.

    • Thanks 1
  10. FYI; the National Sea Scout Commodore posted this today.


    Hello all - I wanted to give you an update on what I know about the Churchill proposal progress. I am told that the National Key 3 are preparing a statement that will list all of the Churchill proposals along with a description of the process going forward. That will be going out on Scouting Wire, and probably in Bryan on Scouting, so keep an eye there, but we'll post a link here as soon as we see it. That was supposed to have gone out earlier this week, but consensus is hard and is taking some time to get right. Hopefully we will still see it this week - that should at least give us authoritative information on what's going on and how to interact with the process.

    Meanwhile, I want to thank all of you for speaking up with the petition, your letters to Scout Executives, board members and everyone. We have completely dispelled any notion that nobody cares about Sea Scouts. You have all been loud and prolific in your responses and it has gotten a lot of attention.

    I am especially proud of our youth members. Many of them have taken the time to speak from the heart about what this program means to them - I have found their stories inspiring and it has certainly renewed my resolve to do all I can to fight for the continuation of Sea Scouts as we know it. And I know from comments I have heard from all levels in Scouting that their voices are being heard. Please keep the stories coming - ultimately we really are a youth movement, and these eloquent voices from our Sea Scouts mean more than anything I could say.

    We will continue to keep you posted with whatever we find out.

    • Upvote 2
  11. I don't think they can force the unit to sell popcorn and camp cards.

    I don't know how much FOS is given, but the council needs funds to operate and maybe there needs to be a better fundraiser that the units help in to raise money for the council. Councils provide benefit to the youth in the units but that requires money.  The employees at the district level don't make a ton of money. I don't think much of the rechartering fees goes to council. So it is a chicken and egg problem.

    I know our council is healthy financially and we provide money to other councils that are in need.

  12. Just posted:

    Dear Shipmates,

    This has been a stressful 48 hours since an unsigned “press release” was made public appearing to announce that all BSA programs would end at 18 and Sea Scouts BSA would be made part of Exploring
     as a maritime career program. These are NOT enacted policies.

    National Commodore TW Cook spent the weekend on the calls with Jenn Hancock, National Program Chair, and Dan Ownby, National Chairman. Other members of the National Sea Scout Support Committee contacted members of the BSA National Executive Board and BSA National Executive Committee over this press release.

    The two PROPOSALS are exactly that: Proposals. The process of reviewing any Churchill Proposal go to committees in the program group for study and implementation planning. None are done deals, and we have a say in the evaluation of them. These two topics are by no means decided. The National Key 3 is meeting tomorrow (July 13) to discuss this and we expect some sort of official clarification statement to happen shortly afterward. This statement will be shared once it is available.

    Scouting is a youth lead program. We have demonstrated Sea Scouts BSA strongly follows Scouting values with the over 2,000 signatures (so far) on the Change.org petition. The National Key 3 have seen this petition. Sea Scouts teaches that Scouts have a voice and this message has been sent loud, fast, and clear.

    We will post more when it is available. Until then, keep expressing your views on proposals for Sea Scouts, BSA, Venturing, and the Order of the Arrow.

    Yours in Sea Scouting,

    National Sea Scout Support Committee

  13. OK, this morning I happened to talk to the National Sea Scout Commodore.  He has been asked to be on the two committees to interpret the results of the report and help in the planning for moving forward.

    He says the acceptance is just an acceptance that BSA received the report, not an acceptance to follow the recommendations. He said the BSA top leadership is aware of the petitions going around and that they are a good thing to sign.

    So it appears this is the recommendation from the Churchill group but not from BSA and there is a lot to still be discussed and decisions to be decided on.

    • Upvote 1
  14. 35 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    That is a scary one.  So what are you actually paying a "fee" to be able to do?  What is this exactly?  A camping club??

    In my son's crew most don't do advancement because they are tired of that grind. They practice the other methods of scouting and work together to plan and execute trips.

    reminder, Advancement is only one method of scouting.

    • Upvote 3
  15. From the National Commodore today:

    Hi everyone - by now you may have seen the attached document which was sent out late yesterday. It is unsigned and I'm not sure exactly who in BSA actually wrote and sent it, and it seems inconsistent with what I understand of the process of dealing with the Churchill recommendations - the flowchart showed to BSA staff this week (you can see that chart at https://www.reddit.com/…/the_bsa_plan_announced_on_ceo_tow…/ if you haven't already) indicates that the Churchill recommendations will be accepted by the National Executive Committee and turned over to BSA management for further evaluation, and indeed, I've been asked to serve on two committees to study these two recommendations, so as best I can tell, that's the actual situation, but this document implies some sort of short cutting of that process.

    The 18 year old cutoff has been discussed before; the move to Exploring is a bit of a surprise. Exploring, as you probably know, is a separate division focused on career based activities. There is no Scout oath, Scout law, advancement, etc. so a move there would certainly cause dramatic changes to Sea Scouts and would take away many of the Scouting tools that help us build character for young people in Sea Scouts. If you think that is not a good idea, right now would be a good time for you to reach out to anyone you know on a Council, Area, Regional or especially the National Board and express your views and desires for the future of Sea Scouts.

    • Upvote 1
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