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BoR Question "What would you change?"

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If I was COR, I'd have many questions about the quality of the unit aquatics programs/procedures if anyone less than a BSA Lifeguard is signing off on the BSA Swim Test.


John, I am a BSA Lifeguard Counselor and I'm not aware that only BSA Lifeguards can sign off the First Class swimming requirement. Did you just make that up? If you have a BSA Lifeguard in your unit, it's fine that you ask him/her to sign it off...but it's not a requirement that I know of.


Of course, if you are doing the swimming requirement as a unit, then all Safe Swim Defense rules should be followed, including "qualified supervision".

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In my experience, "tent lines" are sometimes necessary when you're compelled to use a troop camp site that's too compact for the "willy-nilly" method. Tent lines also help channel traffic, etc. Tent lines aren't the only way, of course, but they are one way. And, you can still use the patrol method while doing so, and allow younger Scouts to select patrol camp sites, even if it's just which row they're going to use, the line alignment, and the spacing/interval -- it's all attention to detail.


It's optimal if all the tents are identical, but even when they are, it works best to at least stake the tents out sequentially starting at one end, then work your way down. Otherwise, you'll invariably end up doing the accordion thing to either move tents closer together or further apart.


All that said, I agree with other posters who wonder whether or not your Troop's technique in application is perfectly acceptable, is a reportable crime, or something in between. I also agree that a BOR is a perfect forum to bring it up if the opportunity presents itself. In cases where the Troop committee is detached from operations, is untrained, or possibly both, it may be the only way the topic will be given the light of day. If the SM's a better transmitter than receiver, it'll be more of a struggle.



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Your last paragraph got exactly to my point: I remember a key point made by my BSA Lifeguard Counselor: Lifesaving MB is designed to introduce skills and to prepare a Scout that he NOT get in aquatic trouble. BSA Lifeguard was designed to train a youth or adult to be "qualified supervision."


No, there is no requirement that a BSA Lifeguard be the signee on the BSA Swim Test. That said, the conditions Lisabob wrote in her post (any 1st Class or above can sign off on Sct-1st Cl requirements) gave me a case of the "uh-ohs" ... especially in regard to Scoutings aquatics program!


Now, a 13 year old who is in a swim club and regionally ranked by The Athletic Congress (old AAU) has a completely different aquatics skillset than most Scouts. He probably should be given a Warrant as a unit Instructor for swimming to help others. Then I would have no problem with him signing off on a BSA swim test ... especially if he understands the gravity of what he's doing.


I hope I've clarified my thoughts here. If not, we can either spin off the conversation or PM off-list.


YIS John

An old BSA Lifeguard who is up for renewal this year

A Good Old Owl Too


(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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In our troop, any scout 1st class or above can sign off on the requiremetns for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class. They all have a keen awareness of this responsibility and this is usually discussed during a 1st class BOR. I have never seen a marginal swimmer sign off on someone else's swimming requirements. We have been fortunate enough to have a BSA lifeguard in the troop for the past several years but we also have other scouts who are on swim teams etc. Scouts usually sign off on the requirements that they feel most comfortable with testing another scout on. Regarding the Citizenship requirements, that is one where the adult who meets with the scout.


I do not in any way feel that our program is lacking. Teaching and testing younger scouts is one way that older scouts solidify their own knowledge. Learn it, practice it, test it, teach it - that's the best way to truly assimilate a new skill.

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To Mr or Ms AwHeck:


First Class Requirement Five demands ADULT ASSOCIATION:


Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your Constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen.


(2004 edition BSA Requirements)


If you, your SM, your Troop Committee and your COR are permitting any 1st Class or above Scout to sign out this requirement, I submit you are doing younger Scouts a dis-service.

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I didn't say that... apparently I didn't complete the sentence but the final sentence in my first paragraph is: "Regarding the Citizenship requirements, that is one where the adult who meets with the scout." (should have ended with ...who meets with the scout signs the requirement)


This is the one requirement (other than scout spirit/SM conference/BOR) where an adult MUST sign off. There are a few such as service hours, participation where the advancement chair *might* sign off based on what is in our TroopMaster database or another scout might sign off if the scout can document that he has completed the requirement to the satisifaction of an older scout.




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I don't see why a trusted older Scout can't sign off when a First Class candidate has discussed citizenship with a selected individual approved by the leader.


The official might be honored to actually sign the requirement off in the Scout's handbook, but it isn't necessary that he do it.



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