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The scout has not finished the swimming MB yet. Since he did not even want to attempt to try the swim test administered by the MBC, he did not do the canoeing MB.


The 2nd half (after MB requirements) of the weekend consisted of canoeing to a lakeside campground to spend the night. He was able to ride in a canoe with an adult swimmer (per GSS rules).

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Counselor's discretion. (Gee it's nice that all of us (or almost all) can agree there is local discretion about something, for once.)


It also sounds to me like the correct result occurred with this Scout. He got to go canoeing. (I assume when you say he "rode" you mean he paddled too, right?) In my day nobody simply "rode" in a canoe. :) He is 11 years old. He will grow older, larger, stronger and more confident in his swimming abilities, and when someone asks him to swim 100 yards it will be something he wants to do and not some dreary task. And then, in a year or two, he will earn Canoeing Merit Badge.

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According to G2SS, Swim tests must be administered annually do do either swimming or boating. As far as the merit badge requirements go, proof of completing said swim test, either by demonstration or by certification by a SM or certified lifeguard is sufficient for the requirement. This being said, it is up to the merit badge counselor if he/she feels comfortable with this Scout in the water. The MB Counselor is responsible for the Scout's safety and therefor if they feel that they should do a swim test on every applicant prior to instruction, that is up to them. It is not adding to the requirements.

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Roadkill Patrol,


Here we, the Troop, give the swim test annually before our first water outing. We also tell the boys that the swim test is for the TROOP and that Summer Camp, MBCs, or any swimming event outside the TROOP can and probably will require them to do it again.


It has nothing to do with trusting other Scouters but it has a LOT to do with ensuring boys safety. Our boys do NOT have a problem with it.


Just my $0.02



edited for typo(This message has been edited by ghermanno)

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  • 4 years later...

For your scouts who are having a tough time swimming ...

Just heard a great story from Mike Massimino on the Moth Radio Hour.

It might be airing on your public radio station this week.

It will be available online in a couple of days. When it does, you should be able to find a link here:


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