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Okay, Much conversation about the BSA Handbook p57-58 Tenderfoot Physical Fitness improvement tests has led to the question of adult leaders meeting the same requirements every year, so...


Physical Fitness is absolutely a requirement for adults carrying out the program.


Does meeting the same requirement mean that every year in Scouting the Adult would have to show improvement over the previous year(not even the Corps asks for that) or over a specific 30 day period? Or would an adult leader just need to meet a minimum acceptable standard to continue to serve actively (as SM or ASM). If unable to do so are the adults drummed out or might they be able to stay on in committee functions or doing Commissioner duties? Or should those adults have a minimum standard to meet also?


I can still pass a USMC PFT - minimums given here- http://scetc.tecom.usmc.mil/SecurityAssistance/general/pft.asp ; age adjustments give more time on the run. Is that enough as a minimum standard or is it to much?

Or do we require an additional swim test(1/2 mile, 1/4 mile?) and Load carrying event (five mile hike with 30% of bodyweight?)?

And who is going to administer this?

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Yah, Gunny, I think the adult leader fitness requirements was packsaddles response to somethin' I wrote. Namely that we should have real fitness requirements for the youth for First Class Scout. Not just "show improvement" (of a fraction of a pushup or whatever), but actually "meet a standard." Same as we do for every other requirement, eh?


I think it would be a fine thing to add 2C and 1C fitness requirements for boys.


I think it would also be just fine to make adults do 'em.


Seems to me the various armed forces PFTs are a perfectly reasonable standard. Those minimums look fairly minimum, eh? Seems like that level of fitness would be needed just to go get help when needed in the woods. Still, I think we'd want to add some further adjustments for the over 60 crowd. Armed forces don't usually keep 'em that long, eh? But we've got some fine scouters servin' into their 80s. I even hope to be one a few years down da road ;).




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We do have fitness requirements at 2d and 1st Class:


Second Class Requirement 1b

Using a compass and a map together, take a five-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian.


Granted, that is an activity, but it requires an ability to walk five miles at one swoop!


Second Class Requirement 7b

Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.


First Class Requirement 9b

Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.

To wit: Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth. Swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

(sourced from G2SS, but available in other places verbatim)


I do not know how many adult leaders at Scout Camp over the years I've seen not take a swim test!


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Lets see, we are an uniformed organization that struggles to get its' adult members in uniform, and wear it correctly, we struggle with whether or not adult leaders should be trained or not, mostly not because if the time requirement to be trained and now we are going to add that the scout leader has to meet physical performance standards


I agree adult scouters need to live the Oath and Code, I am not sure this is the time to be implementing physical performance standards.

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If SM and ASM's can be "disqualified" on physical fitness issues, why not make sure they are psychologically tested every year to make sure they are still emotionally qualified and be academically tested to make sure they don't forget the information necessary to function from one year to the next. After all we don't want any psychotic, feeble, stupid old men and women being SM or ASM's in our boy's troops.



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Well, Beaver was right, that is where the question came from and I just thought I'd formalize it into an actual question and see what response I got.


As far as testing goes, it seems to me that SM's and ASM's and any other parent who chooses to join in get physically tested every time they take the boys into the woods. I guess it is then up tho the adult to determine whether or not they still have the skills. Or if they need to recruit their replacement before they go into the back room on the Committee or work as a Commissioner.


Psychological testing - you have to be crazy to volunteer to do this - you'll wash out everyone! :)


I do think that we should be fit at some level, and being demonstrably able to keep up on hikes and swim events is probably a reasonable demonstration of that fitness. As well as the ability to obtain that adventure or Philmont physical.


Anyone else want to chime in?

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Then you have Scouters, like me, this year I had a heart attack, found out I need a lung transplant. The military took a severe toll on my knees and back. BUT I still can serve, I just understand my limitations. I will not participate in high adventure activities, or really strenous activities. but there are still many ways that I can support the troop as an ASM. There are plenty of ways to utilize what I lwarned at WoodBadge, and all of the other trainings that I have completed. So perfect physical fitness is not nessessary to do all of the work need in a troop.



Robert L. DeWitt

Assistant Scout Master

"I used to be a Bear"


Troop 12 Augusta, Ga


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Ummmm, how about because most areas of Scouting are in dire need of more parental involvement, not less. We are asking them to donate their time (and money), why in the world would we attach more conditions on that?


Lest we forget, there are many reasons why someone would be considered not "physically fit". It's not always because we are just lazy slobs who are unable to control our food intake.

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So if a unit is really having trouble with recruiting adults, they should lower their standards in morality too?


Really, unless you qualify for a handicap hang tag on your mirror (and if you do, I'll grant you an exception) you should be able to meet BSA scout fitness requirements for each and every rank. If you can't, how can you serve as a role model? Every one of our ASMs can meet the requirements, even the obese one. And I'd put our SM against any other SM in a fitness test.

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Lead from the front.


When the new scouts go out for the fitness requirements, let the SM & ASM's show how the pull up is done, doe the requirements right along with the scout. SPL too.


Encourage the committee and ASM's to earn the Physical Fitness Award and present it at the COH and encourage others to earn it.


Until now, I was unaware of it, I'll go earn it. How about you? I agree with Gern, if you have a handicap tag, you get a pass, in the Army - we called it a "profile".



Sing with me Gunny!

Ain't no use in looking down!

Ain't no profile on the ground!



Sorry to hear about your illness, I hope you get well soon.

(This message has been edited by Gonzo1)

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I think it is definitely something to be encouraged - perhaps not required though. Some years ago, as a cub leader, I tried to get parents interested in the physical fitness award, in hopes of getting the boys to try it together with their families. No dice. Maybe it is time to try again though.

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