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jps

Swimmer test

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A minor tempest in the pool

 

I am working with a scout who insists that he needs to wear a nose plug and goggles when swimming. (This is a work in progress, and I am quite aware that the goal is to not depend on these aids.)

 

However, several of my esteemed fellow scouters insist that the scout can not pass the swimmer test while wearing them. They refer to past experiences at summer camp, during which the testers told the scouts they can not wear goggles or noseplugs. I ask them to quote me chapter and verse of the requirements that states he can not wear the goggles and nose plug when taking the test.

 

Does anyone know of a specific reference?

 

Thanks,

 

JPS

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Speaking as a camp school certified Aquatics Director I would not pass that boy as a swimmer. I may give him beginner but not swimmer. If that boy can only swim with a nose plug and goggles then we will have a problem when I allow him out on a sailboat in the middle of the bay and he falls out. Or we may have some major trouble when he is in the crowded deep end of the pool and a fellow swimmer knocks his goggles off. It is not safe or responsible to pass anybody when they are not a STRONG swimmer. I would qualify a strong swimmer as somebody who can pass the swim test without aids and with a strong stroke. I see boys at summer camp all the time who are reliant on nose plugs and goggles. We generally ask them to do it with out or give them begginer and let them take the test again later on in the week after a little confidence building session or two. My suggestion is to let him take the test with the aids once and keep building his confidence untill he is ready to do it again with out them. Goodluck!

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Being a swimming merit badge counselor, I know of nothing that says he can't wear nose plugs & goggles. If he comletes the swimming requirement for a swimmer, he is a swimmer.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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If you can stand an opinion from someone who doesn't actually know, but is using his common sense:

 

I've never heard of a boy being being failed during a swim test for using nose plugs and goggles, nor have I read anything. Although I agree with Youngblood's intention that safety has to take precedent when deciding, it seems to me that the people who could probably be considered the strongest swimmers, swim team competitors (all the way to and including olympic swimmers) use goggles, and I have seen a few nose plugs while watching olympic diving.

 

I'll bet that given the situation Youngblood describes, where his goggles are knocked off, if he could swim to safety with the on, he can do it with them off.

 

Mark

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I agree with the logic of the swim aids and I agree that a swimmer who can pass with the aids can probably also pass without, I agree that he needs to learn to swim without, and I agree that he may panic the first time in the water without; but...

 

SHOW ME THE RULE THAT SAYS NO SWIM AIDS.

 

Youngblood, I have seen aquatic directors do as you have stated and have always thought it wrong. I agree that we need to insure the safety of the swimmers. This seems to be another one of those 'customized requirements'.

 

Hmm, maybe I will make it interesting for the aquatic staff this summer at camp. I will try to take the test with goggles on and see what happens, and then ask them to show me the rules.

 

JPS

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jps,

There is no specific requirement for completing the swim test without the use of aids. However, it does state that the swim test must be completed in a strong manner. In my opinion, if the aquatics director, who is taking responibility for the safety of all of those boys in the water, does not believe using aids is showing he is a strong swimmer then by all means let him do so. There is no denying that the aquatics director is legally responbile if something should ever happen to anyone of those boys. I think it is only fair and appropiate to let him define a strong manner!

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Just another thought, lets say the boy who passes the swim test then takes the swimming merit badge. Would you expect the staff to allow him to do inflation with goggles and a noseplug???

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Yes. There is no requirement for the badge that states you can't use this kind of equipment.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I don't see why we even bother to teach them a survival skill then. What good will it do them when they actually do fall off some cruise ship and need to use inflation. They won't have their nose plugs and goggles then! Somebody else stated on this thread that if they can do it with goggles and a nose plug then they can do it without. I agree, with a little bit of pushing and some reassurance. I have watched firsthand kids try to swim with out their nose plugs and or goggles for the first time and then come up choking and panicking. Get them past their reliance now before it becomes a problem.

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YoungBlood,

I agree and also feel they should be able to do it with and without the devices. But nowhere in the merit badge requirement does it state that have to.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed,

Nowhere in the book does it say they can't wear a PFD while doing inflation either!(This message has been edited by YoungBlood)

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Youngblood, your right about the inflation. However, it would probably make it harder to actually inflate the clothes when wearing a PFD than without.

 

As to falling off the cruise ship..the fall would probably kill them which would make nose plugs and gogles moot.

 

Seriously,thanks for the input.

 

Just between you and me, I have doing drills in the pool with him that are subtly showing him that his nose plug is a hindrance. It is a process.

 

JPS

 

 

 

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jps, If they survived the fall then the screw would likely chum the water with them. Have a nice day!

 

Youngblood, It has been my impression that the swim test is a skills test to discriminate between boys who can swim well and those who can't. I think it's not a survival test or at least it better not be in my pool! And I agree with an earlier post...all the swimmers on our swim team wear goggles, an occasional noseclip.

 

There are good reasons to wear them. First, in a pool the chemicals are less likely to irritate the eyes and nose. For some children the reaction can be severe.

In lakes and rivers there is also a very small risk of infection and the goggles and noseclip can help there as well. Not to alarm anyone but you might want to refer to:

http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/FreeLivingAmebic.htm

The operational translation for 'olfactory neuroepithelium' is 'nose membranes'. Pay close attention to Naegleria fowleri. This is one of my favorites, nearly always fatal, and reeeeaaaally gruesome. You can help avoid it by blowing your nose often during and after swimming...or wearing a noseclip. I thought you guys might enjoy the link. There is a lake in SC where persons used to be required to wear respirators within 100 feet of the water because of this organism. That's right, you can get this from airborne spores as well. Sleep tight!

P.S. Never make an enemy of a parasitologist.

 

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