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Swimmer test

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YoungBlood,

I was in error. You are correct regarding open sailing & boating. Thanks for the correction. I should have gone into more detail with my answer.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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my responces in this forum have been in responce to the other posts. when running an aquatics area i dont simply follow some strict guidline that i set forth. the situation dictates. as i said, if a boy can swim yet is terrified in the water without his aids then i say he's not a swimmer. if a boy simply prefers them, well he's good to go. if a scout has a doctors orders not to go in the water with out earplugs or goggles i dont have a problem with that. lets think here. is he wearing those things because if not he will panic? or is he wearing them because his doctor has suggested them for the boys health. if a scout has to wear earg plus due to doctors orders that doesnt mean if they were to come off he would panic and therefore be an unsafe swimmer. i know my previous entries have seem strict. but rest ussured the most important thing to me when running an aquatics program is that every child has the most fun posible as well as the best learing experience. but, if the situation dicatates a possible safty iddues then i will consider it on an individual basis.

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Youngblood: Stick to your guns. If a boy can't swim in deep water without aids, then he has no business in the deep water! I believe you have taken the stance of a responsible adult and someone I could trust my son with.

 

I do not know what the Irving, Texas interpretation of the rules is, but I suspect the "no aids" statement from G2SS is a strong clue!

 

I would not argue to much about earning the swimming merit badge with aids while an instructor watched this specific boy ready to rescue him. But I don't think that same boy should be allowed in water over his head with only group supervision.

 

IF, BSA's interpretation truly allows a boy in deep water, if he can only swim there with aids, THEN first, I can't be in charge, or anywhere close to that water as a responsible adult, AND I must WARN parents about that danger their son may choose to enter (w/ BSA's blessing) so they can make an informed decision for their family.

 

I hope the many lurkers (folks who just read here, but do not post) will thoughtfully consider this and investigate this within their own units.

 

I hope this is helpful.(This message has been edited by imascouter)

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"Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. 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."

THIS is the requirement. Period. In the explanation following the requirement, the statement is made about entering the water without aids. Then it explains what that means, "Walking in from shallow water, easing in from the edge or down a ladder, pushing off from side or bottom, or gaining forward momentum by diving do not satisfy this requirement." I would buy your argument if you were concerned about a mask and fins, or waterwings. But anyone who thinks a noseclip or goggles or earplugs should disqualify an otherwise competent swimmer is adding their own opinion of how things should be, unfairly. I'm waiting for someone to argue about the proper bathing suit. How about a swim cap? Or a waterproof watch? An ID bracelet? Take your concerns to the top guys if you think you're right. Get them into the regs and then we'll all conform. But you'd have a bad scene if you kept one of my guys out on this basis...and it wasn't clearly in the regulation.

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The complete text from G2SS about the swim test is below:

_________________

 

Swimmer Test

 

The swimmer test demonstrates the minimum level of swimming ability required for safe deep-water swimming. The various components of the test evaluate the several skills essential to this minimum level of swimming ability:

 

Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. 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 completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

 

The test administrator must objectively evaluate the individual performance of the test, and in so doing should keep in mind the purpose of each test element.

 

 

"Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. . . ."

The swimmer must be able to make an abrupt entry into deep water and begin swimming without any aids. Walking in from shallow water, easing in from the edge or down a ladder, pushing off from side or bottom, or gaining forward momentum by diving do not satisfy this requirement.

 

 

". . . Swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; . . ."

The swimmer must be able to cover distance with a strong, confident stroke. The 75 yards must not be the outer limit of the swimmer's ability; completion of the distance should give evidence of sufficient stamina to avoid undue risks. Dog-paddling and strokes repeatedly interrupted and restarted are not sufficient; underwater swimming is not permitted. The itemized strokes are inclusive. Any strong side or breaststroke or any strong overarm stroke (including the back crawl) is acceptable.

 

 

". . . swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke . . ."

The swimmer must indicate the ability to execute a restful, free-breathing backstroke that can be used to avoid exhaustion during swimming activity. This element of the test necessarily follows the more strenuous swimming activity to show that the swimmer is, in fact, able to use the backstroke as a relief from exertion. The change of stroke must be accomplished in deep water without any push-off or other aid. Any variation of the elementary may suffice if it clearly provides opportunity for the swimmer to rest and regain wind.

 

 

". . . The 100 yards must be swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. . . ."

The total distance is to be covered without rest stops. The sharp turn simply demonstrates the swimmer's ability to reverse direction in deep water without assistance or push-off from side or bottom.

 

 

". . . After completing the swim, rest by floating."

This critically important component of the test evaluates the swimmer's ability to maintain in the water indefinitely even though exhausted or otherwise unable to continue swimming. Treading water or swimming in place will further tire the swimmer and are therefore unacceptable. The duration of the float test is not significant, except that it must be long enough for the test administrator to determine that the swimmer is, in fact, resting and could likely continue to do so for a prolonged time. The drownproofing technique may be sufficient if clearly restful, but it is not preferred. If the test is completed except for the floating requirement, the swimmer may be retested on the floating only (after instruction) provided that the test administrator is confident that the swimmer can initiate the float when exhausted.

 

______________

 

The G2SS provides interpretation beyond the simple statement of the test. This is where the language, "without any aids" appears. The basic statement of the test does not make this point and that is all that is cited in the rank requirement. Once again the written word sows confusion rather than clarity.

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Swim 75 yards in a strong manner.

this is where the trained, qualified adult in charge has to make a decision. what defines strong manner. thats the director in charge to decide. thats what he or she has been trained and paid for. packsaddle, before you threaten those willing to disqualify one of your boys you should consider that. it is the responsibility of the qualified supervison to be sure each boy can complete this test in a strong manner. i wouldnt consider a scout who, while swimming well enough with these aids, panics when those aids are removed. unfortunatly we do not live in a perfect world. those aids could come off in any number of situation. if this happens and this scout panics we have a real safty issue. for the scout, the scouts around him and the lifeguard who has to go in there and help him. rest assured that my staff take it as their personal responsibility for every one of your scouts to have the best aquatics experience possible. but if he is panic stricken by the idea of swimming without earplugs or goggles he will have to get over that fear. i'd be willing to give him ever chance possible. he'd even be able to take the swim test with those aids as far as i'm concerned, but, he better show me he can get in without those aids as well. i just couldnt allow him to go out in the bay in a sailboat if i have that fear of his earplug comming out in my mind. it just wouldnt be a responsible thing to do

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Packsaddle,

But anyone who thinks a noseclip or goggles or earplugs should disqualify an otherwise competent swimmer is adding their own opinion of how things should be, unfairly.

 

I don't care if the kid could swim miles with his goggles and noseplug! The point is, if he can't show that he doesn't need them to swim then I would be extremely irresponible to pass him and liable if anything should happen to that boy!!(This message has been edited by YoungBlood)

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And just to clarify, will people please stop accusing me of adding to rank advancement requirements. The swimmer test is NOT the same as the first class requirement. They are alike, but they are not the same and can not according to BSA be considered the same. Also, just to add a point, anybody who has attended Camp school may remember that one of the duties of the aquatics director is to decide upon local policy. It would seem to me that this could easily be considered local policy.

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YoungBlood,

Agreed. But is a Scout passes the swimmers test, he has passed that requirement for 1st Class.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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It may have taken awhile, but a dim lightbulb just went off. Youngblood and AquatDir are talking about the swimmer test taken at Summer Camp to establish the campers status at the waterfront versus the First Class requirement of swimming. I can see a difference in how those two items would be judged. A Swimmer test for camp would qualify for passing First Class, but merely eeking out the first class swimming requirement may not make a waterfront director comfortable putting the swimmer out in any type of boat (or over the head water).

 

BTW, our Summer camp allows boats to go out with one swimmer and a beginner as a crew, is that wrong? Both of course wear PFD's from 10 feet near the water on in.

 

(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Youngblood,

nose'clips' not 'plugs'...that thought is downright painful. I think the important phrase from your response is "I don't care..." You have a personal opinion and you exploit the lack of clarity by BSA to impose that opinion unfairly on some boys (at your camp), but not others (who are going to other camps). You therefore place BSA in the position of applying their rules and regulations in an unfair and unequal manner. This is partly your fault for wanting to impose your opinion in the form of an unwritten regulation. It is partly the result of BSA's lack of clarity which gives you that opening. Obviously there is a need for BSA to resolve this with a more specific revision to their documentation.

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PackSaddle,

That's fine, we can both agree to disagree with each other. Atleast, I know that I am doing it for the safety of the boy.

 

OGE and Ed,

Actually after reading through some of my camp school info, it states that the swim test and the first class requirement should be adminstered as two seperate test. I am not sure of their reasoning but that is what it says.

 

OGE,

What kinda boats are we talking about here? Sail boats, row boats or canoes?

(This message has been edited by YoungBlood)

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I would just like to add an additional comment to what I said earlier.

 

If the boy can (and does) pass the test without aids, then I see no reason for him not to be able to use them as he pleases during fun swimming.

 

If the boy tries to pass the test without them and can't then it means there is a strong potential for him to drown. (It will happen that these aids will get knocked off, leak, etc, during normal use.)

 

After all, this is the spirit of the rules; to keep a boy out of danger. It is the spirit of a rule that should guide you in your interpretation of the rule. In the case of safety, it is important to be conservative in how this is addressed.

 

As far as, "you'd have a bad scene if you kept one of my guys out on this basis." Uh, no I would not. If I am in charge, I am in charge, period. Responsible and capable adults do not give into parents who try to bully the leaders. I would however be pleased to shutdown completely, for safety reasons, any event I am in charge of until all participants and parents agree fully to my interpretation of the rules, or until those who supervise me find someone else to take over.

 

Making sure a boy does not drown is very important.

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