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Swimmer test

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Actually we agree on the need for safety. You simply have not supplied convincing evidence of how a noseclip is unsafe. Outside of your unsupported claim that anyone who loses a noseclip will panic, you have given scant support elsewhere for your opinion.

 

What I see is an arbitrary application of a personal opinion that may or may not have anything to do with a real safety issue although such provides a convenient means to cloak your opinion in undeserved merit. You have no way to conclude that a boy taking the test with a noseclip is unsafe without - or at least have given no evidence to support your opinion. Rather than informing us how the Red Cross or the YMCA approach this, perhaps making suggestions on how this does or does not apply to BSA, you supply us with all the force of logic and reason contained in...another iteration of your unsupported opinion. Using your approach, you would have equal validity in banning ID bracelets, swimcaps, or anything else you chose (I notice you didn't address those earlier) or, for that matter, rings on fingers. You present the fanciful possibility that the boy will 'panic' without the noseclip as support for your demand that it be removed. Without such justification and with an unwillingness to defend your opinion outside its simple restatement, your approach appears more like some kind of 'dominance' display than a reasoned policy. The "I'm in charge" approach does effectively control, but without a reasoned and rational basis it won't command respect. I view it as an example of weak leadership for the boys to follow. Perhaps the "I don't care..." attitude applies there as well.

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Actually I believe that YoungBlood did say that he had observed boys panic when they lost their nose clips. He did not give any details or say how often he had observed this. I am not sure how many observations are necessary. If I were responsible for the safe operation of a swimming program, one such incident would be enough to convince me that limitations on the activities of boys reliant on nose clips would be warranted.

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If the boy wants to wear a nose clip then that is fine with me. Aslong as he can prove that he can swim with out it. If he claims that he has a magical ring that allows him to swim, then I would like to see him swim with out his ring too! Things happen in crowded deep ends and sailing in the middle of a bay. Noseclips, rings, swimcaps, goggles can all be knocked off or lost. I would like to see proof that the boy will be able to handle himself in the water and not choke if such an incident should occur. I am not at all saying that a nose clip or goggles is the sign of a poor swimmer. Heck, I wear goggles when I am swimming for a long period of time in the pool. But no kid should be reliant upon such things. I have seen kids who can only pass the swim test with a face mask (goggles that cover the nose and eyes). As a matter of fact, when working with begginers they normally insist on using a facemaks when they retry the test. I normally let them take the test with it, but I let them know that I won't give them swimmer untill he can do it without it. Let me ask you a question, If a kid wears a lucky swim cap and with that lucky swim cap on he can swim miles with out rest. Yet, if he doesn't have his swim cap he can't even make begginer. Would you allow this kid to swim in crowded lakes and sail on the bay? I realize this is an unlikely situation, but it is the same situation as I am talking about. There are plenty of kids who can pass swimmer if they have a something pinching their nose and something to keep water out of their eyes but not without these conditions. It is my job to find those kids and not allow them to be classified a swimmer when in reality they are not!(This message has been edited by YoungBlood)

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packsaddle,

you talk about people such as YoungBlood and myself as not having proof that these nose plugs and goggles are a problem. niether one of us is trying to make a case that in all situations these aids will cause problems. i believe i states before that the situation dicatates. maybe you think i just throw kids in the water and see who makes it to the end. maybe i dont even really pay attention to the way the scout swims as long as they get there in the end. yeah, i probably even throw all kids with nose plugs, goggles, rings, caps, ID bracelets and such out of my pool without question. i must be come evil director who gets satifaction out of making scouts cry.

again, situation dictates. i dont need to prove here and now that aids such as those mentioned will cause problems. thats not the argument here. its situational arguement. my staff and myself, being responsible lifeguards pay attention to each scout as they swim. IF, i say again, IF a scout shows me that he will panic without the aids he is using THEN i will judge that situation accordingly. i'm not on some power trip where i make the rules, if you dont like them get out. i am interested in safty as well as good ole' aquatics fun. to make the statement that we would probably force kids with ID bracelets and swimming caps to remove them or fail is just plain silly. i really hope you weren't serious there because your getting petty.

let me say it again, the situation dicatates. as said before, if the goggles and such are being used during fun swim or boating as a preference, thats no big deal. as long as the scout demonstrated during the swim test that they did not absolutly NEED them in order to pass then he's ok. wheres the problem here? would you really allow one of you scouts who, in his individual case, panics without his goggles to the point of drowning pass as a swimmer. would you allow this scout in a sailboat or out in a motor boat where he could fall in at any time and have his goggles knocked off. PFD or not, panicing in the water is not a good thing. would you allow him to jump in and out of the deep end with 20-30 other kids all around him? knowing that if his goggles came off he would start flailing his arms, grabbing onto anything the floats(other swimmers included), and possible drown. thats what happens when a person starts to drown. they are a danger to himself and the people around him. your one of those scoutmasters i get all the time. you think the rules were made to hinder your boys fun. you probably go to the water front and argue with the director that you dont need a PFD. yeah, your a swimmer, and adult and were even once a lifeguard. why do you need a PFD? its just stupid right. yeah, you dont even need a buddy in your sailboat right. i mean, whats this kid gonna do if you are unconsious in the water from your boom hitting you in the head. he's just a kid.

realize the scouts best interest is in mind when people like youngblood and myself force them to swim without aid. not only to we care about safty, we are the ones who will loose a job and credibility if anyone gets seriously hurt or dies in our area.

 

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Eisely, if Youngblood saw someone panic after losing their noseclip, then either they were in the process of taking the swimtest (contrary to his stated policy...a situation I consider unlikely) or else his requirement that they take the test without noseclip failed on that occasion. They evidently passed the test without the noseclip and then went into panic later anyway. This hardly supports Youngblood's contention. Has Youngblood never observed a boy who didn't have a noseclip "come up choking and panicking". I have on many occasions. I am still asking for good evidence to support these claims. I am waiting for the waterfront professionals to show this forum what the Red Cross or YMCA have on this issue. Is this unreasonable? Do you think BSA established their regulations in ignorance of or disregard to the Red Cross and YMCA?

 

Youngblood, I refer you to an earlier post by AquatDir, "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 use the above as further evidence of the lack of an evenhanded approach to this issue. It is evident that AquatDir would allow the test if a doctor directed those 'aids'. He accepts the devices for the test if so ordered by a doctor. His opinion without the doctor's order is that a boy could panic if the goggles (or whatever) came off while in the water. However, with such doctor's order, the same boy would be given the benefit of the doubt. I submit that if so predisposed under your argument, the boy would panic either way if otherwise identical circumstances caused loss of the device. AquatDir simply didn't think this through. Your lack of objection to that statement implies at least an equivocal response to his acquiescence to the good doctor. While we wait for information from those other youth organizations with waterfront experience and policies, I believe it would be good for all of you 'in charge' types to get together and arrive at a uniform set of regulations that BSA could adopt. That would satisfy me because at least I and other leaders could read it in the book and then it could apply to the boys in an evenhanded manner.

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AquatDir, I am on the water a lot of the time in my work. I am not only aware of the regulations regarding PFDs but I support them and obey them. I take water safety seriously because I know what it means to have lost friends to needless on-the-job deaths on the water. I have little concern one way or the other if BSA requires the swim test without noseclips, goggles, or ear plugs. I just expect a level playing field for my boys and I defend them vigorously if someone is not evenhanded.

I am not accusing you of being a bad guy. As I have stated in other threads on other topics, I don't consider this to be about YOU. It is about the boys and I demand fairness for them. In this discussion, I detected an approach that was not evenhanded and I am attempting to call attention to that and, if possible, get it corrected. In my previous post I suggested ways to achieve that goal. You might want to direct some of your energy there as well.

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The reason the BSA has a little ambiguity in these requirements (i.e., "in a strong manner") is because they do not want the "in charge" types (i.e., "qualified supervision") to be forced to do something by a disgruntled Scoutmaster (or some other "not in charge" type), such as allow a boy to be classified as a swimmer, when in fact the "in charge" type feels this is not a safe action for the boy and/or for those around him.

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Youngblood,

Sorry, I missed that question. You admitted that it was an unlikely situation. I agree, I can't even envision this hypothetically. I attempt to answer it by trying to apply your policy in an unequivocal manner. If we turn your hypothetical situation around, there is something to work with. If you disallow the swim cap (or whatever) during the successful swim test, under carefully controlled and monitored conditions (the boy knows this), and then allow him the confidence of his 'swim aids' after he passes the test, just what have you gained? In your reasoning, you would allow an 'aid' that could give the boy just enough false confidence to get himself into real trouble out in open water where you have much less control. I state this in different terms: If a boy tests successfully under careful supervision and you then allow him his goggles or noseclip out in the open water, I submit that you have allowed a new untested condition that under your argument could lead to panic if the canoe capsizes (or whatever) and the noseclip is lost. I submit that to be true to your line of reasoning you should NEVER allow such an aid because it is inconsistent with the original test conditions. To allow such 'aid' after the test introduces factors that you neither control nor tested for in the first place. I am saying to all of you; decide on uniform regulations and be consistent in their application. That would be fair to everyone.

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how many times does it have to be said? situation dictates. i made the statement about a boy having doctors orders to wear a nose plug or goggles because i do not think that every boy wearing them is a safty issue. each situation is different and should be evaluated by the ligeguards in charge. i also understand that scouts who pass the test without aids can still panic at some point while participating in an aquatics activity. unfortunatly i can not see all possiblities. those possibilities i do see, i will do my best to control. preventitive lifeguarding is what BSA teaches. this means, doing ones best to see a potential problem before it occures and ensuring it does not occur.

example: a child passes the swim test while wearing goggles. lifeguard approaches the scout and asks "could you do it without goggles? the child says "sure" ok, "do me a favor, just jump in without the goggles and tred water for a bit" ok, he did it, i'm satisfied this scout swam his test in a strong comfortable manner. and no, i dont see that as adding a requirement. i see it as filling the "stong manner" portion of the requirement. another example: before jumping in i see a scout with goggles on. "hey, can you do it with out those goggle?" "yes, i just like to wear them to keep my eyes from stinging afterward." "ok, well, let me see you do it just this once without them." "ok, no problem." now lets say the scout answers "no way." "well why not?" "i'm scared." or, "i cant do it without them." dont you see where this is a problem? did you see how the situation was handled based on the individual responce. "ok scout, can you jump in without those goggles?" "well, i could but my doctor said i have to wear them." "thats cool, but, lets say they came off by accident, think you would be able to keep swimming if you had to" "oh yeah, i dont NEED them to swim, it just 'cause my doctor says." "ok then, jump in." now in this case the scout could be lying to me, he could in fact panic if those goggles did come off. but, as a person who has his best interest in mind, including a disire to see him have fun, i'd give him the benifit of the doubt. i'd probably tell one of my guards to follow him as he swam and see how strong of a swimmer he was. maybe i'd even have someone keep an extra eye on him when he is in the pool. like i said, preventitive lifeguarding to the best of my ability. it doesnt mean i am going to give every scout with goggles a beginner buddy tag. it means i am going to judge each situation to the best of my ability.

now you may read this and come up with some other say one of the above situation could pan out. well, i'm not going to sit here and type every possible situation. your just going to have to trust that: a) i have the kids best interest in mind. b) i am qualified to make that decision.

not to brag, but scoutmasters have always found me as a very accomidation director and staff member. i have NEVER taken away a scout or scouters chance at fun. yet, i have always had safty on mind as well. believe it or not, safty and fun can go hand in hand.

packsadle, if you'd like me to evaluate every possible situation for you in this forum just post them, i will consider them just as i would at the pool side. realize, if BSA sat down and made these guidelines you ask for it would make things much harder for lifeguards to do their job. if they had to follow some strict guidline as to who passes an who does not then something like "all scouts using aids to swim will not pass the test" could come to be. the guidlines are as they are so that each situation can be avaluated on an individual basis.

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The mystery is solved. Bob White, why didn't you admit this a long time ago. And all along I thought ambiguity led to misunderstanding and argument as opposed to clarity and understanding. I have to apologize, I thought BSA was ambiguous because they are, well, you know...(how did we describe Reagan?)...'disengaged'. Have a nice day.

 

OK, Youngblood, do you really think that ambiguity is good? That it makes your job easier to allow different interpretations of the regulations? Is this what you're saying?

 

"The reason the BSA has a little ambiguity in these requirements (i.e., "in a strong manner") is because they do not want the "in charge" types (i.e., "qualified supervision") to be forced to do something by a disgruntled Scoutmaster (or some other "not in charge" type), such as allow a boy to be classified as a swimmer, when in fact the "in charge" type feels this is not a safe action for the boy and/or for those around him."

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Packsaddle, I have come to the conclusion that for whatever reason, you are not truly concerned about the boy's safety in the water. If you really were concerned for their safety you would have to agree with us on this or atleast better understand why we feel as we do. For this reason I am no longer replying to your post since I find them to be frivolous and containing no real merit.

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your last post was in responce to me not youngblood i take it. just wanted to clarify we are not the same person, just see eye to eye.

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AquatDir, you'll have to forgive me if I have misinterpreted anything you've put in your posts. But it seems that in the last one you are asking for complete latitude to make case-by-case decisions based on your personal judgement. It seems that you want to make rules as you go along. If that is the case, I think it is unScoutlike and probably not in line with what BSA has in mind. But I could have misinterpreted what you said.

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packsadle, you said:

"The reason the BSA has a little ambiguity in these requirements (i.e., "in a strong manner") is because they do not want the "in charge" types (i.e., "qualified supervision") to be forced to do something by a disgruntled Scoutmaster (or some other "not in charge" type), such as allow a boy to be classified as a swimmer, when in fact the "in charge" type feels this is not a safe action for the boy and/or for those around him."

 

so you are saying you would like it if ridged rules forced a lifeguard to go against his better judgement in order to please a scoutmaster? i'm sorry but thats just disturbing. i'm almost in agreement with youngblood in that i see no point to argue further. i just feel a responsibility to defend those staff members out there, aquatics staff or not, who have the scouts best interest in mind.

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