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jps

Swimmer test

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Yes, I will pass him and any other scout, IF THEY MEET THE REQUIREMENTS. Yes, I will continue to work with them as long as they are willing and I will try to help them to become better swimmers.

 

AquatDir and Youngblood, my credentials and exerience know of what you speak and I share your concerns. AquatDir, if you run as a good of waterfront as you say, I admire you for it. You do not have any easy job.

 

However, go back to the rules. Strong manner is not the same as no goggles. Safety is and will always be a concern for me as well, but I do not share you opinions as to these devices compromising safety.

 

Spluttering and spitting and wiping eyes is an indication of not being a strong swimmer? So when the scout in front of me kicked me and I raised my head and wiped the tears from my nose and splutter, that's it they should have sent me to the shallow end. That would be which rule again? The sputtering or lifting the head clause?

 

FINA and USA SWIMMING do not consider noseplugs or googles or earplugs to be swimming aids in their rules for commpetitive swimming. That includes open water swimming. They consider devices that aid bounacy or forward propulsion to be aids.

 

JPS

 

 

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Yes, I will pass him and any other scout, IF THEY MEET THE REQUIREMENTS. Yes, I will continue to work with them as long as they are willing and I will try to help them to become better swimmers.

 

AquatDir and Youngblood, my credentials and exerience know of what you speak and I share your concerns. AquatDir, if you run as a good of waterfront as you say, I admire you for it. You do not have any easy job.

 

However, go back to the rules. Strong manner is not the same as no goggles. Safety is and will always be a concern for me as well, but I do not share you opinions as to these devices compromising safety.

 

Spluttering and spitting and wiping eyes is an indication of not being a strong swimmer? So when the scout in front of me kicked me and I raised my head and wiped the tears from my nose and splutter, that's it they should have sent me to the shallow end. That would be which rule again? The sputtering or lifting the head clause?

 

FINA and USA SWIMMING do not consider noseplugs or googles or earplugs to be swimming aids in their rules for commpetitive swimming. That includes open water swimming. They consider devices that aid bounacy or forward propulsion to be aids.

 

JPS

 

 

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Spluttering and spitting and wiping eyes is an indication of not being a strong swimmer?

 

I never said that. If the kid can pass the swim test and he is sputtering, spitting and wiping his eyes the whole time than I would pass him. My question is, what if the kid CANNOT swim with out his goggles and nose clip. I am not talking about a kid who has to just wipe his eyes and chokes on some water with out them. I am talking about a kid, who panics to the point of going to the bottom of the pool. I have been a lifeguard at camp for the last 6 years and I have seen this happen. Granted it does not happen a lot and it is mainly with the brand new first year scouts. However, I have seen kids insist on using the goggles and nose clip and when asked to do the swim test without them they panic and barely make begginer if that. If I did not ask boys to please just swim around the pool once with out them and then feel free to use them after that, I may never catch the few boys that are entirely reliant upon them. Now please answer me again, if a boy cannot swim without his goggles and nose clip and I mean CANNOT swim are you going classify him a swimmer?

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As I understand the scenario, you have discovered that a boy cannot pass the swim test without the goggles and clip. How did you discover this? Did you proceed the way Ed just described? I suppose in that case I would agree with Ed. I also have never encountered this. Perhaps there is another way to discover clip dependence but Ed's is the most likely scenario. And that scenario is flawed...here's why:

 

It makes no sense to allow a boy to take the test with goggles and clip even once...if you know that you will refuse to pass him under those conditions. If you allowed him to take the test the first time with goggles and clip, knowing that you will not pass him, what have you accomplished with the required second test other than further humiliate him when he fails?

 

Alternatively, if you WILL pass him with goggles and clip the first time, there is no need for the second test.

 

But suppose he passed the second test without goggles and clip. Then the question must be asked why did you test him WITH goggles and clip in the first place? What purpose did the first test serve if he could swim just fine without goggles and clip? And in this case, there actually would not be such dependence as posed originally.

 

The only OTHER way to discover his dependence on goggles and clip is for him to fail the first test without these devices and follow with a retest allowing the goggles and clip. If he failed without and passed with the goggles and clip, this would definitely establish his dependence. But then you would have already known he couldn't swim with the first test! Why allow a futile retest with goggles and clip? Especially if you know you still won't pass the lad under those conditions! I seriously doubt that any waterfront director, seeing a boy fail the test without goggles and clip, would consider a retest with them. Do you disagree? In that case you would never discover the dependence in the first place. The original question presupposes an illogical set of circumstances.

 

So...when are we going to hear about the way YMCA and Red Cross address this issue?(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Packsaddle, my point is that I don't allow the boy to take the test with the goggles and noseclip on in the first place. When he gets in line and I see he has the goggles and nose clip in hand, I ask him if he can take the swim test without them. If he says yes, then he takes the swim test and is classified whatever ability he achieves. If he refuses to take the test without them, he obvisouly has some sort of fear and or reliance upon the aid of the nose clip and goggles. We will do everything we can to get him over that fear and or reliance and generally have him a swimmer after a few days if even that long.

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Pack,

 

Excellent argument! I go back to my question which was never answered. What is the percentage of Boy Scouts wwho would panic without a nose clip and gogles? If they are so frightened of water or drowning that they have an unnatural need for these aids, why in the world would they be interested in being in the water in the first place. That's like someone who is terrified of bugs wanting to be a bee keeper as long as they can carry a can of Raid. It just does not make sense to me that some teenage boy enjoys swimming as long as he has his lucky charms with him, but turns to a quivering mass of jelly that sinks to the bottom without them. Are we talking about 1 in 10,000 here? I think the simple answer is to require them to do the test without the personal equipment. I know many people who like using them, but no one who HAS to use them.

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"So...when are we going to hear about the way YMCA and Red Cross address this issue?"

 

As far as I know, the YMCA and Red Cross don't have anything close to swimming ability groups. They don't test people before they allow them into the pool so I don't what kinda answer you want from them.

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"radio static....Is that you Boynton?....radio static"

KWC57, you're staying up way too late. But I agree with your question. I was hoping that the Red Cross or YMCA could enlighten us. I'm going to get some sleep!

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Kwc57, I can only tell that I have seen this happen before, not just once either. I can tell you that it is generally boys who have just really started to swim and when they were taught to swim they were always allowed to use a mask that covers the nose and eyes or goggles and a nose clip. It takes a while to learn how to breathe properly when swimming as many as you may remember and it very easy for begginers to choke and panic immediately. Generally it is a mental problem, just a fear that they need to conquer and sometimes it is just learning how to breathe and not suck in water. You are right when you say that most boys that use them can swim without them. That is why I have a hard time understanding why anybody would be opposed to me asking a boy to take his swim test with out them. It seems to me the only boy that this requirement puts stress under is the boy who needs those aids and should not be a swimmer.

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"I will ask this question once more. I address this question to anyone in opposition to AquatDir and my policy on the issue. If you discover that a boy cannot pass the swim test unless he is wearing goggles and a nose clip, are you going to classify him as a swimmer and permit the boy to participate in all aquatic activites(boating, sailing, waterskiing, swimming in crowded areas, etc...) at camp?"

 

First, with all due respect, neither you nor AquatDir have the authority to set BSA policy. That is done by the BSA. It is true, that you are charged with interpreting these policies. You need to approach this task in a more practical and less hypothetical manner. There are many conditions under which I could "discover" that a boy could not complete the test by adding requirements that aren't in policy or by pressurizing the situation.

 

It should have already been made clear to you that medical professionals may require a boy to use clips, goggles or earplugs when swimming. I do not believe you are qualified to judge on medical necessity.

 

On the safety issue, if the boy swims strongly with them, it is our task as scout leaders to build on that competence. The kid that you deny because of this kind of gear is probably a first year. Scoutmasters have a task of training boy's to self-reliance. Finding ways to build on the positive are a lot stronger than negating a strong performance on a basis that is dubious at best.

 

I have worked the beach every year I have gone to camp with my troops. There are many reasons that boys don't pass a swim check. Worked many hundreds of them over the years. I have never seen the goggle panic you are so concerned about. Seen a lot of boys take their check with either goggles or clips. If I saw the negative reaction you are talking about, it is a time to bring in more resources. Scoutmasters, parents, chaplain to try to find a way to build confidence to go with the competence that boy has already shown with the goggles.

 

I asked both you and AquatDir to look at the GSS testing requirements and their explanation. It was pretty clear to me what the GSS means by "aids". Can you explain to me how the googles give more power in the sroke or support a swimmer trying to start, turn or change strokes? If you can't, admit that you have gone beyond BSA policy and give the kids a break.

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Firstpusk, I doubt that you have ever heard of the BSA publication of "Camp Program and Property Management". It is a very comprehensive guide to running summer camp program. Section IV is titled aquatics. Page 24 is specifically about Aquatics Administration. There is a list of the Qualifications and Duties of the Aquatics director. I will quote exactly out of the book I was given at camp school, " b. Policy determination and application". Like I have always been told, the aquatics director has the ability and duty to determine, not just interpret, policy at his or her waterfront area. It is with this duty listed in the BSA publication that allows me to insist that boys demonstrate their ability to swim without wearing goggles and a nose clip.(This message has been edited by YoungBlood)

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In all my years in Scouting, I have only seen one Scout who was deathly afraid of the water. He never overcame this fear. We could never figure out why. Nose clips, googles, water wings, PFD's, etc. would not have helped.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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it seems a different arguement all together has been discussed by most of the people on this forum. i'm not arguing that the job of a lifeguard would be much easier if the policy simply said no goggles, nose plugs and such. this issue here, from the original post was simply if a scout who needs those aids shoudl pass the test. if it is a matter of passing it for his rank advancement then most of you are right, i have no authority to hold that scout back. but, in a summer camp situation where this scout will be participating in open swim, canoeing, sailing, etc, it would not be very responsible to allow a scout who is known to NEED those aid to achieve swimmer. with that said, i am not going to test each scout to see if they in fact need those. the situation i pose may be unlikly, but it is still a concern. the situation i pose is a scout comes to the edge of the pool, it is made clear to me he NEEDS those aids in order to swim.(by himself, by a scoutmaster) then i will not give him his swimmer buddy tag. i dont care if this situation is 1 in 1 mil. that one scout will have to do the swim test in a strong manner like everyone else. therefore, each scout will not be wearing those aids wile taking the swim test unless he is prepared to achieve begginer at the most.

and as far as giving the kid a break. i'm very willing to do that unless it is unsafe.

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Hey ... let me join in the fun. My two cents worth is: If the boy is aquaphobic (and you can tell instantaneously or if not being told by him or his parent), then he shouldn't be in the water (not unless it is for therapy in which case it should be done by a professional therapist). If the boy is a weak swimmer (again one can tell during swim test), with or without nose clip and goggles, he should be supervised and paid special attention to. If the boy is a strong swimmer, then he should be allowed to pass the test with the equipment (since it is not banned by the rules).

 

Now, about the concern of being "overboard" during a boat, cannoe, outing, first of all, safe boating requires all participants to wear PFDs (BSA rule). Being a strong swimmer, he will be able to use his swimming skills to swim to safety (without the goggles and nose clip) as part of his natural survival instinct! How do I know? It happened to me. I knew how to swim, but was never comfortable without my goggles and nose clip (nostrils way too big! :) ). I wear goggles because I can see better with the goggles (extremely near-sighted) in the water than without them and the chlorine has a field day with my eyes. The nose clip was to allow me to practice on the correct bad breathing habbits that I had developped. I was with a group of friends on a boat outing in high school. All of us wore our PFDs. Our small boat overturned (due to some horseplaying) about 1500 yds from the shore. We had to swim back. When I had to ... I swam! I swam without my googles and nose clip just fine for 1500 yards!

 

So my conclusion ... just like riding bicycle, if you know how to swim ... you will swim under any condition and your body will not let you forget! I prefer swimming in natural water than swimming pool ... no chlorine! Some kids never had the luxury of swimming anywhere but swimming pool and the chlorine may adversely affect them and that's why they prefer goggles. They will, however, make due with what they have and use the skills that they know! If the boy has to swim freestyle with his head unconventionally above the water ... he'll get where he wants to go eventually, but the important thing is that ... it doesn't matter how he swims ... as long as he can get himself to safety or stay afloat long enough for helps to arrive, then he'll do just fine. It's the kids who don't know or who are weak swimmers that we, as adults, need to pay special attention to! Remember in the last summer Olympic where an African swimmer swam with his head above water? I don't believe that the olympic officials banned from the water because he didn't swim correctly! What's that has to do with anything? Nothing other than a swimmer will swim! :)

 

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