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Sean's Mom

Aquanaut accomodations for special needs kids

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Can we just be clear that passing the BSA swim test is NOT a mandatory requirement for aquanaut. I would argue it should be, but is not.
den leader has to approve the achievement is completed, not just parents. So right there you move away from mom and dad signing stuff just because they read it and think that their son must have done it some time at day camp or at school. Involving a 2nd person, non-family in the process is like involving a mb counselor. They get to sign the achievement when they see it as completed. Therefore they tend to expect that swim 100 ft actually means swim 100 ft, not attempt to swim 100 ft but don't make it, not read the requirement to swim 100 ft but never get in the water.

 

I define do your best to be actually trying to do your best, not just using do your best as a cop out to not even try. do you define it differently?

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Can we just be clear that passing the BSA swim test is NOT a mandatory requirement for aquanaut. I would argue it should be, but is not.
No and I never said otherwise.

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Disability accomodations only apply to the actual rank requirements, or getting a substitute badge for AOL or boy scout ranks. I've never seen disability accomodations for the optional elective portions of ranks/badges/belt loops at the webelos and higher level. Below Webelos trying it is good enough, but when a scout refuses to try, we don't reward that level of non-participation with a badge.

 

Since Aquanaut is not required for the Arrow of Light Rank, it's an optional elective within the Webelos program. Instead of doing that badge in the physical skills area, your son can work on a different badge in that area for his AOL.

 

Like Boy Scouts, Webelos gives the boys a chance to earn the badges that interest them, with a few of them required for the rank, so we have had boys earn AOL with all sorts of permutations of the 20 badges available. We always have a few boys who never complete Aquanaut because they cannot pass the swim portion. And that's ok. It gives them something to work on, since much of the Aquanaut requirements are virtually the same as the Rank requirements in the trail to 1st Class.

 

 

Note: We view Webelos as sort of a step above Do your best, so we expect the boys to try it and do what they can and they are often surprised at their ability. But if they don't actually do the requirements for a webelos badge, they don't get handed the badge.

 

We also view swimming as a very important life skill, so we do hope nobody gives out swim test levels based on how hard you tried to pass the swim test, rather than how well you actually did on the swim test.

1. Jump into water over your head. Come to

the surface and swim 100 feet, at least half

of this using a backstroke.

 

either he does it or he doesn't..........

 

Swimming isn't an area were Do your Best is good enough......It is a safety thing.....

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Disability accomodations only apply to the actual rank requirements, or getting a substitute badge for AOL or boy scout ranks. I've never seen disability accomodations for the optional elective portions of ranks/badges/belt loops at the webelos and higher level. Below Webelos trying it is good enough, but when a scout refuses to try, we don't reward that level of non-participation with a badge.

 

Since Aquanaut is not required for the Arrow of Light Rank, it's an optional elective within the Webelos program. Instead of doing that badge in the physical skills area, your son can work on a different badge in that area for his AOL.

 

Like Boy Scouts, Webelos gives the boys a chance to earn the badges that interest them, with a few of them required for the rank, so we have had boys earn AOL with all sorts of permutations of the 20 badges available. We always have a few boys who never complete Aquanaut because they cannot pass the swim portion. And that's ok. It gives them something to work on, since much of the Aquanaut requirements are virtually the same as the Rank requirements in the trail to 1st Class.

 

 

Note: We view Webelos as sort of a step above Do your best, so we expect the boys to try it and do what they can and they are often surprised at their ability. But if they don't actually do the requirements for a webelos badge, they don't get handed the badge.

 

We also view swimming as a very important life skill, so we do hope nobody gives out swim test levels based on how hard you tried to pass the swim test, rather than how well you actually did on the swim test.

I didn't make the policy or do I agree with it. I did agree to follow the policies of the BSA. I contacted my district regarding this issue two years ago because I knew a couple of boys could not swim well and was told do your best still applies and if the boy participates in the program he gets the award. The district held a Aquanaut program at a lock in staffed by BSA Lifeguards. If the boys got in the water and tried they passed. They did not conduct the BSA Swim test as an option. All parents were in attendance so they could clearly see their boys struggling to swim.

 

I am a Red Cross Life Guard and YMCA certified swimming instructor. In my opinion in most cases a parent has failed if their child cannot swim by 5-7. I also think the requirements for BSA Lifeguard are a bit weak. The BSA swim test is inadequate. The swimming MB is antiquated.

 

But this is not King Ding Dong's Scouting Association and the Aquanaut Activity Badge is not a swimming certification any more than Readyman is a first aid certification. (Or the lifesaving MB or First Aid MB for that matter)

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Yes, they don't have to pass the BSA swimmer test, but they do have to swim.

 

the top required 3 parts of the badge all include getting into the water and swimming. [paraphrased requirements below]

1. swim 100 feet, half as backstroke, 2. back float and survival floats 3. swim 25 ft with a PDF on.

then choose 3 of the following 5

4. front surface dive and swim under water 4 strokes, 5. explain water rescue techniques and demondstrate reach and throw.

6. with an adult onboard show handling of a rowboat (I see this as only being able to occur at council camps due to guide to safe scouting)

7. pass BSA swimmers test or 8. earn the swimming belt loop (which requires safe swim knowledge, play a game in the water with your den or family and kickboard across the pool 25 ft)

 

I do not see how the youth can do 1-3 with a severe fear of the water.

nor 4, 7 or 8.

6 would be a bad idea to do if the youth is afraid of water why put him in a boat?

that leaves 5 as the only one that doesn't require the scout to get into the water.

 

That means he's not a swimmer not even a beginning swimmer, so why should he earn the Aquanaut badge. My son couldn't earn it the first time he tried, he couldn't pass the #1 without getting a bloody nose and having to get out of the water.

As I stated above I personally agree with you. It is possible district level staffers do not understand BSA policy and give incorrect guidance.

 

As to requirement 6. For Cubs GTTS limits this to council or district events not camps. Most pools with quality programs have a rowboat for use in proper rescue instruction. Even a person who is scared of water should be trained on the proper fitting of a PFD and have experience in the water while wearing one and how to properly enter a rescue craft and handle it.

 

I have never asserted the BSA has a quality aquatics program.

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KDD Disagree with you comment about BSA aquatics in the strongest terms. I hope that as your son advances in scouting you get the opportunity to meet some of the highly trained and serious aquatics directors and staff.

I had the pleasure of taking paddle craft safety and water rescue from some very serious and highly trained volunteers. They would not give any scout or adult a pass on less than full compliance with the requirements. I could see that happening with a lifeguard trained at the Y. BSA would love to have all of its Y lifeguards certified using BSA requirements. Hopefully you are aware that the BSA program is far superior to any other certification available.

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KDD Disagree with you comment about BSA aquatics in the strongest terms. I hope that as your son advances in scouting you get the opportunity to meet some of the highly trained and serious aquatics directors and staff.

I had the pleasure of taking paddle craft safety and water rescue from some very serious and highly trained volunteers. They would not give any scout or adult a pass on less than full compliance with the requirements. I could see that happening with a lifeguard trained at the Y. BSA would love to have all of its Y lifeguards certified using BSA requirements. Hopefully you are aware that the BSA program is far superior to any other certification available.

I am glad to see you have had good experiences with BSA Aquatics staff. I am sure there are many quality people in the program. My recent observations of BSA aquatics staff have not been the same as yours unfortunately.

 

I would prefer not to have to type the long list of requirements that we not even touched much less tested on at a recent swimming MB class conducted by an BSA Aquatics Program Director. Blue Cards signed.

 

I have reviewed the BSA requirements and see no significant difference from the Red Cross requirements. Furthermor the BSA program requires the use of the Red Cross manual. Can you elaborate on how it is far superior other than buddy board training ?

 

I can not speak to Y certified lifeguards, I am Red Cross certified.

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KDD,

In the interest of camp attendees safety, I would assume that you called the national aquatics director to register your concerns?

I have attached the requirements for lifeguards interested in crossing over to BSA life guards. i have also attached the link to the Aquatics resource page that will answer your questions regarding the supplemental testing needed by Red Cross and Y lifeguards prior to receiving BSA certification.

As you have shown an interest in aquatics, perhaps you should volunteer for your council aquatics council.

 

3. Crossover Challengeâ€â€Anyone who holds current training in American Red Cross

Lifeguarding, American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding, or other lifeguard training

programs may obtain a BSA Lifeguard completion card by performing requirements 1

through 26 without attending the standard course sessions. The lifeguard training

program that issued the training certificate must be recognized by the local or state

regulatory agency that sets standards for lifeguards at youth camps. The instructor may

provide a crossover training session to review and update skills and information prior to

the testing. The applicant may receive credit for requirement 26 if within the past 18

months he or she has served as a lifeguard, under supervision, or has supervised

lifeguards, for at least two separate BSA swimming activities for a combined time of two

hours. Otherwise, due to BSA procedures not implemented at other lifeguarding venues,

the applicant must accomplish requirement 26.

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Outdoor%20Program/Aquatics/pdf/34519.pdf

 

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KDD,

In the interest of camp attendees safety, I would assume that you called the national aquatics director to register your concerns?

I have attached the requirements for lifeguards interested in crossing over to BSA life guards. i have also attached the link to the Aquatics resource page that will answer your questions regarding the supplemental testing needed by Red Cross and Y lifeguards prior to receiving BSA certification.

As you have shown an interest in aquatics, perhaps you should volunteer for your council aquatics council.

 

3. Crossover Challengeâ€â€Anyone who holds current training in American Red Cross

Lifeguarding, American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding, or other lifeguard training

programs may obtain a BSA Lifeguard completion card by performing requirements 1

through 26 without attending the standard course sessions. The lifeguard training

program that issued the training certificate must be recognized by the local or state

regulatory agency that sets standards for lifeguards at youth camps. The instructor may

provide a crossover training session to review and update skills and information prior to

the testing. The applicant may receive credit for requirement 26 if within the past 18

months he or she has served as a lifeguard, under supervision, or has supervised

lifeguards, for at least two separate BSA swimming activities for a combined time of two

hours. Otherwise, due to BSA procedures not implemented at other lifeguarding venues,

the applicant must accomplish requirement 26.

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Outdoor%20Program/Aquatics/pdf/34519.pdf

Thanks for the info, I have previously reviewed it. I have not contacted national, but expressed my extreme displeasure with the Swimming MB to the Camp Director. I suppose he is part of the problem as well and I should take my concerns higher. Thanks for the nudge.

 

My District much less my Council does not want to have anything to do with you unless you have Woodbadge. I am two months out of ALT/IOLS so Woodbadge will have to wait until at least spring. After I fix the adult participation problem with my pack (no Cubmaster, treasurer, popcorn kernel or trainer). and the sedentary troop program I will look into it further. My hands are pretty full at the moment at the unit level. I am also now PTO President and therefor IH, so at least my decisions stand.

 

If I read current BSA lifeguard documents correctly they don't want you to take the course unless you plan on actually guarding at a council facility. For the unit level they want you to take the two new courses you did.

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Disability accomodations only apply to the actual rank requirements, or getting a substitute badge for AOL or boy scout ranks. I've never seen disability accomodations for the optional elective portions of ranks/badges/belt loops at the webelos and higher level. Below Webelos trying it is good enough, but when a scout refuses to try, we don't reward that level of non-participation with a badge.

 

Since Aquanaut is not required for the Arrow of Light Rank, it's an optional elective within the Webelos program. Instead of doing that badge in the physical skills area, your son can work on a different badge in that area for his AOL.

 

Like Boy Scouts, Webelos gives the boys a chance to earn the badges that interest them, with a few of them required for the rank, so we have had boys earn AOL with all sorts of permutations of the 20 badges available. We always have a few boys who never complete Aquanaut because they cannot pass the swim portion. And that's ok. It gives them something to work on, since much of the Aquanaut requirements are virtually the same as the Rank requirements in the trail to 1st Class.

 

 

Note: We view Webelos as sort of a step above Do your best, so we expect the boys to try it and do what they can and they are often surprised at their ability. But if they don't actually do the requirements for a webelos badge, they don't get handed the badge.

 

We also view swimming as a very important life skill, so we do hope nobody gives out swim test levels based on how hard you tried to pass the swim test, rather than how well you actually did on the swim test.

I rarely think a single attempt at doing something can be classified as Do Your Best if you don't complete the requirement during that attempt. When there is potential for the boy to complete the requirement exactly as stated if he practices over a few weeks, then I think that's what the boy should do. Giving them a pass on a single attempt is just encouraging this whole mentality of instant gratification that the kids have nowadays. Sometimes you have to work for things. That's what it means to Do Your Best.

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KDD, I have tried to respond to each of your comments below

 

"Thanks for the info, I have previously reviewed it. I have not contacted national, but expressed my extreme displeasure with the Swimming MB to the Camp Director. I suppose he is part of the problem as well and I should take my concerns higher. Thanks for the nudge."

​Not sure what position you hold in either unit however anyone who witnesses "health and safety" issues needs to talk to someone about it. It's not really about you but more of a safety concern for all of the scouts at the camp while you were their and those that will attend the rest of the summer.

 

"My District much less my Council does not want to have anything to do with you unless you have Woodbadge. I am two months out of ALT/IOLS so Woodbadge will have to wait until at least spring. After I fix the adult participation problem with my pack (no Cubmaster, treasurer, popcorn kernel or trainer). and the sedentary troop program I will look into it further. My hands are pretty full at the moment at the unit level. I am also now PTO President and therefor IH, so at least my decisions stand. "

​

I believe in earlier posts you mentioned that you were from some council in the Midwest. My experience is that midwestern districts are always in need of trained volunteers. Our day camp and resident camps had to turn scouts away as we did not have enough staff to meet the demand.

The wood badge comment is somewhat of a red herring. I have not taken wood badge yet my phone still rings from the district looking for volunteers. What I have taken is a significant amount of training over the years much like other scouters on this forum. I would prefer to have a seasoned trained scouter teaching my own boys rather that someone who meets the minimum requirements of wood badge participation.

As you take more training in the next several years, you will be noticed and be given ample opportunities to "volunteer".

Forget about the pack trainer, that would be the last position that I would worry about filling. The same with the Popcorn Kernel. A simple email to the parents letting them know that if you do not have someone to run popcorn, the pack will not have any funds and will shut down. If you still don't get any takers, move on and focus on Boy Scouts. Remember KDD, adult knots do not include crosses.

 

Further to your comment on BSA life guard training. Yes, you do need it to serve at a council or district level camp. Our district is always looking for lifeguards to work the camps so this seems like a easy decision to get certified. Paddle craft and Water rescue training will certainly come in handy at your troop or pack outings. You will also be able to give swim tests and open up council pools for your units.

 

With all due respect to your PTA position, where is that hour a week coming from and are you sure that they will listen to you there ? LOL

 

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I was blackmailed into attending woodbadge.......Don't go if you don't want too.....

 

Other than possibly networking with other scouters, which can be done free at roundtable, I found it a complete waste of time.

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ok cub scouts is do your best. For Aquanaut they would actually have to swim. Now if they start of as a webelos and only can swim say 10 yards and by then end of webelos after working and working and working make it only 75 yards - give it to him. Now that being said he would need to actually get into the pool and work at it and continue to improve.

 

a few things... my son nearly drowned as a toddler and would never go in water he couldn't stand in without some sort of a float. Come time for Webelos summer camp and he decides to take the red swim test and jumped into the deepend without a flotation device of any kind. Did he pass? Nope. Was he proud as all get out? Yep. And he worked and worked and took lessons etc... he never did pass the BSA swim test as a webelos. But he earned his Aquanaut because he did his best and he worked hard to improve. Did he finally pass the BSA swim test? Yep! His 2nd year of summer camp as a boy scout he finally passed the test and has every year since then and even earned the swimming merit badge. He never became a good enough swimmer to earn Lifesaving, but he knows the skills to help someone if it was needed.

 

Another scout I had never had the opportunity to take swim lessons. He didn't try to earn Aquanaut as a webelos. I did get with him as a boy scout and taught him enough basics that he too passed the BSA swim test and earned the swimming merit badge.

 

And finally I have another scout who had cancer as a youngster. His growth development has been affected by this and does not have the physical strength to pass the BSA swim test. It was considered a disability in that they agreed that it would be years before he might possibly be able to pass as written. He did the hiking merit badge last summer and struggled with it but did manage it. Every year he has attempt to pass the swim test mainly to see if he can take a boating merit badge, but so far he has not been able to pass as he still doesn't have the endurance and lacks any body fat to help him stay afloat. And knowing this boy as I do I see him continuing every year to try and pass... every year he makes it a little bit farther and I make sure he knows it, but I know he will be bouncing off the ceiling if he does pass it.

 

So anyway... long story short - if he can try as a cub let him try... if he won't then no big deal. But if he won't then be prepared for boy scouts when the BSA swim test is required for 1st class or going through the hoops for a different requirement.

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I just reviewed the requirements for this pin. My son never did get this pin as he did not have the skills as a webelo to get it. As a boy scout he saw that the swimming merit badge is needed for many things so he wanted to work on swimming. This spring we ran from my house to the Y (1 mile run) and then swam with him doing 200 yards at least per session. He got his swimming merit badge this year at camp.

 

If your son wants it give him the training and the time to get in the water, and earn the pin when he is ready. There should be no award givin where it is not earned.

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I just reviewed the requirements for this pin. My son never did get this pin as he did not have the skills as a webelo to get it. As a boy scout he saw that the swimming merit badge is needed for many things so he wanted to work on swimming. This spring we ran from my house to the Y (1 mile run) and then swam with him doing 200 yards at least per session. He got his swimming merit badge this year at camp.

 

If your son wants it give him the training and the time to get in the water, and earn the pin when he is ready. There should be no award givin where it is not earned.

That's the way it's done

 

No snivelers

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