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AKdenldr

BSA mile swim

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Agree with KDD...the intent is continuous swimming without touching bottom or holding on to the sides. Resting strokes or floating are allowed. I have seen kids on swim teams who do flip turns and glide half the length of the pool. I've allowed that, since I figure they do the mile swim every day while in training. Back in the day, we did it in the James River following a wooden rowboat...half mile against the current and a half mile with the current...water over the head and nothing to hold onto unless you were giving up.

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I don't think swimming in a pool meets the intent of this award. Take it from someone who does (ok, did) triathlons: pool swimming is WAY different than open water swimming. Requirement 1 mentions "distance swimming over open water":

  1. Tell what precautions and procedures a swimmer and escort must follow for distance swimming over open water.

Requirement 4 talks about a measured course. That clearly implies that a "course" is involved rather than 32 laps.

 

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While I agree that open water courses are the best for the award, it has been acceptable to do it in a pool for decades. Also agree that the spotter and/or observer should add lengths or disqualify if stops are made with feet down, it is not easier necessarily in a pool. I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring; and often you also have to contend with other swimmers either doing laps or just fooling around, which can cause collisions and unexpected water in your mouth. Most camps at which I have done it require a quarter early in the week, and sometimes a half too, before doing the total distance. It has always been a personal thing with me that I have done a few extra lengths to be sure I made the distance and did not miscount or have my observer miscount; and I have felt annoyed at times when they allow kids to stop and start. Ultimately, you always know if you actually did the real thing; and you live with your self judgments.

 

I do not agree with the occasional camp that has allowed a cumulative swim, giving credit for a quarter one day, then another the next and so on.

 

Had one older scout who only made it to first class due to swimming issues, go with me to count in a pool. He decided he wanted to try it. But the only stroke he did well was the elementary back stroke. So, he did it, on his back almost the entire way. He is now a Lt. Colonel in the army and was a Ranger. He jokes that if the gear in the water test was any longer, he would likely be a grunt forever. His daughter already has had extensive lessons, and he will soon put his son in them as well, and he is only 3 I think.

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I'm with the 'No Pool' crowd.

1- Pushing off the wall if you're doing down and back laps lets you coast half the distance. No open water comparison.

2- If you're swimming circles around the pool, you'll need buoys to mark the insides of the corners or the laps will circle smaller each time around. You'll need to calculate your distance for laps around the buoys, not the outsides of the pool. (At one summer camp they held the mile swim inside their designated swimming area. 40 swimmers trying to stay off of each other going in circles on the edge of a monster lake...).

3- An integral part of the Mile Swim is the confidence you get from knowing that you can swim long distances if you ever have to. You're exposed. There is no nearby shore to save you or pool edge to grab onto when your boat flips in the BWCA.

 

You can swim a mile in a pool, but it's not the same...

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It depends what your goal is.

 

If your goal is to give the boy his patch, by all means have him swim laps in the pool. If you want him to learn how to swim in actual conditions that he might be faced with in Scouting, have him swim in open water as the requirements imply, but do not technically demand.

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While I agree that open water courses are the best for the award, it has been acceptable to do it in a pool for decades. Also agree that the spotter and/or observer should add lengths or disqualify if stops are made with feet down, it is not easier necessarily in a pool. I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring; and often you also have to contend with other swimmers either doing laps or just fooling around, which can cause collisions and unexpected water in your mouth. Most camps at which I have done it require a quarter early in the week, and sometimes a half too, before doing the total distance. It has always been a personal thing with me that I have done a few extra lengths to be sure I made the distance and did not miscount or have my observer miscount; and I have felt annoyed at times when they allow kids to stop and start. Ultimately, you always know if you actually did the real thing; and you live with your self judgments.

 

I do not agree with the occasional camp that has allowed a cumulative swim, giving credit for a quarter one day, then another the next and so on.

 

Had one older scout who only made it to first class due to swimming issues, go with me to count in a pool. He decided he wanted to try it. But the only stroke he did well was the elementary back stroke. So, he did it, on his back almost the entire way. He is now a Lt. Colonel in the army and was a Ranger. He jokes that if the gear in the water test was any longer, he would likely be a grunt forever. His daughter already has had extensive lessons, and he will soon put his son in them as well, and he is only 3 I think.

I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring.

 

No way. Even someone with a modest push off the wall can easily glide a fair length of the pool before having to start stroking again. A moderately capable flip-turner even more so. Absolutely now way that lap swimming in a pool would ever be more tiring than contending with open water under any conditions.

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Don't forget the 4 hours of conditioning requirement. Some camps have a program for it, others leave it up to the unit leader to enforce it. My unit leader does not.

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While I agree that open water courses are the best for the award, it has been acceptable to do it in a pool for decades. Also agree that the spotter and/or observer should add lengths or disqualify if stops are made with feet down, it is not easier necessarily in a pool. I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring; and often you also have to contend with other swimmers either doing laps or just fooling around, which can cause collisions and unexpected water in your mouth. Most camps at which I have done it require a quarter early in the week, and sometimes a half too, before doing the total distance. It has always been a personal thing with me that I have done a few extra lengths to be sure I made the distance and did not miscount or have my observer miscount; and I have felt annoyed at times when they allow kids to stop and start. Ultimately, you always know if you actually did the real thing; and you live with your self judgments.

 

I do not agree with the occasional camp that has allowed a cumulative swim, giving credit for a quarter one day, then another the next and so on.

 

Had one older scout who only made it to first class due to swimming issues, go with me to count in a pool. He decided he wanted to try it. But the only stroke he did well was the elementary back stroke. So, he did it, on his back almost the entire way. He is now a Lt. Colonel in the army and was a Ranger. He jokes that if the gear in the water test was any longer, he would likely be a grunt forever. His daughter already has had extensive lessons, and he will soon put his son in them as well, and he is only 3 I think.

When my son was a first year scout, he did the mile swim at summer camp, in a lake, doing the Doggie Paddle the entire way. Took him a long time, but he did it.

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While I agree that open water courses are the best for the award, it has been acceptable to do it in a pool for decades. Also agree that the spotter and/or observer should add lengths or disqualify if stops are made with feet down, it is not easier necessarily in a pool. I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring; and often you also have to contend with other swimmers either doing laps or just fooling around, which can cause collisions and unexpected water in your mouth. Most camps at which I have done it require a quarter early in the week, and sometimes a half too, before doing the total distance. It has always been a personal thing with me that I have done a few extra lengths to be sure I made the distance and did not miscount or have my observer miscount; and I have felt annoyed at times when they allow kids to stop and start. Ultimately, you always know if you actually did the real thing; and you live with your self judgments.

 

I do not agree with the occasional camp that has allowed a cumulative swim, giving credit for a quarter one day, then another the next and so on.

 

Had one older scout who only made it to first class due to swimming issues, go with me to count in a pool. He decided he wanted to try it. But the only stroke he did well was the elementary back stroke. So, he did it, on his back almost the entire way. He is now a Lt. Colonel in the army and was a Ranger. He jokes that if the gear in the water test was any longer, he would likely be a grunt forever. His daughter already has had extensive lessons, and he will soon put his son in them as well, and he is only 3 I think.

Brew; I guess I should have added that per my own choice I "do not" push off, only touch and turn. Two reasons I suppose; one is that to me pushing off, as noted, is taking away from the purpose, and for me, I cannot see well enough to do flip turns and I will not grab the side to turn. Just me a suppose. But your point is well taken in regard to floating, though most that do that are really good swimmers and go into stroke almost immediately, at least that I have noted. Of course, the other thing not noted is that many camps simply do not have access to open water anymore, so pools are the option left. Our camp only has a reservoir; and due to its size and ecological issues, it is not used for anything but boating. Even canoe swamping is done in the pool. This last summer the reservoir dried up by July, so we had no boating at all.

 

A good leader might consider discussing the challenge with a boy and encourage them to not take shortcuts or advantage of shallow water or pool edges. Ultimately, if the boy actually does the somewhere around 70 lengths is most pools, he still had accomplished more than most.

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While I agree that open water courses are the best for the award, it has been acceptable to do it in a pool for decades. Also agree that the spotter and/or observer should add lengths or disqualify if stops are made with feet down, it is not easier necessarily in a pool. I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring; and often you also have to contend with other swimmers either doing laps or just fooling around, which can cause collisions and unexpected water in your mouth. Most camps at which I have done it require a quarter early in the week, and sometimes a half too, before doing the total distance. It has always been a personal thing with me that I have done a few extra lengths to be sure I made the distance and did not miscount or have my observer miscount; and I have felt annoyed at times when they allow kids to stop and start. Ultimately, you always know if you actually did the real thing; and you live with your self judgments.

 

I do not agree with the occasional camp that has allowed a cumulative swim, giving credit for a quarter one day, then another the next and so on.

 

Had one older scout who only made it to first class due to swimming issues, go with me to count in a pool. He decided he wanted to try it. But the only stroke he did well was the elementary back stroke. So, he did it, on his back almost the entire way. He is now a Lt. Colonel in the army and was a Ranger. He jokes that if the gear in the water test was any longer, he would likely be a grunt forever. His daughter already has had extensive lessons, and he will soon put his son in them as well, and he is only 3 I think.

To me, swimming laps to earn the mile swim would be like walking 40 laps of an oval track to do your hiking badge 10-milers. It's just not the same, and there is no "course" involved with swimming laps in a pool as the mile swim award asks for.
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I completely agree open water is very different than a pool, but you need to be a real good swimmer to get much off the push unless the pool is less than 25 yards or meters. If they can pull off 72 flip turns in a 25 yard pool without choking once, I say they have it down. I think if the BSA wanted it restricted to open water they would have put it in the rules.

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While I agree that open water courses are the best for the award, it has been acceptable to do it in a pool for decades. Also agree that the spotter and/or observer should add lengths or disqualify if stops are made with feet down, it is not easier necessarily in a pool. I have done 25 official swims in lakes, the ocean, or pools, and frankly, the constant losing of momentum with the turns is tiring; and often you also have to contend with other swimmers either doing laps or just fooling around, which can cause collisions and unexpected water in your mouth. Most camps at which I have done it require a quarter early in the week, and sometimes a half too, before doing the total distance. It has always been a personal thing with me that I have done a few extra lengths to be sure I made the distance and did not miscount or have my observer miscount; and I have felt annoyed at times when they allow kids to stop and start. Ultimately, you always know if you actually did the real thing; and you live with your self judgments.

 

I do not agree with the occasional camp that has allowed a cumulative swim, giving credit for a quarter one day, then another the next and so on.

 

Had one older scout who only made it to first class due to swimming issues, go with me to count in a pool. He decided he wanted to try it. But the only stroke he did well was the elementary back stroke. So, he did it, on his back almost the entire way. He is now a Lt. Colonel in the army and was a Ranger. He jokes that if the gear in the water test was any longer, he would likely be a grunt forever. His daughter already has had extensive lessons, and he will soon put his son in them as well, and he is only 3 I think.

Skeptic, Speedo make the Vanquisher in -2.0 to at least -6.0 for less than $20. If your eyes are different you can buy two pairs and switch the strengths having a backup. My son is -2.5 and couldn't do a flip turn without them.

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So Does Swimming in Nonshark infested Water count? I mean after all swimming for your life is different from just swimming. What about swimming in a Texas Pond barely Bigger than a Pool does that count?

 

Luckily when I was scouting we had a Camp still with a Small private lake.. On staff We did mile swim Every week..at Camp Perkins after doing it one time in the Pool..I only did it once never again.. I technically Earned Mile Swim 15 times...Only wore 1 Badge tho :)

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