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VolcanoDunker

New Kayak and Boating Requirements?

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Hey there.  Quick question - 

With the new changes that came along in 2017, what are the requirements for a Pack to conduct activities like boating and kayaking?  Must all Cub Scouts who want to participate take and pass the swim test?  Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

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28 minutes ago, VolcanoDunker said:

Hey there.  Quick question - 

With the new changes that came along in 2017, what are the requirements for a Pack to conduct activities like boating and kayaking?  Must all Cub Scouts who want to participate take and pass the swim test?  Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

Yes. Swim tests for all, Cubs and adults alike.

Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat must be followed. And of course, in a pond or lake, no moving water, for Cubs still.

 

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59 minutes ago, VolcanoDunker said:

OK, related topic - we're going camping on an island and there's a beach.  No playing in the waves without swim tests...?

Need to follow all of the requirements of the Safe Swim Defense .  There is a lot more to it than swim tests.

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Safe Swim Defense is an online course that covers these elements of Safe Swim Defense

Discipline    Buddy System    Ability Groups   Lifeguards   Look Outs    Physical Fitness     Qualified Supervision

 

Safety Afloat is also online and covers the following elements

  1. Qualified Supervision 
  2. Personal Health Review aka Physical Fitness
  3. Swimming Ability 
  4. Life Jackets 
  5. Buddy System 
  6. Skill Proficiency 
  7. Planning 
  8. Equipment 
  9. Discipline 

An overview can be found here:  https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss02/

 

1 hour ago, VolcanoDunker said:

OK, related topic - we're going camping on an island and there's a beach.  No playing in the waves without swim tests...?

Without swim tests, everyone is classified as a NONSWIMMER and can go no deeper than the knees. You will need to have an area marked off, people to serve as Lifeguards (minimum of 2, then 1:10 ratio)  plus look outs, rescue gear, etc.

This may seem overboard, but trust me things happen. We had a Scout cough in a riptide in kneedeep water. I went in to make the save, and ended up becoming victim two. If it wasn't for the surfer who rescued the Scout, and the other lifeguard who got me (once the Scout was rescued) neither one of us would be alive today. As it was I spent 3 months in a sling/imobilizer before and after surgery, then another 6 months of physical therapy. Safe Swim Defense is NOT overboard.

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@VolcanoDunker, welcome to the forums. If none of your parents are guard certified, don't touch the water. Scoping out a safe place to swim on an island is not easy. 

Bring along some young adults who are seasoned guards, and whatever equipment they say you'll need. Pay their way and feed them well. Heed their guidance.

Stupid happens fast, especially in large groups. If you want to forestall death, you have to stamp down stupid.

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If you don't have current training in Safety Afloat and Safe Swim Defense (and preferably BSA Lifeguard), and don't know what you are doing, choose a different activity.  Heed the above advice.  Welcome to the discussions.

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2 hours ago, VolcanoDunker said:

I know what I'm doing. It appears, however, that Scouts are lawsuit shy. No problem. We'll do something else.

Knowing what you're doing means you'd have certified guards in your company and their training and advice would spare you wasting time with strangers on the internet! If you do have them, and you are just getting a second opinion, well thanks for the conversation. :D

Lot's of packs canoe out to islands for family campouts. They don't go swimming. No big deal.

This is not about lawyers. This is about forestalling death.

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That's a bit rude and uncalled for, qwazse, smiley face or not.  

As an Eagle Scout, I can tell you from my experience we did this kind of thing all the time without these types of requirements when I was active in Scouting.  Unfortunately, because of outlier incidents in which kids have been hurt, and by the emergence of a highly litigious culture,  we have become a society that is trying to safety proof everything.  This is one more example of it. 

But thanks anyways for the info.
 

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4 minutes ago, VolcanoDunker said:

That's a bit rude and uncalled for, qwazse, smiley face or not.  

As an Eagle Scout, I can tell you from my experience we did this kind of thing all the time without these types of requirements when I was active in Scouting.  Unfortunately, because of outlier incidents in which kids have been hurt, and by the emergence of a highly litigious culture,  we have become a society that is trying to safety proof everything.  This is one more example of it. 

But thanks anyways for the info.
 

Do not shy away from an activity just for fear of litigation.  With that mindset, you may never leave the house.

Anyway, for the activity:

  1. Take the Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat courses
  2. Follow them as detailed and enjoy the activity. 

Put in some basic guidelines and mainly maintain discipline.  If canoeing the big issue is familiarity with actually canoeing.  Getting in and out is where you get injuries.  Orient and train them, practice holding the paddles, etc.  If swimming make sure you have the swim tests, and if in a lake, lots of kids these days do not have experience in the lake, scares them.  I have boys that are literally state swim meet competitors that freak out in the lake.

We setup a swim area on our aquatics outing and one rule we have is they have to wear footwear as there may be hooks, small debris, etc that is not evident initially when sweeping the area.  Saves trouble.  Also we have lookouts and typically a kayak hanging out watching.

If you are near a lake make sure you stress that the swimming area is the ONLY area for swimming.  Yes they can walk along, skip rocks, fish, etc but only swim with leaders around and only in designated area.  Same for the boats and canoes.  We do boating and tubing, always let them jump off the boats as long as they have PFD's on.  We set the expectation upfront that we will have fun, they can enjoy the activities, but no variance on safety expectations.

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25 minutes ago, VolcanoDunker said:

That's a bit rude and uncalled for, qwazse, smiley face or not.  

As an Eagle Scout, I can tell you from my experience we did this kind of thing all the time without these types of requirements when I was active in Scouting.  Unfortunately, because of outlier incidents in which kids have been hurt, and by the emergence of a highly litigious culture,  we have become a society that is trying to safety proof everything.  This is one more example of it. 

But thanks anyways for the info.
 

Don't know when you made Eagle, but yes, times are different.  We did a LOT of things back in the 60s and 70s without proper training that would make today's BSA lawyers apoplectic.  The rules are there for a reason...to prevent kids from dying and to prevent you from losing all your worldly goods in a lawsuit.  Your attitude scares me.  Please get training and memorize the latest copy of the Guide to Safe Scouting (free online).  It's for your own good, mate.

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My "attitude" scares you?  I asked a simple question about aquatic activities and expressed an opinion supported by facts that we live in a highly litigious society.  I was bemoaning this fact, not proposing ignoring Scouting rules

You should avoid making judgments about people you know nothing about, mate.

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Posted (edited)

Ok then, nothing personal was intended just friendly advice from experienced, caring scouters.

I cannot recall seeing kayaks back in the 60's and 70's though I am sure they must have existed. I cannot remember any plastic/composite boats back then either.  Back in the 60's we had to wait an hour after eating before swimming.  :(   Back in the 60's we had two kinds of scouts at the waterfront - those who passed their swim test in good form and those who were being taught to swim in good form. Can't swim, no boat! Every scout a swimmer. I have heard that word "life preservers" is making a comeback as many think a PFD is a file to be downloaded. 

My $0.02 for rambling

Edited by RememberSchiff
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