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The good thing is they only need to go 25 feet and back 25 feet for 2nd class (task 5b).  For First Class is when they need to pass the BSA swim test of 100 yards total.  If they get the basics to 2nd class, they can then work on the first class requirements.  Also, a good thing is the scouts can work on any requirements Scout-First Class at any time, but ranks have to be done in sequence with time limits observed.

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@Double Eagle makes a good point. If your pool is 25 feet, knocking the 2C req 5b at home is a good idea.

More important, however, is making sure your non-swimmers know line rescues. They'll be the ones out of the water and more likely to notice a tired swimmer if you train them to be observant. They need to know how to tie off a line, and they need the practice throwing buoys. They seriously need to understand limitations (theirs and other friends and families) because odds are, on that dark day, they will be in a position to act the quickest.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/6/2020 at 10:27 AM, Eagledad said:

 And Strangely, I've seen more scouts fail the floating part of the test than the swimming. 

Barry

That's because scrawny kids don't float well.  When I was teaching swimming lessons, I used to allow kids to scull with their hands while floating if they were the "skin and bones" type because that was the only way to keep their legs up.  Otherwise their legs would drag their whole body down.

 

On 7/4/2020 at 6:01 PM, karunamom3 said:

So, Is it possible for the scouts to swim in my pool for the rank requirements? I will have to take some kind of training first I imagine? (Safe swim defense?) Who needs to be here to verify the work has been done satisfactorily? Anyone else besides the SM or do we need a certified lifeguard or BSA trained individual?

Realistically, no; you can't use your pool because it's not going to be long enough to actually test their swimming ability and trying to do it this way will result in kids getting passed that should not be.  There is a big difference between being able to swim 25' (the length of an average home pool) 3 times and being able to swim 75' one time.  Swimming the 75 feet in one go takes a higher level of endurance, and that's a critical part of what you are testing for.  About all the average home pool can be effectively used for is testing floating, and working on basic skills with a non-swimmer.

Edited by elitts

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My son will a Webelos this year, he is 9.  He can't swim.  I am leaning way towards him not even crossing over when Cub Scouts is finished.  I dont ever see him being able to even pass the 2nd class requirements.

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5thGenTexan, I hope you don't opt out for that reason.  If there is a physical or mental issue with the swimming, there are ways to modify the requirements.  I happen to think his lack of swimming is one main reason to keep him in scouts.  You may not be able to get him to swim, but peers and trained scouting folks often have proven ways to teach rather than throw him in and see what happens. 

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58 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

My son will a Webelos this year, he is 9.  He can't swim.  I am leaning way towards him not even crossing over when Cub Scouts is finished.  I dont ever see him being able to even pass the 2nd class requirements.

I would still cross him over and have him work with a private swim instructor in a backyard pool. Many swim instructors are trained in how to work with the non-swimmer and people who have extreme phobia's of water.  It is a good life skill to learn and help him. Privately and discretely handled will help.

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On 7/9/2020 at 2:13 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

My son will a Webelos this year, he is 9.  He can't swim.  I am leaning way towards him not even crossing over when Cub Scouts is finished.  I dont ever see him being able to even pass the 2nd class requirements.

Honestly, unless you are dealing with some "fear of the water" issues, learning to swim well enough to pass the 2nd class requirement shouldn't take too long.  When I was teaching lessons full time, I usually took the total beginners.  With kids that are beginners and 5-6 years old, I could get probably 3 out of 4 swimming well enough to cross the width of a 6 lane pool in a couple two week sessions.  At 9-10 years old, it's even easier because they have usually started developing enough muscle mass to swim efficiently.

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Really simple answer to a really simple question............yes.

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On 7/9/2020 at 2:13 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

My son will a Webelos this year, he is 9.  He can't swim.  I am leaning way towards him not even crossing over when Cub Scouts is finished.  I dont ever see him being able to even pass the 2nd class requirements.

Let him cross over and get him to swim lessons! Summer camps have good swim lessons.

I was one of those Scouts who could not swim. I was terrified of the water because I did in fact drown. One minute I am jumping into a raft and missing it. landing into the water and not able to stay afloat, and the next I am in the house, on the floor coughing up water with someone over me that was doing CPR. I had enjoyed Cub Scouts, and was looking forward to Scouts. And my Mom gave me an ultimatum, learn to swim or get out. Swim lessons at the YMCA were challenging until the swim instructor worked with me during his break between classes, and got me swimming.

Swimming is a life skill that is needed.

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@5thGenTexan  When my son crossed over at age 10 1/2, he could not swim.  We got him into private swimming lessons at a local YMCA.  It took several months with a very patient instructor, but he did eventually learn how to swim.  I agree with @Eagle94-A1, swimming is an important life skill, and I'm glad we stuck with it, and he learned how to swim.

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On 7/9/2020 at 11:13 AM, 5thGenTexan said:

My son will a Webelos this year, he is 9.  He can't swim.  I am leaning way towards him not even crossing over when Cub Scouts is finished.  I dont ever see him being able to even pass the 2nd class requirements.

My older kids were in Cub Scouts with a boy who was absolutely phobic of water. He was also an over-achiever who determined he was going to get every single Webelos pin that was offered. This was back before they had the over-achiever badge for Webelos. ;) He just did it because he was determined. 

He got them all done except Aquanaut and then had to face his fear vs. his drive to get ALL THE PINS. 

The entire Webelos den rallied around him. All the den leaders and parents, all the kids, and the den chief rented out a local indoor pool so it was just us. All the kids earned their Aquanaut that day and the kids were all coaching their friend through every step and cheering him on. 

I have never seen a more beautiful reason for a kid to be in Scouting in my life. My older kids are still good friends with that boy and attended his wedding a year or two ago. 

I would encourage your son to face his fears and do it. If he has a disability, the requirement can be modified for him. Swimming is an important skill and it's important that he do his best to learn. Private swimming lessons would probably be super helpful. 

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There is a method whereby a youngster can advance even if they are unable to complete a requirement. Simply document the issue and an alternate requirement can be substituted. For example, if someone cannot swim due to a physical or mental challenge, hiking activities may be allowed.  I would suggest that you contact your local scout executive for specific details.  Best wishes. 

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6 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

There is a method whereby a youngster can advance even if they are unable to complete a requirement. Simply document the issue and an alternate requirement can be substituted. For example, if someone cannot swim due to a physical or mental challenge, hiking activities may be allowed.  I would suggest that you contact your local scout executive for specific details.  Best wishes. 

These are, and should be, VERY rare exceptions.

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11 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

These are, and should be, VERY rare exceptions.

Or in the case of a Cooking merit badge, a medium-rare exception.

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8 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

There is a method whereby a youngster can advance even if they are unable to complete a requirement. Simply document the issue and an alternate requirement can be substituted. For example, if someone cannot swim due to a physical or mental challenge, hiking activities may be allowed.  I would suggest that you contact your local scout executive for specific details.  Best wishes. 

 

1 hour ago, scoutldr said:

These are, and should be, VERY rare exceptions.

In my professional opinion as a former lifeguard instructor and swimming instructor, I think they should be EXTREMELY RARE (emphasis). I taught swimming to physically and mentally handicapped kids. It may be more difficult. they may not make "First Class, First Year,"  but I have seen kids and adults with these handicaps do it.

Anytime we try to "shortcut" advancement, we are not helping the Scouts.

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