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Lifesaving merit badge and ARC Lifeguard certification


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If a scout has recently earned the ARC lifeguard certification, should the scout have to demonstrate (in person) those same skills to a merit badge counselor in order to earn the lifesaving merit badge?  
For the requirements that don't line up, or are not in the ARC lifeguard certification requirements, of course the scout would have to complete those with a counselor.  

Especially with COVID, would it make sense that if a scout has an accredited certification of skills that the MBC could sign off on those requirements? 

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I realize it is up to the MBC, I was more looking for what you would do (you being the grand and over-all "you").  
I am a merit badge counselor for multiple topics, and as such, if a scout came to me with a recognized certification - especially recent - I would sign off on tasks that were part of that certification that were at least the same skill level.  

 

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39 minutes ago, dcb said:

If a scout has recently earned the ARC lifeguard certification, should the scout have to demonstrate (in person) those same skills to a merit badge counselor in order to earn the lifesaving merit badge?  

Yes.  The safety of my swimmers is too important for me to trust to anyone whose knowledge and skills we have not personally verified.  Even if the scout had already earned his lifesaving merit badge, he would still need to demonstrate (to us) his competence as a lifeguard.    

 

 

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to be a BSA lifeguard, yes, I understand that.  I'm talking about if the boy was a already a certified lifeguard, signing off on lifesaving MB requirements that are the same

 

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3 minutes ago, dcb said:

to be a BSA lifeguard, yes, I understand that.  I'm talking about if the boy was a already a certified lifeguard, signing off on lifesaving MB requirements that are the same

 

A good lifeguard should always be ready and willing to demonstrate his knowledge and skills.  

 

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1 hour ago, dcb said:

If a scout has recently earned the ARC lifeguard certification, should the scout have to demonstrate (in person) those same skills to a merit badge counselor in order to earn the lifesaving merit badge?  
For the requirements that don't line up, or are not in the ARC lifeguard certification requirements, of course the scout would have to complete those with a counselor.  

Especially with COVID, would it make sense that if a scout has an accredited certification of skills that the MBC could sign off on those requirements? 

The answer is: MBC decides whether the scout has met the requirements or not and they would be within their rights to ask for a re-demonstration; there are NINE different references to "demonstrate" and TWO "show". If the MBC says "demonstrate TO ME" or "show TO ME" they have every right to do so.

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/merit_badge_reqandres/lifesaving.pdf

 

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I will tell you that the one place this came up for me was American Red Cross First Aid and the First Aid Merit Badge. There are instructors in our area, registered as MBCs with Council, who will run the scouts through the American Red Cross First Aid AND pick up the few items not included in ARC that are required for the merit badge.

THAT is fine because the merit badge counselor is seeing for himself/herself the "demonstrate" and "show". Two birds, one stone.

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First and foremost, do you meet the current, 2019 Guide to Advancement, standards for being a Lifesaving MBC?  Page 44 states 

Quote

Lifesaving.

Demonstrations or activities in or on the water must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult, age 21 or older, with certification in Red Cross First Aid/ CPR/AED or equivalent, and as a BSA Lifeguard or Aquatics Instructor or equivalent.

Once upon a time I was a Lifesaving MBC. Only time I accepted a Lifeguard certification without question was the Scout I certified as a YMCA lifeguard.  He passed the class another Instructor and I taught with flying colors. I then went over the extra stuff.

What I have done in the past was do a quick review of the skills with them, to make sure they actually know their stuff. If you don't practice those skills, you will lose them. Yes, Muscle memory helps, but you got to do the skills a lot before they become automatic.

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2 hours ago, dcb said:

I realize it is up to the MBC, I was more looking for what you would do (you being the grand and over-all "you").  

I can only tell you what I'd do. No matter the merit badge, I always ask myself if I trust this scout that they know this material.  If I'd never seen them in the pool then start testing them. Given that this is one of the few merit badges that can have serious consequences, I'd probably consider something along the lines of: would I trust this scout to watch my kids? If I knew the people that ran the other program, and I trusted them then that says something about this scout. If I call them up, ask them about this scout and the response is flippant then I probably would have this scout show me what they know. If it looks like they really know it then it might be abbreviated.

Trust is one of those things that is succinct and covers what lots of rules try to recreate.

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9 hours ago, dcb said:

I am a merit badge counselor for multiple topics, and as such, if a scout came to me with a recognized certification - especially recent - I would sign off on tasks that were part of that certification that were at least the same skill level.  

If a scout asked me to do that, I might get the impression that he doesn't have the right attitude.  A boy should take on a merit badge because he is interested in learning something.  If he feels that he already knows it, and doesn't need to repeat it again, I would suggest that he try a different merit badge on a new topic that would challenge him.

I understand why a boy might want to test out on a school class and get some additional academic credit on his transcript.  That's school.  Scouting isn't supposed to be like school.  I don't like the idea of boys doing merit badges just to earn badges and ranks.  Merit badges should be about having fun and learning something new.

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Yes.  As a former Red Cross WSI and MBC for Swimming, Canoeing, Lifesaving, and BSA Lifeguard Counselor.  I have seen Scouts who present for BSA Lifeguard class and can't demonstrate a proper stroke for the qualifying swim.  Where they got their Swimming and Lifesaving MB, I have no idea.  When I taught it, the qualifying swim was on Day 1.  If they couldn't do that, I would advise them to go register for some other activity.  As the others pointed out, LIfesaving is too important a skill to rubber stamp it.

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15 hours ago, MattR said:

Trust is one of those things that is succinct and covers what lots of rules try to recreate.

May I suggest your Lifesaving MB Scouts watch the movie "The Guardian"    

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4 hours ago, scoutldr said:

Yes.  As a former Red Cross WSI and MBC for Swimming, Canoeing, Lifesaving, and BSA Lifeguard Counselor.  I have seen Scouts who present for BSA Lifeguard class and can't demonstrate a proper stroke for the qualifying swim.  Where they got their Swimming and Lifesaving MB, I have no idea.  When I taught it, the qualifying swim was on Day 1.  If they couldn't do that, I would advise them to go register for some other activity.  As the others pointed out, Lifesaving is too important a skill to rubber stamp it.

I got one worse. The worse lifeguard I ever worked with initially failed the class. The attitude was horrible, and he didn't know the skills. The instructor, when questioned why the student failed by the aquatics director, laid out a litany of issues with the student. Instructor was fired and the director, who was an instructor-trainer, passed the student.

The student also happened to be the instructor-trainer's son.

After that situation, I understand why my Lifesaving MBC wanted to review the skills to insure I knew them. Yes, I asked if my YMCA Lifeguard certification would suffice for Lifesaving MB. And my MBC went over the skills with me. I paid the guest fee for him to come to my pool and  test me. 

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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@David CO's is the way that I apply it. And, it's what we expect from our camp aquatics directors. There is simply way too much on the line. If you haven't seen the scout do it, he hasn't done it.

This pandemic makes it worse. A lot of youth are not getting normal amounts of time in the water.

A piece of paper does not tell if a scout has gotten out of shape -- physically or mentally.  It happens all the time. There was one year where I slipped on my time for my sprints. I wouldn't let me guard an aquatics area until I got back into condition.

But, if a scout is "all that" it takes only a couple of hours at the pool for him/her to show you that he/she is "all that."

Edited by qwazse
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