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SeattlePioneer

"Jump into water over your head in depth..."

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After thinking about this I would not sign off of the requirement if the water was only 1" over a scouts head.

 

dan,

By doing this you would be adding to the requirement & that isn't allowed. The requirement states "over his head". Makes no difference how much.

 

Should I as an adult leader have protested administering the swim test in this way?

 

Seattle,

No you shouldn't have. It is up to the area director to administer the test any way he/she sees fit as long as the requirements are adhered to. And in your post it seems they were adhered to.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

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You cannot just read the requirements... you have to read the Handbook. Page 103 explains the reason for the requirement, and the method the scout needs to learn for entering water that is over his head.

 

This is what comes from "completeing advancement requirements" rather than teaching and learning skills, and the scout advancing as he particpates.

 

You have to read the entire handbook not just the requirement pages.

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I have read all of the replies and would like to add my view on this as the mother of a scout. When my son crossed over in Feb., he had a total fear of water in his face or above his neck. He can now go down slides at the water park and swim under water. When he was at summer camp, he didn't take the swimmer's test because he couldn't see the bottom. So for my son, if the test was given at a pool where he could see bottom it would give him the confidence to take the test at summer camp where he can't. I wouldn't want him jumping into water just over his head, but it could be a confidence booster.

 

Kittle

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In as much as this thread is about the second class requirement "red swimmer" I don't think it is a particularly good idea to run the test in very deep water. Most of the Scouts taking this test are marginal swimmers and some are likely to need assistance. The camps I have attended have run this test in the intermediate swim area which is about five feet deep. Blue swimmer test is of course a horse of a different color.

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I think this is ambiguous, but to me the phrase "level off" suggests that the swimmer should be able to reach the surface and swim without pushing off the bottom.

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Speaking as a BSA Lifeguard,

 

Yes, the requirement is "deep enough to cover." That said, there is the issue of how fast the kid decelerates as he hits water. A lean young man isn't going to stop as fast as a fatter young man.

 

You don't want the young man touching bottom so fast that he injures one of his joints. Use some comon sense in planning where the jump-in point will be. Think safe, not "literal word of requirement."

 

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Evmori

It also say in depth, which most of you are ignoring.

If the BSA wants to remove me for not signing off of this requirements, I still would not sign it off. If I signed off of the requirement for a scout that later panicked because he fell into water more than 1" over his head and drowned, I could not imagine how I could look at myself in the mirror after that.

 

Could someone post what it says on page 103 of the handbook, I am at work, and do not have my handbook with me. If not I will look at it when I get home tonight.

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dan,

No one is ignoring that. I'm 5'9". If the depth of the water I am jumping into is 6' its is over my head in depth.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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The First class swim requirement has the same wording, as does the swim test for canoeing, rowboating and power boating.

 

So I'm asking---

 

are those who would pass someone as a swimmer who will only jump into water as deep as they are tall saying---

 

1) This is the standard we expect of Eagle Scouts

 

2) A person who is in a canoe, rowboat or powerboat shouldn't be expected to be able to jump into water if called upon to do so unless the depth has been measured in advance and found to be no deeper than the boy is tall?

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

 

 

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Well, we certainly wouldn't want to put a boy in a situation that he is uncomfortable in, no matter how we interpret the wording. As kittle states, her son gained confidence in shallow water first. My son did as well. In Cub Summer camps they have different levels of swimming. Those who can't pass the test swim in shallow (4ft) water. Then there is intermediate (which allows the boys to bounce above the water line), and then Swimmer - the deep end.

 

Again, what is the intent of the 2nd Class requirement? Obviously, for the requirment for boating, the intent should be for the boy to jump in so he can not touch the bottom. I would also imagine that 1st Class requirements would be progressively more difficult than 2nd Class. What is expected from a boy who has met the 2nd Class requirements? I wouldn't think we would expect the same as we do from a 1st Class or Eagle scout.

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I was thinking about this yesterday afternoon as I took my daily swim. As an old Red Cross WSI, I don't think I would pass a boy who wouldn't jump into water deep enough that his feet won't touch bottom. The point of the exercise is not whether he can swim in water over his head, but whether he knows how to enter the water properly and with confidence. With the younger ones, I wouldn't insist they do it in dark lake, but I would want to work on that, since that is the situation where it would come up, not in a crystal clear pool with depth markers on the side.

 

As Bob White says, you have to read the background in the book as well as the mere language of the requirement. Scoutmasters can interpret this differently, but that's my thinking.

 

Of course, with most kids in Hawai'i and Florida, where I've spent most of my scouting career, this is not much of a problem. :)

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While we are addressing the interpretation of this oh so important requirement, I think we need to also think about the 'jump feetfirst' language.

 

What constitutes a jump? How much air should be required? Is a step off the side sufficient? Is a hop okay? I expect an Eagle Scout should be capable of diving off the cliffs at Acapulco...should I protest if a swim test is administered without a 136 foot jump?

 

What about feetfirst? Does an amputee need to seek an exception? Do both feet need to hit the water at the same time, otherwise one foot is first and the other is second?

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I know I should just let it go, but I am weak in mind, but strong like bull.

 

evmori

SO

6 feet is a deep place in a body of water.

How about the rest of my statement?

 

And yes I would ask a scout to jump in water 10 feet deep, even if it made him uncomfortable. If he wants me sign off of the requirement. I did not say I would not work with him and I would not require the water to be clear, could be done at a pool or in a lake.

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I attended a National Camp School for Aquatics Administration quite a few years ago. The idea taught to us there is that water over your head means you can't touch the bottom. Just a few inches over your head wouldn't qualify. Part of the test is being able to come to the surface and level off before swimming. I can't begin to tell you the number of scouts that had to be pulled out of the water because they couldn't resurface after going under the water. While just having the water an inch or so over your head may be correct in a literal interpretation of the requirement, I think it misses the point, as well as the spirit. There is no way I would allow it. It is a straight forward safety issue in my opinion.

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