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SeattlePioneer

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

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Guide to Safe Scouting; II. Aquatics Safety; Classification of Swimming Ability "The test administrator must objectively evaluate the individual performance of the test, and in so doing should keep in mind the purpose of each test element. 1. "Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. . . ." The swimmer must be able to make an abrupt entry into deep water and begin swimming without any aids. Walking in from shallow water, easing in from the edge or down a ladder, pushing off from side or bottom, or gaining forward momentum by diving do not satisfy this requirement." (emphasis added)

 

While not specific to 2nd or 1st Class, also read the Swimming and Lifesaving merit badge books - also goes toward intent.

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Sorry about the double post. For some reason the first submit click doesn't transmit, but the second try sends both.

 

It had been explained to me awhile back that the jump is intended to be in water well above the head. The Scout may use a "rescue jump" which would keep his head above water or barely under and begin swimming. Even in deep water the Scout might touch bottom depending on the depth available, may push off the bottom to come back to the surface if he does (straight back up) and begin swimming, but may not push off bottom in an effort to gain forward momentum. I can't say that this was an official interpretation, but it seems to be a logical and reasonable interpretation to me.

 

 

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I'm 5'9". My pool is 6" deep at the far end. Today, I jumped in feet first as demonstrated in the handbook with the notion that I would not touch bottom before leveling off. I was able to do so. What's the problem?

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this seems like an amazing amount of discussion over semantics.

 

Can the boy swim well enough NOT to drown if he's iin water deep enough not to touch bottom?

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Hello Semper,

 

You don't mind if I tease you about a typo, do you?

 

 

I must say you are amazingly skilled at the handbook method of deep water entry to be able to jump into a pool 6" deep and not touch bottom!

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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Seattle -

 

Not only that, but can you imagine how thin Semper must be to level off and swim in 6" of water and not touch bottom. He must be very buoyant!

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I have another question about swimmer tests. Suppose a scout passes his swimmer test in a pool following all the requirements. Later, he fails the same test at summer camp in a lake. Is this scout now considered a beginner and unable to do anything requiring a swimmer status? If so, do future tests now have to be administered in a lake? This recently happened to two of my boys.

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Welcome and good question.

 

If the scout correctly passes the swim test for rank, then the scout passed it. Future "failings" of the test does not take away the fact the scout passed the test.

 

However, at summer camp, everyone, and I mean everyone takes the swimming test to get classified swimmer, beginner, non-swimmer each year. As has been alluded to if not out right pointed out, swimming in a pool is different than swimming in a lake, or even a different pool if the Camp is lucky enough to have one.

 

To me, the swim test is the best part of checking into Camp, after running hither, thither and yon, a quick swim is great!

 

 

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Semper dude, we're just trying to keep you honest! :-)

 

PNWscouter - I don't know if there is an "official" answer, but hopefully someone on here will know. I know there are some waterfront staffers in the forum.

 

I will say this, I have witnessed what you described. Some boys freak out over swimming in a lake. Something about not being able to see bottom I guess. Or maybe it's knowing there's fish in there. Not sure.

 

As for me, I sometimes struggle swimming in a lake. I have allergies and asthma, and sometimes the lake water tears them up. Therefore, I avoid the lake at Summer Camp.

 

Unless you hear otherwise, I would treat it as a judgement call. What activities are you planning that they would be excluded from? Is it a canoeing trip down a peaceful river, then I wouldn't worry about it. Is it Class VI whitewater, then maybe you have something to think about.

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Actually I had 2/3 trips planned, one involving a canoe trip down a calm river, about 2-3MPH current. The second would be a waterski/motorboating MB class. I think I will test the boys that didn't pass at the lake if they want to ski but let them go on the canoe and in the boat if they want. Does this sound like a good plan?

 

BTW, one boy was scared because he couldn't see the bottom, the other was because of the alge. Also, my son who will be a BS next x-over freaks out over fish!!!!!

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PNWscouter,

A lot of this may be a judgement call on your behalf. Taking the swimmer test at summer camp, in my opinion, is for the activites at summer camp. If he passed it for rank, it cannot be taken away. However, if he failed to pass at camp, he cannot take part in those activites that require him to be a swimmer. I've seen boys pass one year and not the next. Ive seen it happen in the same summer from a troop that attended twice. There is nothing I'm aware of that says a scout can't be retested the next day, or during the week. We would offer swimmer tests twice a day. Before Polar Bear Club in the morning, and just before free swim in the afternoon. Sometimes a scout just needs a few pointers and a little practice to swim in an unfamiliar enviornment.

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PNWscouter:

 

I take it your wondering about the swimmer test everyone takes at the beginning of the summer camp session and not the tests for rank requirements (once they take pass the rank requirement test, they aren't required to retake the test).

 

If the scout "fails" the swimming test and is classified as a non-swimmer or beginner at summer camp, then for the duration of that session at summer camp, the scout is restricted from activities requiring swimmer status -- this holds true even for scouts that easily pass the swimmers test in a swimming pool.

 

Others have mentioned the most common reasons for someone who would otherwise be classified a swimmer failing the summer camp test - can't see the bottom of the lake, don't like the algae, afraid of the creatures in the lake (not only fish, but in some parts of the country, snakes and turtles). Aquatics staffs are very familiar with these situations are and usually very open and willing to work with those boys at a later date to overcome their fear of the lake and pass the swimmers tests - most camp aquatics staffs are more than willing to retest a boy who "failed" the test, again, at a later date.

 

I've seen scouts who were champion swimmers in park district swim teams fail the swimmers test because of a fear of lakes - but no matter how well the scout (or scouter) swims at home, its the test he takes at summer camp that determines his classification during summer camp.

 

If you do your own testing, you can use your classification of the scouts for your activities - just not at summer camp - the summer camp swim test trumps local unit swim tests during the camp session.

 

CalicoPenn

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