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Mile Swim and Firemans Chit

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Can a Cub Scout earn the BSA Mile Swim?


The Firemans Chit, says to read the Scout Handbook for requirements.


I cannot locate the requirements for either BSA Mile Swim nor can I find the requirements for Firemans Chit in the Scout Handbook.


Thanks for your help

Bill Pelger



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The following are the requirements to earn the Mile Swim award, which can only be worn on one's swim trunks, not on one's uniform. Near as I can tell, this award is not approved for Cub Scouts.


1) Explain how regular exercise contributes to good health and why swimming is one of the best forms of exercise.

2) Tell what precautions and procedures a swimmer and escort must follow for distance swimming over open water.

3) Under the supervision of a currently qualified certified aquatics instructor, BSA or equivalent, participate in 4 hours of training and preparation for distance swimming (1 hour a day maximum).

4) Swim 1 mile (1,600 meters) over an approved, measured course.


Depending on the award counselor (this award is most often awarded at Summer Camp), an active member of a competitive swim team will likely meet requirement #3 before he even gets to camp - most competitive teams practice at least 1 hour per day, 5-days per week during the season - and high school boys active on swim teams probably swim a minimum of 2,500 meters per practice. Warm up alone would usually be 500 meters.


I swam 14 one-mile swims in one two-week session of camp back when I was 14 including 2 1-milers back to back (literally, I got to the end and paused long enough to ask (while still in the water) if I could go again - fortunately my Scoutmaster, who was rowing the escort boat, was willing to go another round.) I completed the second lap in under 17 minutes (a camp record - got into the famous "zone" and no one else swam with me the second time - my 12-year old brother swam with me the first time) and he couldn't keep up with me - at one point, he just started cutting across the lake in hopes of catching up to me.



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Firem'n Chit:

This certification grants a Scout the right to carry matches and build campfires. The Scout must show his Scout leader, or someone designated by his leader, that he understands his responsibility to do the following:

1. Read and understand fire use and safety rules from the Boy Scout Handbook.

2. Secure necessary permits (regulations vary by locality).

3. Clear all flammable vegetation at least 5 feet in all directions from fire (total 10 feet).

4. Attend to fire at all times.

5. Keep fire-fighting tools (water and/or shover) readily available.

6. Leave fire only when it is cold out.

7. Subscribe to the Outdoor Cod and Leave No Trace.

The Scout's "Firem'n Rights" can be taken from him if he fails in his responsibility.


(From Boy Scout Requirements 2005.)


There is a card and a patch available for this award, just like the Totin' Chip. Don't know why they don't include the requirements in the Handbook, as it is listed as an award, but ours is not to question why...


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