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Annual Swim Test Question

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We have a dad that is a triathlete and was a red cross trained lifeguard and swimming instructor growing up. His three year certification has lapsed but he seems qualified to give the annual swim test to our troop.


I can't find in the G2SS where it says that the test *must* be given by a certified red cross or BSA certified lifeguard but that is the way our troop has always done it.


So anyone know if you need a certified red cross or BSA certified lifeguard to give the swim test?


The answer may be in the Aquatics Supervision, No 34346 but I don't have a copy of that. Are those online somewhere?


(This message has been edited by knot head)

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This has been answered in part in the Summer camp section but I'll give what I have.

The section is about pre-camp swim checks.

This is taken from the Camp Property Management Book:


On supervision: A BSA Aquatics Instructor, BSA Lifeguard, and a 21+ with SSD and SA training.




BSA Aquatics Instructor, BSA Cub Aquatics Supervisor, or BSA Lifeguard or those with lifeguard or swimming instructor training from other agencies

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From the Guide to Safe Scouting -



>>"Swim classification tests for multiunit district and council aquatics activities, such as day or resident camps, are generally conducted on-site by supervisory personnel for those activities. Councils may arrange for swim classification tests conducted by council-approved aquatics resource people prior to camp as outlined in section V of Camp Program and Property Management, No 20-290. When swim tests are conducted off-site prior to the camp session, the camp aquatics director retains the right to review or retest any or all."

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What it comes down to... yeah, your Troop resource has the training (even though not current) to manage the Swim Tests for your Troop.


Enough for camp .... maybe, but probably not.


The Aquatics Dir. may challenge 1 or all... especially if a weak "swimmer" slips by and does not exhibit swimmer ability.


I am current with BSA Lifeguard and YMCA Lifeguard, a Council Approved SSD & SA trainer, and have had issues with camp even though I "sign" Troop swim tests with my cert#/date.



(This message has been edited by dg98adams)

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"The swimmer and beginner classification tests defined in Safe Swim Defense may be administered at the unit level following procedures specified in Aquatics Supervision, No 34346."


Ask your Scout Shop to sell you a copy of Aquatics Supervision Stock Number 34346.


From a quick googlesearch, it looks like the cost of this tome is $15.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Thanks all.


We plan to continue using a red cross LG with a current certification for the summer campers since that's what our camp requires.


This wasn't a summer camp question but a question on behalf of a few of the older guys that have passed the swim test four years running and will canoe this year but not go to summer camp (our Philmont crew). We have time so I guess we'll just have them take a trip to the athletic club and get a lifeguard to check them off.(This message has been edited by knot head)

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To answer your original question - who can conduct a swim test for a unit swim - Any conscientious adult who is familiar with basic swimming strokes and who understands and abides by the guidelines can administer the test. The guidelines being the statement of the swimmer test -


Jump feet first into water over the head, level off, and begin swimming. Swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: side, breast, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed without stops and must include at least one sharp turn.

After completing the swim, rest by floating.


Now to the other question - who can give a pre camp swim test for summer camp - Aquatics Instructor, BSA; Cub Scout Aquatics Supervisor; BSA Lifeguard; certified (Red Cross, YMCA or other similar certification) lifeguard; swimming instructor; or swim

coach - however - the camp aquatics director can accept or reject any or all of the swimmers for whatever reason - and have everyone redo the test at camp. He/She has the final word.

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It may depend on the requirement of the summer camp you are attending. Our Troop was told that our summer camp will only accept pre-test results signed-off by a BSA certified individual. Contact the camp director at your summer camp facility and get the final word from them.


Worse case scenario? You will have to take the swim test when you arrive at camp. Not a big deal.



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My answer to the question of who approves the boys for aquatic activities.


I do.


Even though our troop has a Aquatics Chair that signs the forms, and I am happy to the council camp waterfront staff take personal responsibility for retesting any boys that look light, whenever the Scouts go swimming or boating in the troop I am the SM for, I have seen them all in the water, with my own eyes. I might not run them through a formal test if they have already been signed off, but I'll challenge them to a race or jump in with them or have a floating contest. Any kid that looks a little weak, gets to use one of my Y guest passes the next time my family goes. Any who look less than marginal gets referred to our Aquatics Chair who keeps a file of all the swimming classes offered in the city, who sends that info to the parents. But I assure myself, to my own satisfaction, that that Scout won't drown, before any trip. To me, that's one of the strengths of the Scouting program, the luxury of knowing the abilities and weaknesses of the individual Scouts.

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