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LauraT7

WHO can test for BSA swimmer's test for First Class Advancement?

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I asked this once before, and I don't think I ever got a complete answer - anyway, I can't find the thread anymore, either....

 

I am looking for something in the training manuals or somewhere that specifically says WHO can administer the BSA swim test.

 

We have a boy who has everything completed for his First Class, except his BSA Swimmers test. He did attend two summer camps last summer (two weeks apart) and did NOT pass the test at the one I was at. He DID participate in a canoeing day trip at our council camp,(as part of the summer camp program) but says he doesn't think he did the swim test there (in a pool) either. I don't see how they could have let him go on a canoe trip WITHOUT passing the test, but it is possible someone goofed up.

 

He is a ninth grader who joined the troop late and is very gung ho to catch up with his classmates on rank - He didn't do much during 8th grade in scouts, but got his most of his tenderfoot at our first summer camp this summer. he has really pushed since summer camp to complete his tenderfoot, 2nd class and 1st class requirements in the last few months.

 

I admire his effort to advance, but I don't think we should make it easy for him to get his swim test in, when everyone else had to do it at camp each summer. Personally, I prefer to have the boys do this at camp, under certified instructors. they are absolutely impartial in their testing, and a boy can try as often as he likes to pass the test, and get qualified help if they need it. He did have two weeks at camp and has not been swimming or practising since them - so why should he be able to pass it now? For that matter, he made no attempt to work on his swimming at either camp - it's only the fact that this requirement is holding him back that he is interested now. (I know this boy personally, he is a good friend of my son's - and he is not a good swimmer)

 

he is getting mixed answers from the leaders of our troop - and one adult who has taken Red Cross lifesaving (but not passed it) has offered to take him & any other boy (with parents) to a private swim club pool and administer the test. this adult is a new leader in our troop and doesn't have much, if any, training. his reasoning is that if it's not an official BSA or troop outing

 

the Boy's handbook simply says they must pass the test and what the requirments of the test are.

 

Safe Swim Defense gives guidlelines for safely setting up and monitoring a safe swimming area and they 'strongly reccommend' a BSA certified lifeguard - but they don't say a thing pertaining to advancement requirements and/or instruction.

 

I DO have my Safe Swim and Safety Afloat cert's. If I can get a solid answer, I am willing to go along and provide the 2nd part of 2 deep leadership.

 

But I can't get this leader to understand that it isn't simply completeing a 'requirement' - like tying a knot or planning a meal. this requirement has no room for error. This is one requirement I am very strongly opinionated about - the BSA swim test -to me -is a benchmark for a STRONG swimmer. One that is usually used as a cutoff for boys to be allowed to participate in Canoeing in our troop. If they are not, at a minimum, STRONG swimmers, they are a danger to themselves and to the other boys on a canoe trip.

 

So what is the answer?

 

laura

 

 

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As for as the advancement goes anyone approved by the Scoutmaster can sign off on the requirement. However passing the swimming requirements does not mean he does not have to requalify for summer camps, BSA high adventure and other activities. Most of these will require that the scout complete the swimming test to the satisfaction of a lifeguard. Because of that I usually had a certified lifeguard as my assigned person for these requirements, just so that I wouldn't be setting a scout up for failure down the road.

 

Bob White

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Bob is correct as far as who can signoff on the requirement. The test part is the same test my council summer camp uses for their swimmers test. I don't think there is any restrictions on who can administer the test. It's pretty straight forward & the requirements are easy to follow. Naturally, the G2SS should be followed.

 

Ed Mori

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Ditto Bob and Ed. Anyone the SM approves to sign off a requirement can sign off a requirement. That means that if the SM approved a tenderfoot to sign it off, from an advancment standpoint he could. Not a very good idea, but as for the advancement, it would be sufficient.

 

I think there are a couple of issues in your question. One is the your idea that the person who signs off the requirement be qualified. That shold be true for any requirement. What makes someone qualified to sign off a requirement? In our Troop, it is generally achieving 1st Class. Once a boy has sufficiently mastered the skills that he is a 1st Class Scout, he generally is qualified in our Troop to review a boys attempt at passing a requirement.

 

We do make some exceptions, however, and aquatics is one of them. Passing these requires a boy who has earned BSA or Red Cross Lifesaving, or an adult who has done so, or has equivelent experience. for instance, I am not permitted to sign off on swimming requirements in our Troop. Nor would our Scoutmaster. We have three BSA certified lifeguards among our adults, and one ARC certified adult. Any of these three can check and sign off. In addition, we have an adult who was BSA certified 6 years ago, but has allowed his certification to lapse. We would still alow him to review boys attempts to pass the requirements.

 

The other aspect I see in the post is the issue about requiring him to have passed these at summer camp. I think I understand your reasoning for this, and it has merit. But I don't think the intention of the requirement is to link a Scout's ability to make 1st Class to his activity at summer camp. Although I don't think that is your intent, I think that is the effect.

 

If a qualified person were available to test the boy, what negatives come of allowing to be done away from summer camp?

 

Lastly, I'd like to second the comment Bob made about the swimming test in general. Passing any of the rank requirements should not substitute for a Scout needing to pass a swim test for EVERY aquatic event, every time. It is my opinion that depending on the results of previous swim tests is more dangerous than permitting an unqualified person to sign off the rank requirements. I truly believe that if that is the rational behind your high standards for the rank requirements, you are actually not being mindful of the purpose for the swim test.

 

If I'm way off base, folks, please let me know. But I have been under the assumption that the swim test should be administered at every aquatics event, right?

 

Mark

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Nobody should swim who hasn't taken the test and had their swimming ability classified (a SSD requirement after all). Once tested and classified, they shouldn't have to do it again, unless it's a resident camp rule or something.

 

We allow any of the Green Bars to sign off the requirements, provided they already have the requirement signed off themselves.

 

KS

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KoreaScouter

I disagree for the idea that once a Scout has passed the swim test they should never have to test again. If I am the leader responsible for Safe Swim/Saftey A Float, I am going to be satisfied that Scout has passed the test in the last year. There are too many things that can change/progress during a year that could keep a person from completing the swim test, and am not going to rely on a 3 year old test to guaranties that Scout and others safety. I realize that things could also change in less then a year, but I feel that a year is a good compromise.

 

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Our rationale for testing at every aquatics event is fairness.

 

Sometimes Scouts just barely pass. We don't think it is good practice to allow a Scout who is a marginal swimmer to automtically be clasified as a swimmer based on one test a year. These guys should get tested more often.

 

How often? I don't know. Every event is probably too much, but how should we know? So we do test at every event.

 

Well, then why test everyone? That's where the fairness doctrine applies. This is an area where a rule made for one or two guys should be applied to all, we think. Sure, we're retesting guys that have Swimming, and sometimes, Lifesaving MB. But this is a case where it's just easier to be fair than to single out selected kids to make them repeat the test.

 

Mark

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You can tell me all day long that the gun is not loaded, but I don't care. I'm going to check myself. Similarly, a prudent aquatics director is going to assure himself that the boys in his charge are capable swimmers.

 

This is not a retest of the First Class requirement. No one has suggested that a boy's First Class badge be revoked if he fails a subsequent swimming tests. It's a safety check required of everyone entering the waterfront.

 

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