Swimming as a barrier.....
Gina Gestautas (NORTH@DRYCAS.BITNET)
Wed, 21 Sep 1994 10:44:00 EDT
Normally I would stick with the idea that swimming is not only a rank
issue, but a health and safety matter. As leaders, even though we have
many faults, we are asked to take responsibility for boys and young men
that personally, I would feel more responsible to safeguard than any of
my own children. As youth, it is important to know at least such lifesaving
measures as the dead man's float, etc. The line between saving your own
life though, and that of another, can be great for those that can just
barely handle staying afloat. We should not push boys past their physical
limitations, but we should greatly encourage them to test their own limits
to their maximum. A story I read just yesterday in WORTH RETELLING (in
Scouting magazine) had some parent saying that their boy, normally afraid
of deep water, jumped in the deep end of the pool and swam off trying to
pass some requirements. After they exited, they asked the child why they
were able to do such a thing. They child said something like: In scouting,
you have to at least TRY!!
Another interesting story in that issue I believe, talked of a Scoutmaster
that indeed could NOT pass some lifesaving requirements at the time that
they could STILL finish their own eagle rank along with their boys (boy
was this an interesting fact!). It turns out that he died before he could
complete these requirements and at his funeral one of the boys that had
earned his own pinned it to his uniform that he was wearing to be buried in.
The boy had lived since that time without the eagle medal and some of his
own boys, not knowing this story, had offered him an eagle medal on loan so
that he could wear it while presenting other boys their medals. (It had been
offered by the daughter of another eagle recipient who had passed on).
The point here is that the leader had been deprived of his rank because he
found it extremely difficult to pass these requirements. Not because of
his lack of desire, but because of physical limitations.
Gina Gestautas, Unit Commissioner
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City