Gregory Benesh (BENESHG@BAYLOR.EDU)
Fri, 23 Sep 1994 16:35:44 -0500
Your boy in the wheelchair sounds like my son, Andrew. He uses a wheel-
chair (spina bifida), but not only did the Second Class and First Class
swimming requirements -- but Swimming merit badge as well! As active as
your Scout sounds, I'd encourage him to try to learn to swim. Andrew
learned at age 4. He has good upper-body strength, and is about nearly
anybody's equal in the pool (even though he isn't using his legs).
Let me relate a personal story. At Andrew's first summer camp he took
his swim test with the rest of the troop. He was swimming steadily when
the aquatics director tapped him with a pole and told him to get out--
that he had failed the test. Andrew protested. He told the director
that he wanted to finish, and that he had already passed the First Class
swim requirement. The director refused. Consequently, Andrew didn't
swim the whole week, and didn't work on Swimming merit badge as he had
planned. I didn't make it to camp until the end of the week. I almost
blew a gasket when I found out what had happened. I was really furious
with the aquatics director.
One year later Andrew went with the troop to the pool for the swim test.
There is a new aquatics director, and I explain that Andrew is a swimmer,
but not fast. He agrees to give Andrew the time to finish. Andrew does
to cheering from all of the kids and adults lined up for the test. That
was some Scout spirit from all!
Andrew passed his Eagle Board of Review in Feb 1992.
Best Wishes, Greg Benesh
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City