Dan O'Canna (ocanna@ALPHA.CAER.UKY.EDU)
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 11:09:09 -0400
Phil Peverada asks:
"Can anyone shed light on the proper way to certify the
50 and 100 yd swims for second and first class? ...
Is a lifeguard necessary?"
Hank Nest replied with an excellent summary of the required information,
but said (in part):
"As for your question of if a life guard is necessary, the
answer is YES."
Well, yes and no. The Guide to Safe Scouting specifies the points of
Safe Swim Defense (SSD). SSD does not REQUIRE a certified lifeguard, but
does clearly spell out the circumstances required to conduct any
activity where Scouts are expected to enter the water. A certified
lifeguard is "strongly recommended", and certainly is a good idea.
The safe swim defenses should be met even for something as simple as
certifying the swimming requirements for Scout advancement. Using
a supervised public pool takes care of most of the 8 safe swim defenses
but the requirement of Qualified Supervision must be met.
The person making the evaluation should be familliar with the require-
ments of the BSA swim test and why they are required. Both the SSD and
swimming requirements are splled out in Section II of the Guide to Safe
Scouting. Every Scouter should have a copy of that document and be
familliar with what it says. Four paragraps pertaining to lifeguards
are quoted below and edited for brevity.
This may sound a bit complicated, but really it isn't. I could not
agree more with Hank when he says:
"The key here is to follow Safe Swim Defense--if you stick to that you'll
be fine--and that's what you need to abide by. ...Safe Swim Defense insures
the safety of all scouts and scouters involved."
Yours in the spirit of Scouting,
Dan O'Canna Lexington, Kentucky
GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING
II. Aquatics Safety
Safe Swim Defense
All swimming activity must be supervised by a mature and conscien-
tious adult age 21 or older who understands and knowingly accepts
responsibility for the well-being and safety of the youth members
in his or her care, who is experienced in the water and confident
of his or her ability to respond in the event of an emergency,
and who is trained in and committed to compliance with the eight
points of BSA Safe Swim Defense. (It is strongly recommended that
all units have at least one adult or older youth member currently
certified as a BSA Lifeguard to assist in the planning and conduct
of all swimming activity.)
4.Lifeguards on Duty
Designate as lifeguards two persons who are capable swimmers
Pool and Surf Swimming
The Safe Swim Defense applies to swimming at the beach, private or
public pool, wilderness pond, stream, lake, or anywhere Scouts
swim. Here are some additional points for the pool and the surf.
Pool--If the swimming activity is in a public facility where others
are using the pool at the same time, and the pool operator provides
guard personnel, there may be no need for additional designation of
Scout lifeguards and lookout. (snip)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City