Re: 2nd & 1st Class Swimming Requirements
Bob Taschler (bob_taschler@PUBLICITAS-USA.COM)
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 14:17:27 +0000
Our committee was offering a pass to one of our scouts for the
swimming requirements too. Our past scoutmaster who acts as an
occasional voice of reason advised against it. I didn't feel
comfortable with it either. So we did something about it.
Well, I'm pleased to announce that Nick, one of my 17 year old scouts,
finally learned to swim well enough to pass his 2nd & 1st Class
swimming requirements just in time to qualify for this past Jambo.
While he is very athletic, he had an enormous fear of the water due to
a near drowning incident when he was very young. We worked with him
almost every week at the local YMCA swimming pool.
There was a lot of ledge sitting, hemming and hawing. The lifeguard
and other adult swimmers were very patient. Eventually, he was able to
get to an acceptable crawl, and a fairly good backstroke. Not fast,
but with enough confidence to make it to the end of the pool and all
the way to Jambo.
After each week's "I just can't do it" self beratement speech, he
would hear the same thing from me and the other two scouts who helped
him, "The only one who is giving up on you is yourself." Each week he
came back. He advanced literally one stroke at a time. When he finally
made it, we had a victory celebration at a local pizzeria. As we
dropped him off, he was still grinning from ear to ear. He couldn't
thank us enough.
Tough love is often tougher for the giver than the receiver. But
here's the good part. This September has brought us some new boys.
Most passed their swimming requirements at summer camp in a Tenderfoot
program. One didn't. He's deathly afraid of the water. Nick has
buddied up with him and has convinced the boy and his mother to let
him come with us to the YMCA after our weekly meetings. So of we go.
Personally, I'd rather have a scouter for life than a hundred Eagles
who stop being scouts when they turn 18.
I love this scouting stuff.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City