Jim Sleezer (JHS8@VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU)
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 12:09:38 -0500
As one of those scouts who couldn't swim, it took me a long time to reach
first class but I kept at it because a couple of adults in my troop made
it clear that they wanted me to be successful and were willing to work
with me any time to pass the requirement.
I was incredibly pleased my second year at summer camp when I finally
passed the beginner test. Several months later, I was able to pass my
first class swimming (no second class swimming back then).
Over the years, I have worked with a great many scouts who were afraid of
the water. My experience is that if you work with them one on one with a
lot of encouragement, they can be successful.
Scouts do not need to advance at the same pace. Each must learn the
skills at his own rate. Rather than waive the requirement, I would prefer
adults putting in the extra effort to help the scout achieve.
BTW, I was not able to swim well enough to pass swimming merit badge, let
alone life saving. Since both were required for eagle, I stopped at life.
I've since learned to overcome my fear and swim--but I enjoy being ON the
water much more than being IN it. And, when I was on camp staff, I always
made sure that my role in the lost swimmer search was on the deck or on the
jim sleezer, Will Rogers Council, Stillwater, OK
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City