Re: Disability? Or not?
Jay Thal (jay.thal@TCS.WAP.ORG)
Mon, 8 Jun 1998 11:24:28 EST
Rob Stagis raises a question about a Scout who sound like he has a phobia about
deep water, though he can swim when reassured that the water is only deep
enough so that he can stand.
In very fine print (about 3 pt.) there are statements at the bottom of the 2nd
and 1st Class requirements which, related to the swimming requirements, state:
"This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical of safety
You should also note that neither Swimming nor Life Saving Merit Badges are
required to attain Eagle rank. There are alternatives, respectively: Personal
Fitness or Sports; and Emergency Preparedness.
Can YOU call this a disability? No. BUT, phobias are disabilities, and a
therapist ormedical practitioner can call it a disability. Document. If is is
a disability then get your paperwork together through the Troop, District, and
Council so that the 18 year "barrier" won't interfere with his advancement
since he has lost two years by not being advanced, and the less than 2 years
between now and then may pass too quickly.
Otherwise, there seems, from your limited description little to impede his
progression down the Eagle Trail. I'd say there is no reason the your
conscience should bother you - just get the troop committee approval.
Further, don't force him into an unsafe situation by forcing him through the
swimming test. Work with him in the use of a Personal Floatation Device (PFD).
After all, a PFD is required for all other water sports, and many of those
badges (Canoeing, Boating, Water Skiing, etc.) can be attained without Swimming
or Life Saving MBs. They are optional badges, as well, so if he chooses not to
go after them, even with a PFD, so what. Scouts can follow legitimately
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City