Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Swimming - Why.
Re: Swimming - Why.
Calvin H. Gray
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 13:46:28 -0600
> We never "penalize" a Scout from the BSA Program. We work with him.
> Now, if you are referring to Rank Advancement, their are no waivers (except documented permantent medical ones).
This is not correct.
The BSA rule, as found in the Scout Handbook and the BSA Requirements
booklet, is that the 2nd Class and 1st Class swimming requirements "may
be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons." There
is no requirement for any documentation when it comes to making this
When the 2nd Class & 1st Class swimming requirements were introduced
back in 1990, I contacted the BSA's National office and asked them to
define "medical or safety reasons." They said that they would not do
this as each case should be judged on it's own merits and that the
decision was left entirely to the troop committee.
In our troop, we have encountered a handful of boys similar to the boy
described in the original posting. We have always waived the swimming
requirements if it was apparent the boy was so afraid of the water that
he would not be a strong enough swimmer to complete the BSA swimming
Most of the boys in this situation eventually overcame their fear of the
water and leared to swim to some degree at least. But I can remember at
least two that were never able to pass the 1st Class swimming
requirement. Our troop committee made a decision not to hold these boys
at the 2nd Class rank, and I'm glad we did this as both of them
eventally became Eagle Scouts and are now in college.
Currently, we have 101 Scouts and none of them have received a waiver.
But my guess is that we will eventually have another boy who will not be
able to meet the 2nd Class or 1st Class swimming requirements no matter
how hard he tries. And it will our troop committee, and no other person
or group, that will make the decision on whether or not to grant a
waiver to the swimming requirements.
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
I used to be an Owl (WM-62-2-98 @ Philmont)