Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Swimming - Why.
Re: Swimming - Why.
Paul S. Wolf
Wed, 3 Feb 1999 09:21:12 -0500
John A. Severino wrote:
> "... so why penalise a kid who is afraid of swimming ??
> We never "penalize" a Scout from the BSA Program. We work with him.
So far, we are in complete agreement. HOWEVER, the rest of your message
was dead wrong.
> Now, if you are referring to Rank Advancement, their are no waivers
> (except documented permantent medical ones).
Second Class Requirement 7b. reads:
7b. Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water
over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on
the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then
return to your starting place.*
First Class Requirement 9b. reads:
Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.*
In each case the Asterisk at the end refers to the following note:
*This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for
medical or safety reasons.
AN extreme fear or phobia of swimming WOULD BE grounds for waiving the
requirement under the SAFETY basis, and it's the TROOP COMMITTEE's
It also does not say "... for a PERMANENT medical..." A 12 year old
boy, with all First class requirements done, except 9b, who has a broken
leg, and can't swim AT THE MOMENT, could be waived and allowed to
advance without waiting for the leg to heal, if the Troop Committee felt
it was appropriate.
> Every Scout a Swimmer. There are no shortcuts to this one. A genuine
> fear is one to be worked through.
Not true. And Phobias can be so severe that they can't "be worked
> And he has until he is 18 years old.
True, but he can also continue to advance to Eagle, and even complete
Eagle without Swimming (using Hiking or Cycling MB instead of Swimming
MB, and Emergency Preparedness MB instead of Lifesaving MB)
If during that time, he is able to overcome his fear, great, but if not,
that's also OK.
> Let's be very clear about Medical Diabilities vs. Fears.
Phobias (Fears) are mental illnesses and are considered to be just as
valid as physical illnesses. Both are medical conditions. Remember, a
Psychiatrist must first be an MD, THEN he specializes in illnesses of
Paul S. Wolf, PE mailto:Paul.S.Wolf@alum.wpi.edu
Traffic Engineer, Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office - Cleveland, Ohio
Past President, Great Lakes Region, Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs
Winding Rivers Dist. Advancement Comm., Greater Cleveland Council, BSA
Advancement Webmaster, US Scouting Service Project (www.usscouts.org)