Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Swimming
Wed, 3 Feb 1999 10:04:00 -0700
>"... so why penalize a kid who is afraid of swimming ??
I *HAVE* to reply to this one...
When I was about 18 months old, one of my older brothers and I were
playing in a wading pool and he got mad at me and help me under the
water until I was unconscious. He went into the house and told my
parents 'Dan's dead' (just like on TV). My dad races outside and give
me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and ultimately I was saved. The
doctor said if it had been 30 seconds more, I would have been dead or
permanently brain damaged (hmm, maybe I still am :-)
SO, that left me with a HORRIBLE fear of water. My parents put me
in swimming lessons and I stayed at level 1 for years, I was terrified
of the water. When I was about 11 years old, my family moved to Germany
and we moved to a small Army base where the only thing to do was be
in Boy Scouts and also it had a swimming pool that was open in the
summer. All my friends would go use the pool, so I would go there
too and hang around with them.
My two older brothers made Eagle Scout and at that time, Lifesaving
merit badge was required for Eagle. There seemed no way I would make
This positive exposure to water didn't immediately make me a swimmer,
but once we went back to the States, I re-entered swimming lessons
and progressed through all the levels in the swimming program, joined
the swim team, became a lifeguard at the council summer camp (what
a great job!).
I am very glad nobody handed me Swimming or Lifesaving merit badge
because I really grew because of the struggle that I had to go through
to get over my fear of water.
Now I love aquatic sports and am a certified SCUBA diver, have been
Red Cross lifeguard certified multiple times, love sailing blah blah
The truth is, is that most everyone is positively buoyant when their
lungs are full of air and unless there is some real physical disability,
there is no reason they can't swim other than a psychological one.
YIS (yours in Swimming :-)
Scoutmaster, Troop 88
Colorado Springs, CO
Eagle Scout! and SWIMMER!