Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Swimming
Wed, 3 Feb 1999 17:49:05 -0600
>The OTHER Jim Peterson wrote:
>Ok, suppose we have a scout that is afraid of sleeping outside. Seems >to
me like that's something that would be a problem in this scout
>advancing.....or should we just waive those requirements or let him >sleep
in a motel? My guess is that we might suggest to him that he >join up with
another kind of club or activity group. Scouts sleep >outside, right?
And I suppose I should agree with someone that I share a name with, but...
regardless of what people expect, we would like and what seems right to us,
the requirements do allow the Troop Committee to make the exception for
swimming. There is nowhere that says camping requirements can be waived for
safety reasons. If a Scout went into uncontrollable convulsions from fear,
every time he had to camp outside, then yes, I think we might recommend a
change of organizations. We don't waive the camping requirements, because we
aren't given that option (except in cases of physical disabilities and I
don't even want to open that door). Nor do we waive first aid requirements
if the Scout passes out at the mere sight of blood (one of our SA's gets
woozy if he sees someone else eating a rare steak).
>Now, if you are referring to Rank Advancement, their are no waivers
>(except documented permantent medical ones).
>Every Scout a Swimmer. There are no shortcuts to this one. A genuine >fear
is one to be worked through.
No! The option of waiving swimming requirements says "medical or safety
reasons" This does not mean permanent disabilities only. An intense phobia,
which may cause the boy to panic and drown, is (IMO) a legitimate safety
Now I'm not saying that we should waive the swimming requirements for every
kid who says he can't or doesn't want to. I do believe that if a Scout has
_made an effort_ and that the evidence from this effort shows that forcing
him to complete these requirements may place him in jeopardy (people drown
even with trained, professional lifeguards on hand) then the requirements
should be waived. I also believe that the wording should be changed from
"waived" to "substituted" and some other aerobic physical activity be named
as an alternative (like we do with the Eagle required
swimming/hiking/cycling merit badges), but that's a whole 'nother kettle of
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 379, Blenker, Wisconsin
I used to be a "Singing" Eagle - C-8L-97