Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: first class req. 9b, c, d
Re: first class req. 9b, c, d
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 10:44:34 -0400
Rick Wharton wrote:
<<I would be very hesitant to waive the
"inflate and float" requirements just because a boy is a weak swimmer.
fact that he has difficulty swimming could be the best argument for
time to ensure he can perform the inflate and float. I have to think
couple of years to the much-publicized story of the Marine who fell from
helicopter carrier in the Persian Gulf, and used his pants to float for
days until he was rescued. We do a boy a disservice to waive a
just because he has difficulty accomplishing it.>>
The case of the Marine using his pants to float for two days until
rescued is, at best, an anomoly. Why wasn't the Marine wearing a
floatation device? Perhaps the Marine learned that skill in the Scouts
(Boy or Girl). But, except for a vehicle carry a Scout going off of a
bridge in the middle of a large body of water, I'm not sure that
inflating Scout trousers [not Shorts ;-)] might have much use ANYMORE.
Some of the requirements we continue to teach can best be described as
anachronisms - and inflating trousers is one of them. It causes me to
scratch my head, and there isn't much hair to get in the way.
We are about teaching safety, whether on a Scouting event or not. With
the exception of Swimming and Life Saving MBs we insist that watersports
participants ALWAYS wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD). And, that
should be "the rule" irrespective of whether it's a Scouting activity or
Traditions can become anachronistic even though they may teach a type of
discipline. So it is with Morse Code and Semaphore. New traditions can
develop from the here and now, and save more lives.
Yes, the (reproduction of the) 1911 Handbook teaches how to sew several
varieties of tents; and several other disciplines. Compass reading
isn't anachronistic in the age of GPS and cellphones - you still need a
But the idea is NOT to go out without the proper gear in the first place
- improvising a PFD just doesn't cut it as we enter the 21st, Century.
Teaching (but not requiring) old skills will help when the need comes to
be innovative, but we should require, instead, the best use of current