scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: swimming test ?
Thu Feb 03 2000 - 08:23:42 CST
> From Patty Phillips:
> We have a boy who is trying to make 1st class. After taking some swim
> lessons this summer the MB counselor, who gave the lessons, signed in his
> book (for 1st class) that he passed the BSA swimmers test. Two days later
> he failed the test at Cuyuna Boy Scout camp - attended with his troop. The
> Assistant Scoutmaster and leader at summer camp crossed off the signature
> by the MB counselor, initialed it, and wrote "failed." He witnessed the
> failed test and stands by his crossing off the signature saying the boy is
> not safe in the water.
The real question here is whether the MBC that signed the book was approved by
the Scoutmaster. While I dislike having to override any advancement, according
to the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures guide, "The Scoutmaster
maintains a list of those qualified to to give tests and pass candidates." If
the MBC was approved, the SM or anyone else has no right to cross out the MBC's
> The boy can not swim. His mother says he swims fine in pools but not lakes.
> Most swimming with this BS troop is in lakes, streams, etc.
This is why boys are (or should be) tested each summer at camp. This is, thus, a
safety issue and not an advancement issue. Like most of the other responders
have pointed out, swimming in a heated pool is different than swimming in a lake
or river. It may be possible for a boy to pass his 1st class advancement in a
pool and not be able to pass a second BSA Swimmer Test (note the difference!) in
> I am the advancements chair. Trying to support the decision to counteract
> the signature, for the safety of the boy and the responsibility of the
> adults involved, I said that the BSA swimmers test must be administered by
> a person whom BSA certified (like a camp staff person). The boy will need
> to try again when there is a BSA certified person to administer the test.
There are no special qualifications required for someone to sign off on the 1st
class swimming requirement (or for that matter Swimming, or even the Lifesaving
merit badges). As long as the tester is approved by the Scoutmaster, then his
signature becomes the final authority. There may still be safety concerns about
this Scout and his swimming ability that need to be addressed outside of the
realm of advancement. Hope this helps.
District Advancement Committee
Detroit Area Council