scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Swimming Test
DAVID P SMITH (smithd7@SONGS.SCE.COM
Fri Feb 04 2000 - 11:04:28 CST
Jack Cudney wrote: "I would rather work with the scout to keep him
swimming. Teach him more. At the age of 52, I can still use lessons.
In fact each year as a member of the Aquatics staff at National Camp
School, there is always someone attending who teaches me something."
I agree with this.
Conditions change. This includes conditioning of the individual and
conditions of the water and surrounding environment. I have no
trouble swimming in my back yard pool, but last year at camp that swim
test was a long way at 6000' elevation! I also find that it is much
easier to swim in the early Fall (after a spring and summer of
swimming) than in the early Spring, since i may not have been in a
pool or lake for 4 or 5 months.
I think there is a danger in thinking that once having passed a swim
test (and I DO MEAN legitimately passing) that you are going to be
able to repeat it anytime, anywhere. A boy (or in my case a leader)
who can pass the test on "home turf" in hospitible surroundings may be
very challenged if conditions change.
I have also known a number of folks who swim very comfortably in
pools, but in a 'natural' setting, like a lake or pond, were not at al
comfortable. Rivers and oceans hold their own specific hazards that
require specific instruction and practice.
So, I have two points to make:
1. Not passing a subsequent swim test taken months later under
different conditions does not, IMHO, demonstrate that the earlier
passed test was not valid.
So without proof of fraud I would tread lightly when considering
challenging a previously passed swim test.
2. It is not reasonable to think that just because a boy has passed a
swim test "once-upon-a-time" that he will be safe in all conditions
for the rest of his life. Conditions and conditioning change.
Swimming with boys requires a serious look at the conditions of the
water and the current conditioning of the boys. Overlooking things
like water temperature, altitude, physical conditioning, etc. can lead
to serious danger for all concerned.
My two cents worth (respond to the email below if requesting a refund.
David P Smith
Den 1 (Bear) Leader
Pack 99, Tahquitz District
California Inland Empire Council