scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Swim Test
Rohde, James E NCX (james.rohde@ABBOTT.COM
Mon Feb 07 2000 - 12:27:31 CST
At the risk of continuing this thread too long I have to offer my opinion.
I don't think that it is right to cross off a requirement in a boys book and
write "failed". Taking a boy to summer camp by default (in my opinion)
allows the trained camp staff the right to sign off his scout handbook. If
the scoutmaster didn't think that the boy did the requirement adequately
then he should discuss this outside of earshot with the staffer or his boss.
Each year I have had to pass the swim test before going into the water at
camp. I have even had to pass it two weeks in a row when my boys went at
different times. I see no reason that the scoutmaster couldn't have his
boys take an additional test before going on a canoe trip or other water
activity "just to be sure that everyone is up to speed". If the boy passes
THEN great, if not he will have to continue practicing. He did not FAIL.
A couple of years ago I had a boy go to camp and try for swimming merit
badge. All week long he tried his heart out. He improved up to the last
day, spending all his spare time at the waterfront. The councilor did not
feel that he had the "Swim continuously for 150 yards using the following
strokes in good form and in a strong manner" down well enough. I agreed.
He could swim the 150 yards but the strokes were not too great and the
"strong manner" wasn't really there. To make a long story short that was the
last time he came to camp. We told him how well he was doing and how much
he had improved, he should be able to finish it next year, but I think he
felt that he had failed. How strong is a strong manner? How good does the
form have to be? If he had earned the badge he may have had the
encouragement to come back next year and "have a good time, practice those
skills you learned last year", we could have cheered him on "maybe you could
keep practicing and get on waterfront staff someday".
I guess all that we can do is our best and keep trying to what is best for