Monday, May 17, 2010

BSA Swimmer

Yesterday was the swim test for Delaney at Scouts. To be a first class scout, you need to be a BSA swimmer. Few exceptions, so like a few other requirements, if you can’t do this, you can’t advance further. So all Eagle scouts, for better or worse, can swim.

The requirements are to swim 75 yards with a front stroke (crawl, breast, side) and 25 yards with a back stroke (elementary or proper back) and then tread water for a minute. We’d gone to the pool a couple times and I’d tried to teach him the sidestroke, but he struggled. When they tested last week he was sick, so yesterday was our last time for this, likely for the year.

We went, and I coached him to relax, and go slow. Don’t hurry and just pull. He changed first and went out while I waited for Kendall to be sure she could tie her suit. While I was waiting, Delaney walked back over to me, still dry, and said he was really nervous. I had him take a few breaths, and told him not to worry. If he didn’t pass it wasn’t the end of the world. He’s still ahead of where he could be, and some other boys, so if he didn’t get it done for another year, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

He jumped in just before I got over there and started to move. He was struggling, and not using his legs enough, so he was barely on top of the water. So I jumped in, and swam next to him, coaching him along, reminding him to breathe and to kick, and he made it down 2 lengths. The third one was tough, and he was struggling. He was tired, probably very nervous, and a little out of shape for the effort with his arms. However he made it, we turned, and he floated down on his back, which he’s more comfortable with. Not comfortable, but more comfortable.

He finished, they asked him to tread water, and he did. The guy didn’t pay attention, and Delaney was a little worried, but I stayed with him and we did it for a couple minutes while I got the guy’s attention, and he finished. Passing his swim test.

We then did a line rescue, which I ran, and helped about 6 or 7 boys tie a bowline and swim out to rescue people. All of them did great, especially once we got the victims to relax and not try to help.

With that, Delaney’s a long way towards getting his first class. He might actually make it by the July Court of Honor. He wants to also go on the July canoe trip, so he’ll be in the running for another merit badge with that one.

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