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 Merit Badge Workbook
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Swimming Merit Badge Workbook This workbook can help you but you still need to read the merit badge pamphlet. This Workbook can help you organize your thoughts as you prepare to meet with your merit badge counselor. You still must satisfy your counselor that you can demonstrate each skill and have learned the information. You should use the work space provided for each requirement to keep track of which requirements have been completed, and to make notes for discussing the item with your counselor, not for providing full and complete answers. If a requirement says that you must take an action using words such as "discuss", "show", "tell", "explain", "demonstrate", "identify", etc, that is what you must do. Merit Badge Counselors may not require the use of this or any similar workbooks. No one may add or subtract from the official requirements found in Scouts BSA Requirements (Pub. 33216 – SKU 653801). The requirements were last issued or revised in 2015 • This workbook was updated in June 2020. Scout’s Name: __________________________________________ Unit: __________________________________________ Counselor’s Name: ____________________ Phone No.: _______________________ Email: _________________________ Workbook © Copyright 2020 - U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. - All Rights Reserved Requirements © Copyright, Boy Scouts of America (Used with permission.) This workbook may be reproduced and used locally by Scouts and Scouters for purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. However it may NOT be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP). http://www.USScouts.Org • http://www.MeritBadge.Org Please submit errors, omissions, comments or suggestions about this workbook to: Workbooks@USScouts.Org Comments or suggestions for changes to the requirements for the merit badge should be sent to: Merit.Badge@Scouting.Org ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Do the following: a. Explain to your counselor how Scouting’s Safe Swim Defense plan anticipates, helps prevent and mitigate, and provides responses to likely hazards you may encounter during swimming activities. b. Discuss the prevention and treatment for health concerns that could occur while swimming, including hypothermia, dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, muscle cramps, spinal injuries, hyperventilation. stings and bites, and cuts and scrapes. Hypothermia: Dehydration: Swimming Scout'sName:________________________ Swimming-MeritBadgeWorkbook Page.2of Sunburn: Heat exhaustion: Heatstroke: Musclecramps: Spinalinjuries: Hyperventilation: Stingsandbites: Cutsand scrapes: �F 2.Beforedoingthefollowingrequirements,successfullycompletetheBSAswimmertest: Jumpfeetfirstintowateroveryourheadindepth,swim75yardsinastrongmannerusingoneormoreofthefollowing strokes:sidestroke,breaststroke,trudgen,orcrawl;thenswim25yardsusinganeasy,restingbackstroke.The100 yardsmustbeswumcontinuouslyandincludeatleastonesharpturn.Aftercompletingtheswim,restbyfloating. Swimming Scout'sName:________________________ Swimming-MeritBadgeWorkbook Page.3of �F 3.Swimcontinuouslyfor150yardsusingthefollowingstrokesingoodformandinastrongmanner:frontcrawlortrudgen for25yards,backcrawlfor25yards,sidestrokefor25yards,breaststrokefor25yards,andelementarybackstrokefor 50yards. 4.Dothefollowing: �F a.Demonstratewaterrescuemethodsbyreachingwithyourarmorleg,byreachingwithasuitableobject,andby throwinglinesandobjects.Explainwhyswimmingrescuesshouldnotbeattemptedwhenareachingorthrowing rescueispossible,andexplainwhyandhowarescueswimmershouldavoidcontactwiththevictim. �F b.Withahelperandapracticevictim,showalinerescuebothastenderandasrescuer.Thepracticevictimshouldbe approximately30feetfromshoreindeepwater. 5.Dothefollowing: �F a.Floatfaceupinarestingpositionforatleastoneminute. �F b.Demonstratesurvivalfloatingforatleastfiveminutes. �F c.WhilewearingaproperlyfittedU.S.CoastGuard–approvedlifejacket,demonstratetheHELPandhuddle positions. Explaintheirpurposes. d.Explainwhyswimmingorsurvivalfloatingwillhastentheonsetofhypothermiaincoldwater. Swimming Scout's Name: ________________________ Swimming - Merit Badge Workbook Page. 4 of 8 6. In water over your head, but not to exceed 10 feet, do each of the following: a. Use the feet first method of surface diving and bring an object up from the bottom. b. Do a headfirst surface dive (pike or tuck), and bring the object up again. c. Do a headfirst surface dive to a depth of at least 5 feet and swim underwater for 3 strokes. Come to the surface, take a breath, and repeat the sequence twice. 7. Following the guidelines set in the BSA Safe Swim Defense, in water at least 7 feet deep*, show a standing headfirst dive from a dock or pool deck. Show a long shallow dive, also from the dock or pool deck. * If your state, city, or local community requires a water depth greater than 7 feet, it is important to abide by that mandate. 8. Explain the health benefits of regular aerobic exercise, and discuss why swimming is favored as both fitness and therapeutic exercise. When working on merit badges, Scouts and Scouters should be aware of some vital information in the current edition of the Guide to Advancement (BSA publication 33088). Important excerpts from that publication can be downloaded from http://usscouts.org/advance/docs/GTA-Excerpts-meritbadges.pdf . You can download a complete copy of the Guide to Advancement from http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf . SAFETYAFLOAT Page1of2 Swimming-MeritBadgeWorkbook Page.5of BSAgroupsshalluseSafetyAfloatforallboatingactivities.Adult leaderssupervisingactivitiesafloatmusthavecompletedSafety Afloattrainingwithintheprevioustwoyears.CubScoutactivities afloatarelimitedtocouncilordistricteventsthatdonotinclude movingwaterorfloattrips(expeditions).SafetyAfloatstandards applytotheuseofcanoes,kayaks,rowboats,rafts,floatingtubes, sailboats,motorboats(includingwaterskiing),andothersmall craft,butdonotapplytotransportationonlargecommercial vesselssuchasferriesandcruiseships.Parasailing(beingtowed airbornebehindaboatusingaparachute),kitesurfing(usinga wakeboardtowedbyakite),andrecreationaluseofpersonal watercraft(smallsit-on-topmotorboatspropelledbywaterjets)are notauthorizedBSAactivities. SafetyAfloattrainingmaybeobtainedfromtheBSAOnline LearningCenteratwww.scouting.org,atcouncilsummercamps, andatothercouncilanddistricttrainingevents.Confirmationof trainingisrequiredonlocalandnationaltourpermitsfortripsthat involveboating.Additionalguidanceonappropriateskilllevels andtrainingresourcesisprovidedinthe AquaticsSupervision guideavailablefromcouncilservicecenters. 1. QualifiedSupervision Allactivityafloatmustbesupervisedbyamatureand conscientiousadultage21orolderwhounderstandsand knowinglyacceptsresponsibilityforthewellbeingandsafety ofthoseinhisorhercareandwhoistrainedinand committedtocompliancewiththeninepointsofBSASafety Afloat.Thatsupervisormustbeskilledinthesafeoperation ofthecraftforthespecificactivity,knowledgeableinaccident prevention,andpreparedforemergencysituations.Ifthe adultwithSafetyAfloattraininglacksthenecessaryboat operatingandsafetyskills,thenheorshemayserveasthe supervisoronlyifassistedbyotheradults,campstaff personnel,orprofessionaltourguideswhohavethe appropriateskills.Additionalleadershipisprovidedinratios ofonetrainedadult,staffmember,orguideper10 participants.ForCubScouts,theleadershipratioisone trainedadult,staffmember,orguideperfiveparticipants.At leastoneleadermustbetrainedinfirstaidincludingCPR. Anyswimmingdoneinconjunctionwiththeactivityafloat mustbesupervisedinaccordancewithBSASafeSwim Defensestandards.Itisstronglyrecommendedthatallunits haveatleastoneadultorolderyouthmembercurrently trainedinBSAAquaticsSupervision:PaddleCraftSafetyto assistintheplanningandconductofallactivitiesafloat. 2. PersonalHealthReview Acompletehealthhistoryisrequiredofallparticipantsas evidenceoffitnessforboatingactivities.Formsforminors mustbesignedbyaparentorlegalguardian.Participants shouldbeaskedtorelateanyrecentincidentsofillnessor injuryjustpriortotheactivity.Supervisionandprotection shouldbeadjustedtoanticipateanypotentialrisks associatedwithindividualhealthconditions.Forsignificant healthconditions,theadultsupervisorshouldrequirean examinationbyaphysicianandconsultwithparent, guardian,orcaregiverforappropriateprecautions. 3. SwimmingAbility Operationofanyboatonafloattripislimitedtoyouthand adultswhohavecompletedtheBSAswimmerclassification test.Swimmersmustcompletethefollowingtest,which shouldbeadministeredannually. Jumpfeetfirstintowaterovertheheadindepth.Leveloff andswim75yardsinastrongmannerusingoneormoreof thefollowingstrokes:sidestroke,breaststroke,trudgen,or crawl;thenswim25yardsusinganeasy,restingbackstroke. The100yardsmustbecompletedinoneswimwithoutstops andmustincludeatleastonesharpturn.Aftercompleting theswim,restbyfloating. Foractivityafloat,thosenotclassifiedasaswimmerare limitedtomultipersoncraftduringoutingsorfloattripson calmwaterwithlittlelikelihoodofcapsizingorfalling overboard.Theymayoperateafixed-seatrowboatorpedal boataccompaniedbyabuddywhoisaswimmer.Theymay rideinacanoeorotherpaddlecraftwithanadultswimmer skilledinthatcraftasabuddy.Theymayrideaspartofa grouponamotorboatorsailboatoperatedbyaskilledadult. 4. LifeJackets ProperlyfittedU.S.CoastGuard–approvedlifejacketsmust bewornbyallpersonsengagedinboatingactivity(rowing, canoeing,sailing,boardsailing,motorboating,waterskiing, rafting,tubing,andkayaking).TypeIIIlifejacketsare recommendedforgeneralrecreationaluse. Forvesselsover20feetinlength,lifejacketsneednotbe wornwhenparticipantsarebelowdeckorondeckwhenthe qualifiedsupervisoraboardthevesseldeterminesthatitis prudenttoabidebyless-restrictivestateandfederal regulationsconcerningtheuseandstorageoflifejackets,for example,whenacruisingvesselwithsafetyrailsisat anchor.Allparticipantsnotclassifiedasswimmersmust wearalifejacketwhenondeckunderway. Lifejacketsneednotbewornwhenanactivityfallsunder SafeSwimDefenseguidelines—forexample,whenan inflatedraftisusedinapoolorwhensnorkelingfroman anchoredcraft. 5. BuddySystem Allparticipantsinanactivityafloatarepairedasbuddieswho arealwaysawareofeachother’ssituationandpreparedto soundanalarmandlendassistanceimmediatelywhen needed.Whenseveralcraftareusedonafloattrip,each boatonthewatershouldhavea“buddyboat.”Allbuddy pairsmustbeaccountedforatregularintervalsduringthe activityandcheckedoffthewaterbythequalifiedsupervisor attheconclusionoftheactivity.Buddieseitherrideinthe sameboatorstayneareachotherinsingle-personcraft. SAFETYAFLOAT Page2of2 Swimming-MeritBadgeWorkbook Page.6of�� 6. SkillProficiency Everyoneinanactivityafloatmusthavesufficientknowledgeand skilltoparticipatesafely.Passengersshouldknowhowtheir movementaffectsboatstabilityandhaveabasicunderstandingof self-rescue.Boatoperatorsmustmeetgovernmentrequirements, beabletomaintaincontroloftheircraft,knowhowchangesinthe environmentinfluencethatcontrol,andundertakeactivitiesonlythat arewithintheirpersonalandgroupcapabilities. Contentoftrainingexercisesshouldbeappropriatefortheage, size,andexperienceoftheparticipants,andshouldcoverbasic skillsoncalmwateroflimitedextentbeforeproceedingtoadvanced skillsinvolvingcurrent,waves,highwinds,orextendeddistance.At aminimum,instructorsforcanoesandkayaksshouldbeableto demonstratethehandlingandrescueskillsrequiredforBSA AquaticsSupervision:PaddleCraftSafety.Allinstructorsmust havealeastoneassistantwhocanrecognizeandrespond appropriatelyiftheinstructor’ssafetyiscompromised. Anyoneengagedinrecreationalboatingusinghumanpoweredcraft onflatwaterpondsorcontrolledlakeareasfreeofconflicting activitiesshouldbeinstructedinbasicsafetyprocedurespriorto launch,andallowedtoproceedaftertheyhavedemonstratedthe abilitytocontroltheboatadequatelytoreturntoshoreatwill. Forrecreationalsailing,atleastonepersonaboardshouldbeable todemonstratebasicsailingproficiency(tacking,reaching,and running)sufficienttoreturntheboattothelaunchpoint.Extended cruisingonalargesailboatrequireseitheraprofessionalcaptainor anadultwithsufficientexperiencetoqualifyasabareboatskipper. Motorboatsmaybeoperatedbyyouth,subjecttostate requirements,onlywhenaccompaniedintheboatbyan experiencedleaderorcampstaffmemberwhomeetsstate requirementsformotorboatoperation.Extendedcruisingonalarge powerboatrequireseitheraprofessionalcaptainoranadultwith similarqualifications. Beforeaunitusinghuman-poweredcraftcontrolledbyyouth embarksonafloattriporexcursionthatcoversanextended distanceorlastslongerthanfourhours,eachparticipantshould receiveeitheraminimumofthreehourstrainingandsupervised practice,ordemonstrateproficiencyinmaneuveringthecraft effectivelyovera100-yardcourseandrecoveringfromacapsize. UnittripsonwhitewateraboveClassIImustbedonewitheithera professionalguideineachcraftorafterallparticipantshave receivedAmericanCanoeAssociationorequivalenttrainingforthe classofwaterandtypeofcraftinvolved. 7. Planning Properplanningisnecessarytoensureasafe,enjoyableexercise afloat.Allplansshouldincludeascheduleditinerary,notificationof appropriateparties,communicationarrangements,contingenciesin caseoffoulweatherorequipmentfailure,andemergencyresponse options. Preparation. Anyboatingactivityrequiresaccesstotheproper equipmentandtransportationofgearandparticipantstothesite. Determinewhatstateandlocalregulationsareapplicable.Get permissiontouseorcrossprivateproperty.Determinewhether personalresourceswillbeusedorwhetheroutfitterswillsupply equipment,food,andshuttleservices.Listsofgroupandpersonal equipmentandsuppliesmustbecompiledandchecked.Even shorttripsrequireselectingaroute,checkingwaterlevels,and determiningalternativepull-outlocations.Changesinwaterlevel, especiallyonmovingwater,mayposesignificant,variablesafety concerns.Obtaincurrentchartsandinformationaboutthe waterwayandconsultthosewhohavetraveledtherouterecently. FloatPlan. Completethepreparationbywritingadetaileditinerary, orfloatplan,notingput-inandpulloutlocationsandwaypoints, alongwiththeapproximatetimethegroupshouldarriveateach. Traveltimeshouldbeestimatedgenerously. Notification. Filethe floatplanwithparents,thelocalcouncilofficeiftravelingonrunning water,andlocalauthoritiesifappropriate.Assignamemberofthe unitcommitteetoalertauthoritiesifprearrangedcheck-insare overdue.Makesureeveryoneispromptlynotifiedwhenthetripis concluded. Weather .Checktheweatherforecastjustbeforesettingout,and keepanalertweathereye.Anticipatechangesandbringallcraft ashorewhenroughweatherthreatens.Waitatleast30minutes beforeresumingactivitiesafterthelastincidenceofthunderor lightning. Contingencies .Planningmustidentifypossibleemergenciesand othercircumstancesthatcouldforceachangeofplans.Develop alternativeplansforeachsituation.Identifylocalemergency resourcessuchasEMSsystems,sheriff’sdepartments,orranger stations.Checkyourprimarycommunicationsystem,andidentify backups,suchasthenearestresidencetoacampsite.Cellphones andradiosmaylosecoverage,runoutofpower,orsufferwater damage. 8. Equipment Allcraftmustbesuitablefortheactivity,beseaworthy,andfloatif capsized.Allcraftandequipmentmustmeetregulatorystandards, beproperlysized,andbeingoodrepair.Spares,repairmaterials, andemergencygearmustbecarriedasappropriate.Lifejackets andpaddlesmustbesizedtotheparticipants.Properlydesigned andfittedhelmetsmustbewornwhenrunningrapidsratedabove ClassII.Emergencyequipmentsuchasthrowbags,signaldevices, flashlights,heatsources,first-aidkits,radios,andmapsmustbe readyforuse.Spareequipment,repairmaterials,extrafoodand water,anddryclothesshouldbeappropriatefortheactivity.All gearshouldbestowedtopreventlossandwaterdamage.Forfloat tripswithmultiplecraft,thenumberofcraftshouldbesufficientto carrythepartyifaboatisdisabled,andcriticalsuppliesshouldbe dividedamongthecraft. 9. Discipline Rulesareeffectiveonlywhenfollowed.Allparticipantsshould know,understand,andrespecttherulesandproceduresforsafe boatingactivitiesprovidedbySafetyAfloatguidelines.Applicable rulesshouldbediscussedpriortotheoutingandreviewedforall participantsneartheboardingareajustbeforetheactivityafloat begins.Peoplearemorelikelytofollowdirectionswhentheyknow thereasonsforrulesandprocedures.Consistent,impartially appliedrulessupportedbyskillandgoodjudgmentprovide stepping-stonestoasafe,enjoyableouting. ForadditionalinformationonSafetyAfloat,goto www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/Aquatics/safety-afloat.aspx . SAFESWIMDEFENSE Page1of2 Swimming-MeritBadgeWorkbook Page.7of BSAgroupsshalluseSafeSwimDefenseforallswimming activities.Adultleaderssupervisingaswimmingactivitymusthave completedSafeSwimDefensetrainingwithintheprevioustwo years.SafeSwimDefensestandardsapplyatbackyard,hotel, apartment,andpublicpools;atestablishedwaterfrontswimareas suchasbeachesatstateparksandU.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineers lakes;andatalltemporaryswimmingareassuchasalake,river, orocean.SafeSwimDefensedoesnotapplytoboatingorwater activitiessuchaswaterskiingorswampedboatdrillsthatare coveredbySafetyAfloatguidelines.SafeSwimDefenseappliesto othernonswimmingactivitieswheneverparticipantsenterwater overkneedeeporwhensubmersionislikely,forexample,when fordingastream,seiningforbait,orconstructingabridgeasa pioneeringproject.Snorkelinginopenwaterrequireseach participanttohavedemonstratedknowledgeandskillsequivalent tothoseforSnorkelingBSAinadditiontofollowingSafeSwim Defense.Scubaactivitiesmustbeconductedinaccordancewith theBSAScubapolicyfoundinthe GuidetoSafeScouting . Becauseofconcernswithhyperventilation,competitiveunderwater swimmingeventsarenotpermittedinScouting. SafeSwimDefensetrainingmaybeobtainedfromtheBSAOnline LearningCenteratolc.scouting.org,atcouncilsummercamps, andatothercouncilanddistricttrainingevents.Confirmationof trainingisrequiredonlocalandnationaltourpermitsfortripsthat involveswimming.Additionalinformationonvariousswimming venuesisprovidedintheAquaticsSupervisionguideavailable fromcouncilservicecenters. 1. QualifiedSupervision Allswimmingactivitymustbesupervisedbyamatureand conscientiousadultage21orolderwhounderstandsand knowinglyacceptsresponsibilityforthewell-beingandsafety ofthoseinhisorhercare,andwhoistrainedinand committedtocompliancewiththeeightpointsofBSASafe SwimDefense.Itisstronglyrecommendedthatallunitshave atleastoneadultorolderyouthmembercurrentlytrainedin BSAAquaticsSupervision:SwimmingandWaterRescueor BSALifeguardtoassistinplanningandconductingall swimmingactivities. 2. PersonalHealthReview Acompletehealthhistoryisrequiredofallparticipantsas evidenceoffitnessforswimmingactivities.Formsforminors mustbesignedbyaparentorlegalguardian.Participants shouldbeaskedtorelateanyrecentincidentsofillnessor injuryjustpriortotheactivity.Supervisionandprotection shouldbeadjustedtoanticipateanypotentialrisksassociated withindividualhealthconditions.Forsignificanthealth conditions,theadultsupervisorshouldrequirean examinationbyaphysicianandconsultwiththeparent, guardian,orcaregiverforappropriateprecautions. 3. SafeArea Allswimmingareasmustbecarefullyinspectedandprepared forsafetypriortoeachactivity.Waterdepth,quality, temperature,movement,andclarityareimportant considerations.Hazardsmustbeeliminatedorisolatedby conspicuousmarkingsanddiscussedwithparticipants. ControlledAccess: Theremustbesafeareasforall participatingabilitygroupstoenterandleavethewater. Swimmingareasofappropriatedepthmustbedefinedfor eachabilitygroup.Theentireareamustbewithineasyreach ofdesignatedrescuepersonnel.Theareamustbeclearof boattraffic,surfing,orothernonswimmingactivities. BottomConditionsandDepth: Thebottommustbeclearof treesanddebris.Abruptchangesindeptharenotallowedin thenonswimmerarea.Isolatedunderwaterhazardsshouldbe markedwithfloats.Rescuepersonnelmustbeabletoeasily reachthebottom.Maximumrecommendedwaterdepthin clearwateris12feet.Maximumwaterdepthinturbidwateris 8feet. Visibility: Underwaterswimminganddivingareprohibitedin turbidwater.Turbidwaterexistswhenaswimmertreading watercannotseehisfeet.Swimmingatnightisallowedonly inareaswithwaterclarityandlightingsufficientforgood visibilitybothaboveandbelowthesurface. DivingandElevatedEntry: Divingispermittedonlyinto clear,unobstructedwaterfromheightsnogreaterthan40 inches.Waterdepthmustbeatleast7feet.Bottomdepth contoursbelowdivingboardsandelevatedsurfacesrequire greaterwaterdepthsandmustconformtostateregulations. Personsshouldnotjumpintowaterfromheightsgreaterthan theyaretall,andshouldjumponlyintowaterchestdeepor greaterwithminimalriskfromcontactwiththebottom.No elevatedentryispermittedwherethepersonmustclearany obstacle,includingland. WaterTemperature: Comfortablewatertemperaturefor swimmingisnear80degrees.Activityinwaterat70degrees orlessshouldbeoflimiteddurationandcloselymonitoredfor negativeeffectsofchilling. WaterQuality: Bodiesofstagnant,foulwater,areaswith significantalgaeorfoam,orareaspollutedbylivestockor waterfowlshouldbeavoided.Complywithanysignsposted bylocalhealthauthorities.Swimmingisnotallowedin swimmingpoolswithgreen,murky,orcloudywater. MovingWater: Participantsshouldbeabletoeasilyregain andmaintaintheirfootingincurrentsorwaves.Areaswith largewaves,swiftlyflowingcurrents,ormoderatecurrents thatflowtowardtheopenseaorintoareasofdangershould beavoided. Weather:Participants shouldbemovedfromthewatertoa positionofsafetywheneverlightningorthunderthreatens. Waitatleast30minutesafterthelastlightningflashor thunderbeforeleavingshelter.Takeprecautionstoprevent sunburn,dehydration,andhypothermia. LifeJacketUse: Swimminginclearwaterover12feetdeep, inturbidwaterover8feetdeep,orinflowingwatermaybe allowedifallparticipantswearproperlyfitted,CoastGuard– approvedlifejacketsandthesupervisordeterminesthat swimmingwithlifejacketsissafeunderthecircumstances. SAFESWIMDEFENSE Page2of2 Swimming-MeritBadgeWorkbook Page.8of 4. ResponsePersonnel(Lifeguards) Everyswimmingactivitymustbecloselyandcontinuously monitoredbyatrainedrescueteamonthealertforandready torespondduringemergencies.Professionallytrained lifeguardssatisfythisneedwhenprovidedbyaregulated facilityortouroperator.Whenlifeguardsarenotprovidedby others,theadultsupervisormustassignatleasttworescue personnel,withadditionalnumberstomaintainaratioofone rescuertoevery10participants.Thesupervisormustprovide instructionandrescueequipmentandassignareasof responsibilityasoutlinedinAquaticsSupervision,No.34346. Thequalifiedsupervisor,thedesignatedresponsepersonnel, andthelookoutworktogetherasasafetyteam.An emergencyactionplanshouldbeformulatedandsharedwith participantsasappropriate. 5. Lookout Thelookoutcontinuouslymonitorstheconductoftheswim, identifiesanydeparturesfromSafeSwimDefenseguidelines, alertsrescuepersonnelasneeded,andmonitorstheweather andenvironment.Thelookoutshouldhaveaclearviewofthe entireareabutbecloseenoughforeasyverbal communication.Thelookoutmusthaveasound understandingofSafeSwimDefensebutisnotrequiredto performrescues.Theadultsupervisormayserve simultaneouslyasthelookoutbutmustassignthetaskto someoneelseifengagedinactivitiesthatprecludefocused observation. 6. AbilityGroups Allyouthandadultparticipantsaredesignatedasswimmers, beginners,ornonswimmersbasedonswimmingability confirmedbystandardizedBSAswimclassificationtests. Eachgroupisassignedaspecificswimmingareawithdepths consistentwiththoseabilities.Theclassificationtestsshould berenewedannually,preferablyatthebeginningofthe season. Swimmerspassthistest: Jumpfeetfirstintowateroverthe headindepth.Leveloffandswim75yardsinastrong mannerusingoneormoreofthefollowingstrokes: sidestroke,breaststroke,trudgen,orcrawl;thenswim25 yardsusinganeasyrestingbackstroke.The100yardsmust becompletedinoneswimwithoutstopsandmustincludeat leastonesharpturn.Aftercompletingtheswim,restby floating. Beginnerspassthistest: Jumpfeetfirstintowateroverthe headindepth,leveloff,andswim25feetonthesurface. Stop,turnsharply,resumeswimmingandreturntothe startingplace. Anyonewhohasnotcompletedeitherthebeginneror swimmertestsisclassifiedasanonswimmer. Thenonswimmerareashouldbenomorethanwaisttochest deepandshouldbeenclosedbyphysicalboundariessuchas theshore,apier,orlines.Theenclosedbeginnerareashould containwaterofstandingdepthandmayextendtodepths justoverthehead.Theswimmerareamaybeupto12feetin depthinclearwaterandshouldbedefinedbyfloatsorother markers. 7. BuddySystem Everyparticipantispairedwithanother.Buddiesstay together,monitoreachother,andalertthesafetyteamif eitherneedsassistanceorismissing.Buddiescheckintoand outoftheareatogether. Buddiesarenormallyinthesameabilitygroupandremainin theirassignedarea.Iftheyarenotofthesameabilitygroup, thentheyswimintheareaassignedtothebuddywiththe lesserability. Abuddycheckremindsparticipantsoftheirobligationto monitortheirbuddiesandindicateshowcloselythebuddies arekeepingtrackofeachother.Roughlyevery10minutes,or asneededtokeepthebuddiestogether,thelookout,orother persondesignatedbythesupervisor,givesanaudiblesignal, suchasasinglewhistleblast,andacallfor“Buddies.” Buddiesareexpectedtoraiseeachother’shandbefore completionofaslow,audiblecountto10.Buddiesthattake longertofindeachothershouldberemindedoftheir responsibilityfortheother’ssafety. Onceeveryonehasabuddy,acountismadebyareaand comparedwiththetotalnumberknowntobeinthewater. Afterthecountisconfirmed,asignalisgiventoresume swimming. 8. Discipline Rulesareeffectiveonlywhenfollowed.Allparticipantsshould know,understand,andrespecttherulesandproceduresfor safeswimmingprovidedbySafeSwimDefenseguidelines. Applicablerulesshouldbediscussedpriortotheoutingand reviewedforallparticipantsatthewater’sedgejustbefore theswimmingactivitybegins.Peoplearemorelikelytofollow directionswhentheyknowthereasonsforrulesand procedures.Consistent,impartiallyappliedrulessupportedby skillandgoodjudgmentprovidestepping-stonestoasafe, enjoyableouting. 9. FormoreinformationregardingSafeSwimDefense,goto www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/Aquatics/safe-swim.aspx.

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