Lifesaving Merit Badge
CLASS PREPARATION PAGE
 
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
 
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
 
 
 
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn when attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the Merit Badge Pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The Merit Badge Pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a Merit Badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Lifesaving Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge Workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Lifesaving Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this Merit Badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this Merit Badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
 
 
Other Lifesaving MERIT BADGE PAGES
 
Lifesaving Merit Badge Current Requirements
 
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Lifesaving Merit Badge Workbook
 
Lifesaving Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page
 
Lifesaving MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS
 

Lifesaving Merit BadgeThings to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Lifesaving Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Proper and appropriate swimwear

5. Change of clothes as well as "in-water" clothes or items for use in completing Requirement 9 (review this requirement and determine the items you can bring to aid you when performing this requirement in the class)

6. Proof of having passed your BSA Swimmer Test within the last 12 months (failure to provide this proof to the satisfaction of the Merit Badge Counselor and/or Class Instructor will potentially negate your eligibilty to participate in the class).

7. Permission Slip signed by parent or guardian when and if required, by the facility or location the Lifesaving activity is being held at (check with Scoutmaster Bucky if you are uncertain whether a permission slip is needed) 

8. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

9. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

 
REQUIREMENTS WITH SUGGESTED STUDY PREPARATION NOTES
 

IT MUST BE NOTED THAT DUE TO THE SAFETY LEVEL REQUIRED FOR THIS MERIT BADGE CLASS, SCOUTS NOT FOLLOWING DIRECTION OR FAILING TO ADHERE TO CLASS INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE CLASS AND FORFEIT PARTICIPATION FEES AND PRIVILEGE OF CONTINUING TO PARTICIPATE. PARENT OR GUARDIAN WILL BE ASKED TO COME AND REMOVE SCOUT FROM THE EVENT.

 

1. Before doing requirements 2 through 17:

a. Complete Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d and First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e.

Second Class Requirement 5a - 5d:

5A. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim

5B. Demonstrate your ability to pass the BSA beginner test: Jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.

5C. Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects.

5D. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible. Explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.

First Class Requirement 6a, 6b, and 6e:

6A. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test

6B. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.

6E. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.).

ALL SCOUTS SHOULD BRING PROOF OF HAVING PASSED THE BSA SWIMMER TEST IN THE PAST YEAR.  (A camp swimmer's tag clearly showing it belongs to the Scout, a signed letter from a certified swimming instructor stating the Scout's competency as measured against the BSA Swimmer's test requirements, or a signed note from a BSA Swimming Merit Badge Counselor or Scoutmaster will suffice - parental notes are not enough for this due to the merit badge requirements.)

Even with this "proof" the counselor(s) reserve the right to retest any Scout that they deem necessary or to satisfy their interest in safety. Scouts not having any "proof" will be required to pass the BSA Swimmer Test prior to starting participation in the class.  Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test may be dismissed from the class at the discretion of the counselor.  Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test and allowed to stay in the class will be limited to "on land" requirements at the discretion of the counselor.

Scout should review the Second Class and First Class rank requirements for aquatics and their components. Be prepared to share your current understanding of these items with your merit badge counselor during the class.

b. Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner, in good form with rhythmic breathing, for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.

Scouts will be required to complete this requirement component as a part of the class. Those not able to satisfactorily complete this requirement component may be dismissed from the class at the discretion of the counselor or they may be allowed to stay in the class but will be limited to "on land" requirements at the discretion of the counselor.

 

2. Discuss and review with your counselor the principles of BSA Safe Swim Defense.

Scouts should review the BSA's Safe Swim Defense prior to the class. It is NOT acceptable to attend the class not having reviewed the BSA's Safe Swim Defense and having a general understanding of how it applies to this merit badge and all water activities in Scouting. Scouts clearly not having prepared ahead of class will not be allowed to continue participation in the class after arrival until they show their comprehension of Safe Swim Defense.

 

3. Explain the following:

a. Common drowning situations and how to prevent them.

b. How to identify persons in the water who need assistance.

c. The order of methods in water rescue.

d. How rescue techniques vary depending on the setting and the condition of the person needing assistance.

e. Situations for which in-water rescues should not be undertaken.

Scouts need to review the merit badge pamphlet for requirement 3. All information needed to complete these parts of Requirement 3 can be found in the merit badge pamphlet book. It is recommended to make notes on your Merit Badge Workbook to use when sharing your knowledge during the class.

 

4. Demonstrate "reaching" rescues using various items such as arm, leg, towels, shirts, paddles, and poles.

Requirements 4 is a skill-based requirement. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover this requirement, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete this requirement. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete this requirement simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that this is a skill-based requirement. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability. It is recommended that Scouts review the merit badge pamphlet for suggestions and insight into how to properly, safely, and satisfactorily perform the skills required for this requirement.

 

5. Demonstrate "throwing" rescues using various items such as a line, ring buoy, rescue bag, and free-floating support. Successfully place at least one such aid within reach of a practice victim 25 feet from shore.

Requirements 5 is a skill-based requirement. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover this requirement, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete this requirement. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete this requirement simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that this is a skill-based requirement. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability. It is recommended that Scouts review the merit badge pamphlet for suggestions and insight into how to properly, safely, and satisfactorily perform the skills required for this requirement.

 

6. With your counselor's approval, view in-person or on video a rowing rescue performed using a rowboat, canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard. Discuss with your counselor how effectively and efficiently the rescue was performed.

This requirement will be managed in conjunction with your merit badge counselor.  Scout may choose to research and view a video of a rowing rescue ahead of time, however, make note of the url or bring a copy for the counselor to review for approval.  Successful completion will be dependent on viewing a rowing resuce AND discussion with your merit badge counselor.  Preparation work ahead of time will help yield the best outcome for this requirement.

 

7. List various items that can be used as aids in a "go" rescue. Explain why buoyant aids are preferred.

Scouts should utilize the Lifesaving Merit Badge pamphlet, and any other resources available, to prepare for discussion on this requirement.  It is highly recommended to utilize a merit badge workbook or notebook to make notes for use during the class to aid in completion of this requirement.

 

8. Correctly demonstrate rescues of a conscious practice subject 30 feet from shore in deep water using two types of buoyant aids provided by your counselor. Use a proper entry and a strong approach stroke. Speak to the subject to determine his condition and to provide instructions and encouragement.

a. Present one aid to a subject, release it, and swim at a safe distance as the subject moves to safety.

b. In a separate rescue, present the other aid to a subject and use it to tow the subject to safety.

Requirements 8 is a skill-based requirement. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover this requirement, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete this requirement. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete this requirement simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that this is a skill-based requirement. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability. It is recommended that Scouts review the merit badge pamphlet for suggestions and insight into how to properly, safely, and satisfactorily perform the skills required for this requirement.

 

9. Discuss with your counselor when it is appropriate to remove heavy clothing before attempting a swimming rescue. Remove street clothes in 20 seconds or less, enter the water, and approach a conscious practice subject 30 feet from shore in deep water. Speak to the subject and use a nonbuoyant aid, such as a shirt or towel, to tow the subject to safety.

Requirement 9 has two parts to it; a discussion and a demonstration part. Scouts should come to the class ready to discuss this requirement and prepared to meet the specifications of the action required to complete this requirement.  Only Scouts who are able to successfully execute and complete the specifications of this requirement will be signed off on this requirement.

 

10. Discuss with your counselor the importance of avoiding contact with an active subject and demonstrate lead-and-wait techniques.

Requirement 10 has two parts to it; a discussion and a demonstration part. For the first part of this requirement, Scouts will find the aid of the Lifesaving Merit Badge pamphlet to yield much of the information necessary to assist them with their discussion with the merit badge counselor during the class.  It is recommended to consider making notes ahead of time in a workbook or notebook to reference on this requirement part during the class.

The second part requires demonstration and time will be allotted during the class for Scouts to demonstrate their ability to the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement.

 

11. Perform the following nonequipment rescues for a conscious practice subject 30 feet from shore. Begin in the water from a position near the subject. Speak to the subject to determine his condition and to provide instructions and encouragement.

a. Perform an armpit tow for a calm, responsive, tired swimmer resting with a back float.

b. Perform a cross-chest carry for an exhausted, responsive subject treading water.

Requirement 11 and its components are all skill-based. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement and its components. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted all components of this requirement are skill-based and must be completed to the counselor's satisfaction for successful completion and sign off.

 

12. In deep water, show how to escape from a victim's grasp on your wrist. Repeat for front and rear holds about the head and shoulders.

Requirements 12 is a skill-based requirement. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover this requirement, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete this requirement. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete this requirement simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that this is a skill-based requirement. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability. It is recommended that Scouts review the merit badge pamphlet for suggestions and insight into how to properly, safely, and satisfactorily perform the skills required for this requirement.

 

13. Perform the following rescues for an unconscious practice subject at or near the surface 30 feet from shore. Use a proper entry and strong approach stroke. Speak to the subject and splash water on him to determine his condition before making contact. Quickly remove the victim from the water, with assistance if needed, and position for CPR.

a. Perform an equipment assist using a buoyant aid.

b. Perform a front approach and wrist tow.

c. Perform a rear approach and armpit tow.

Requirement 13 and its components are all skill-based. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement and its components. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted all components of this requirement are skill-based and must be completed to the counselor's satisfaction for successful completion and sign off.

 

14. Discuss with your counselor how to respond if a victim submerges before being reached by a rescuer, and do the following:

For the first part of Requirement 14 it is recommended to prepare for by reviewing the Lifesaving Merit Badge pamphlet and making notes to reference during the class with your merit badge counselor.

a. Recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using a feetfirst surface dive.

b. Repeat using a headfirst surface dive.

Requirement components 14a and 14b are skill-based requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on these requirement components. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted these requirement components require a level of skill to complete successfully.

 

15. Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedures:

a. Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.

b. Demonstrate CPR knowledge and skills, including rescue breathing, consistent with current guidelines. Your counselor may accept recent training in CPR by a recognized agency as completion of this requirement only if he or she feels your skills are satisfactory and need no additional reinforcement.

Requirements 15 and Requirement component 15b are skill-based requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement and/or its components. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that the majority of this requirement and its components require a level of skill to complete successfully.

For Requirement component 15a it is recommended to prepare for by reviewing the Lifesaving Merit Badge pamphlet and making notes to reference during the class with your merit badge counselor.

 

16. Demonstrate management of a spinal injury to your counselor:

a. Discuss the causes, signs, and symptoms of a spinal injury.

b. Support a faceup subject in calm water of standing depth.

c. Turn a subject from a facedown to a faceup position in water of standing depth while maintaining support.

Requirements 16 and Requirement components 16b and 16c are skill-based requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate their skill to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on this requirement and/or its components. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete simply due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that the majority of this requirement and its components require a level of skill to complete successfully.

For Requirement component 16a it is recommended to prepare for by reviewing the Lifesaving Merit Badge pamphlet and making notes to reference during the class with your merit badge counselor.

 

17. With your counselor, discuss causes, prevention, and treatment of other injuries or illnesses that could occur while swimming or boating, including hypothermia, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, muscle cramps, sunburn, stings, and hyperventilation.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss their knowledge and proficiency  in causes, prevention, and treatment of injuries and illnesses as it applies to this merit badge as well as the identified specific ailments of this requirement.

 
this page last reviewed / updated: February 2020
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