Swimming 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 for 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 Swimming 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 Swimming 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 Swimming MERIT BADGE PAGES
 
Swimming Merit Badge Current Requirements
 
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Swimming Merit Badge Workbook
 
Swimming Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page
 
Swimming MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS
 

Swimming Merit Badge Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

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

2. Swimming Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Proper and appropriate swimwear

5. 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 negate your eligibilty to participate in the class.

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

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

8. 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.

 
Note: The Swimming Merit Badge is a heavily skill-based merit badge. The class is not set up for swimming instruction, but rather for review of completion of the requirements as stated. No guarantee of teaching basic swimming skills should be expected, as this class is not a swim lesson course.
 

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.

Scouts should review Scouting's Safe Swim Defense plan prior to the class. It is NOT acceptable to attend the class not having read the Safe Swim Defense plan and having a general understanding of it and how it applies to this merit badge and swimming activities. 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 this plan.

b. Discuss the prevention and treatment of health concerns that could occur while swimming, including hypothermia, dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, muscle cramps, hyperventilation, spinal injury, stings and bites, and cuts and scrapes.

Scouts should review this requirement and its elements and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge as well as the ability to identify hazards likely to be encountered in swimming activities.

 

2. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test: Jump feet first into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

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 particpation 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.

 

3. Swim continuously for 150 yards using the following strokes in good form and in a strong manner: front crawl or trudgen for 25 yards, back crawl for 25 yards, sidestroke for 25 yards, breaststroke for 25 yards, and elementary backstroke for 50 yards.

Scouts will perform this requirement as a part of the class with the counselor.  Only Scout able to successfully complete this requirement will be able to continue working on the remaining requirements for this merit badge. It must be noted that Scouts not able to successfully complete this requirement to the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor will NOT get swim lessons or other considerations for sign off to continue working on the remaining requirements. An effort will be made to assist Scouts as best as possible, and with the available resources, in completing this requirement during the class, but may hamper their ability to complete additional requirements due to time and resources.  Know your ability and be prepared.

 

4. Do the following:

a. Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.

b. 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.

Requirement 4 and its components are mostly skill-based. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover these requirements, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete each of the requirement's components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate these skills to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on each requirement component therein. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete some of these requirements 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 these are skill-based requirements. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform for each of the components in this requirements.

 

5. Do the following:

a. Float faceup in a resting position for at least one minute.

b. Demonstrate survival floating for at least five minutes.

Requirement components 5a and 5b are skill-based. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover these requirements, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete these requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate the specified skills to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout, however it MUST be noted that these are skill-based requirement components. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform  each of these components during the class.

c. While wearing a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, demonstrate the HELP and huddle positions. Explain their purposes.

Requirement 5c will be covered and discussed in class, however only Scout who can actively demonstrate and explain, per this requirement component, will be signed off on this component of the requirement. Scouts should make sure they have a general understanding of life jackets and be prepared to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding during the class.

d. Explain why swimming or survival floating will hasten the onset of hypothermia in cold water.

Scouts need to review the merit badge pamphlet for requirement component 5c. All information needed to complete this requirement component can be found in the Swimming Merit Badge pamphlet. It is recommended to utilize the Scoutmaster Bucky Swimming Merit Badge Workbook or your own notebook to make notes on your findings for easy reference and sharing of your knowledge during the class.

 

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 three strokes. Come to the surface, take a breath, and repeat the sequence twice.

Requirement 6 and its components are all skill-based. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover this requirement and its components, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete each of the requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate these skills to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on each requirement component accordingly. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete some of these requirement components 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 to perform for each of the components in the requirement.

 

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).

Requirement 7 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 the elements of this requirement to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on the requirement. Some Scouts may find it difficult to complete all or part of this requirement due to physical development or other reasons. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout, and all Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform the necessary elements for consideration of sign off on this requirement.

 

8. Explain the health benefits of regular aerobic exercise, and discuss why swimming is favored as both fitness and therapeutic exercise.

While this requirement will be covered in the class, this requirement does need to have some preparation done ahead of time. Only Scouts who actively participate knowledgeably in the class discussion with their explanation will be considered for sign off on this requirement. Be Prepared.

 
this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019
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