Activities‎ > ‎2018‎ > ‎

First Year Swimming - May 27, 2018

What: First Year Swimming
When: 9:50am-11:30am May 27, 2018
Who:  First Year Scouts, plus main troop scouts still needing skill sign off for Second/First Class requirements.
           This is not for the swimming merit badge.
Where: University Club of Palo Alto, CA    Note: No carpooling. You must go directly to the Univerisity Club (not to LAUMC)

University Club of Palo Alto

Who: Troop 33 First Year Scouts
Cost: Free
SIC: Troop Guides
Activity Coordinator: Jessica Chang


Do not be late - arrive by 9:50am.  We will collect outside the gate, take attendance and review rules.  Once we enter at 10:00am sharp you will be locked out.  
                     (My cellphone for unforeseen emergencies - (650)888-3464 - Tom Poppitz)
What to bring:  Come ready to swim with a towel.  Do not bring your book.
Agenda:  We will rotate scouts through 3 skills stations -- Station 1 is the swim test -- the other two are for practicing water rescue skills.

STATION 1:  Swim test definitions used by BSA:  These regulate rank advancement.  

They are also used at camps like Oljato and Emerald Bay to make sure your scouts are safe enough to be on the water for swimming, rowing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, etc. 

    "Swimmer" - also called "Blue Swimmer" (This is First Class requirement 6a)

  • Jump feet first into water over the head, level off, and begin swimming.
  • Swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: side, breast, trudgen, or crawl. Swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke.
  • The 100 yards must be completed without stops and must include at least one sharp turn.
  • Rest by floating…Long enough to demonstrate ability to rest when exhausted.

    "Beginner" - also called "Red Swimmer" (This is Second Class requirement 5b)

  • Jump feet first into water over the head, level off, and begin swimming.
  • Swim 25 feet on the surface.
  • Stop, turn, and resume swimming back to the starting place.

    "Non-Swimmer" - also called "White Swimmer"

  • Did not complete either of the swimming tests in a strong manner.

        Facts and observations:

  • Do scouts need to pass these swim tests to achieve Second Class and First Class rank?  Yes.  BSA is clear that scouts are expected to work on this until they pass unless they have a documented disability that physically prevents them from doing so (ADA compliance).
  • Oljato requires everyone to do this test again (adults included) even if you've already passed it prior.
  • Passing this test is much easier in a warm pool than it is in Oljato's cold lake.  Sometimes a scout passes "blue swimmer" in the pool, but Oljato only gives them "red swimmer" status because it was harder in the cold water.  That's OK, but Oljato will then restrict their activities in the water...  but if the scout just tries again (maybe next day) and passes "blue", then they will lift the restrictions. 
  • Difficulty?  Achieving "blue swimmer" status (First Class requirement) is super easy for guys on swim teams...  reasonably easy for scouts that took basic swim lessons...  and can be really challenging if your scout has no swimming experience at all.
  • Swim lessons: We (Troop 33) do not provide swim lessons.  It is up to the family to provide any required lessons for your scout.
  • We do not care how fast your scout is.  The whole purpose is to become a safe swimmer which means the ability to swim at least this distance in a "strong manner".  If their strokes degrade into a "doggy paddle" during the test, it disqualifies them.
STATION 2:  "Reach-Throw-Row Rescues"


water rescue methods p177-9

STATION 3:  "Line Tender Rescues"  


With a helper and practice victim, show line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approx 30 feet from shore in deep water.) p177-80

We do not practice "Swim Rescues" in the pool for safety reasons.  We discuss them in class instead.


swimming rescues p180-1



Jessica Chang,
May 15, 2018, 9:29 PM