Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

Scouting Forums

Annual Swim test question

Is the swim qualifications good from Jan to Dec of the calendar year or one year from taking the test? For example - if the troop goes to camp in July, the scouts pass the swim test. There is a Philmont crew set for June the following year. Is the swim test results from camp the previous year, valid for June Philmont trek? Or the troop goes on a canoe trip in May or June the following year. Still good? Thanks for the clarification.

It depends upon the activity and the camp. For example, Sea Base requires a swim test within 90 days of arrival.

The actual swim test report says it must be taken each season. The definition of the season could depend upon climate. In MN, we typically have Scouts take a swim test in May or June each year because that is the start of our outdoor swim season.

1 Like

@edavignon - In Aquatics Supervision, No.34346 (pg 38) “Swimmer Classifications -
Scouting recognizes three basic swimming classifications: swimmer, beginner, and nonswimmer. Swim classification tests should be renewed annually, preferably at the beginning of the season.”. I agree with you. In NJ, we try to do the same as you in MN. I am curious because we are trying to have a more aggressive scouting summer and wanted to see how we could ensure compliance to the wording of the requirements and still keep our calendar going strong.

It is a safety issue, so you will want to do (or re-do) swim tests at the beginning of each swimming season. It is for this reason, that many camps do not accept swim tests done prior to camp, because the climate or conditions are different. For example: taking the swim test in an indoor pool is a lot different than taking the swim test in a cold mountain lake where the Scout can’t see the bottom.

I will honestly admit that my classification is that of rock, boulder, titanic so many years of attempting the swim test at scout camp for me was an epic fail. Still a sticking point for me :slight_smile:


The last time I tried at summer camp, I had an undiagnosed torn rotator cuff. I couldn’t do any real swim stroke for the length of the pool – it hurt so much, I stopped in the middle of the pool, got out, and called an orthopedic specialist on the spot. Could not wait to get home and get it looked at.

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.