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BSA Swim test requirements are incorrect

In the requirements it states 25 feet 3 times without stopping…
It should read yards, not feet.

Which rank and requirement # are you referring to?

If you are referring to the Second Class rank requirement, then it should be feet. The BSA beginner test (Second Class #5b) is not the same as the BSA swimmer test (First Class #6a).

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The various components of each test evaluate the several skills essential to the minimum level of
swimming ability. Each step of the test is important and should be followed as listed below:
SWIMMER’S TEST:
Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. 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 swum continuously and include at
least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.
BEGINNER’S TEST:
Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply,
resume swimming as before, and return to starting place.

Note: I still need to check Heath and Safety website for information.

BSA Swimmer Test wording changed

In the 2019 Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls and 2019 Water Sports MB pamphlet I am finding:

The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the test rest by floating.

BSA Swimmer Test applies to all?

The test is also a requirement for other programs, for example Sea Scouts BSA. If not already done I would like to see this requirement stored separately for each person and the requirement linked across programs.

In the Water Sports MB pamphlet the end of the test requirements states:

This qualification should be renewed annually.

I would also like to see this test added as a in-person “training course” in the BSA training database, if it is not already there, so that annual status can be tracked. (Yes that requires submitting a request to BSA national.)

Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls (2019)

The Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls, © 2019 Boy Scouts of America, 39006, 2019 printing, has

  • an overview of Advancement: Aquatics on page 158.
  • The BSA Beginner and Swimmer Tests, pp. 168-170 includes requirements and additional information about Entering Deep Water, Stopping, Turning and Resuming Swimming.
  • Floating, p. 170, two floating techniques, on back and survival floating

Water Sports Merit Badge

The Water Sports merit badge pamphlet, 35963, © Boy Scouts of America, 2019 printing, Safety and First Aid chapter chapter has two pages (pp. 11-12) of additional information about the the BSA Swimmer Test including Entry, Distance and Stamina, Resting, Sharp Turn, and Floating.

Unit Swim Classification Record (council camps)

The Unit Swim Classification Record, form 430-122, date unknown, 2 pages, appears to have an older version of the BSA Swimmer Test.

Original post: 2016-06-22

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