Bill's Unofficial Cub Scout Roundtable
A compendium of Ideas For Cubmasters, Den Leaders and those who help them.
About RT492Boy Behavior
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Prepare For Scouts
3 Magic Words
To teach safety precautions on, in, or near the water.
Masks, fins, snorkels, and wet suits.
RELATED BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGES
Swimming skills necessary for advancement to First Class, Snorkeling, Lifesaving, Motorboating, Small Boat Safety, Swimming, Water Skiing, Canoeing, Rowing, also BSA Lifeguard and Mile Swim.
The Aquanaut Activity Badge teaches swimming skills, water
and boat safety, and snorkeling.
"Fish swim in water to survive, for that is what they
breathe. Man must also be able to swim in water to
survive, for he cannot breathe in it. The knowledge
gained as an Aquanaut is a preliminary and vital part
of this life-long learning.
As a general rule, every boy likes water as long as it isn’t in a tub. This pin should be used to get a boy well grounded in the basic water safety procedures. Those “learn to swim” programs sponsored by the YMCA and City Recreation Department can be handled on a den basis if proper arrangements are made with the parents and the person doing the instructing.
One of the things that should always be used with any water activity is the Safe Swim Defense Plan. There are eight factors involved.
If the victim is within reach extend a pole or use any other object that is handy and long enough.
Tie rope to inner tube. Throw tube as a wheel rolls loop end of rope around your wrist. Allow rest of rope to play out freely. Hold rope in one hand allow plenty of slack. Throw inner tube over and beyond victim and pull bim to safety.
When victim is further out, use a boat to save him. In a rowboat, approach him stem first. In a canoe, pull up so he can grasp its side. Kneel in canoe.
If the first three steps can’t be used as a LAST RESORT swim to the victim. Do not attempt a rescue beyond your swimming ability. Get help quickly.
Kick off your shoes disrobe quickly, keeping your eyes on the victim at all times. Jump. Don’t dive into water. Carry your shirt or a towel in your teeth. Keep your eyes on victim. Flip shirt or towel to victim. Tow him to shore with it. If you haven’t either, approach victim from rear tow to safety by his hair.
Scuba: Invite a member of a scuba diving team to come to your meeting and bring equipment to demonstrate.
Competition: Go to see a swim meet, water polo or diving competition at the high school or college. Talk to the coach.
Boy Scouts: Invite several Boy Scouts to come to your meeting and talk about earning water merit badges. Ask them to tell about the summer camp waterfront activities they have enjoyed.
Search and Rescue Visit your local police station and talk to the water search and rescue team. How often are they called out? What are some of the circumstances? What equipment do they take along?
Lifeline throw: Tie a beanbag onto a 25-foot rope. Mark a circle on the floor with chalk. Throw for accuracy.
Make a simple buddy board and have buddy tags for all the boys and insist that they are used each time they go swimming. Each boy is responsible for his buddy.
Take your den swimming and classify the boys according to swimming ability. See how many can pass the 100 foot requirement.
Have someone, perhaps a den chief, who knows how, demonstrate the use of mask, fin, and snorkel.i Have boys take turns using the equipment, or have them use their own.
Start off with fins and show them the difference in speed with and without them. Have the boys practice setting in the water with the masks and learning how to breathe. Next, the boys try the snorkel, in shallow water (learning to breathe) before venturing out where the water is deep.
Have the boys learn the basic safe rescue methods as illustrated by the words: “reach, throw, row, go, tow”. Have them practice a reaching rescue with a shirt, pole, or by throwing a rope, ring buoy, or other lifeline. If a rowboat is available have boat safety methods and rowing techniquesdemonstrated. Give the boys a chance to practice these methods.
Explain how to set up a safe swim area and then have the boys set one up. Have someone tell the boys about “How to Help Yourself in an Emergency”.
Department of Natural Resources,
Line your gang at one end of the swimming area, giving each racer a soda straw and a small sailboat made of a flat board, an upright stick and paper sail. Make the sailboats as much alike as possible so that everyone has the same chance of winning.
The Cub Scout regatta boats could also be used. On a signal, the swimmers must begin to blow their craft forward by puffing through their soda straws. The use of hands to put the boats back on course is forbidden. Whoever blows his boat across the finish line first is the winner.
A good way to get used to being underwater is to play this game. Toss a large bolt with a nut on it into waist deep water. Bend down to find the bolt and unscrew the nut while you are under the water. If you can't finish the job, you must drop the bolt, come up for air and go down again until you have separated the two. When they are separated, straighten up to show them, throw them in again and go under to replace the nut on the bolt. This may be played individually or as a team relay game.
Note: Be careful of throwing these bolts into a plastic lined swimming pool so you do not damage the liner. Be sure to remove all nuts and bolts after the game so they do not rust and stain the lining of the pool.
About 20 large, flat rocks are plainly marked on both sides with numbers ranging from one to five. These are thrown into water that may be from two to six feet deep, depending on the swimming ability of your group. On a signal, everybody dunks to try to bring back as many numbered rocks as possible to his station on shore. Only one rock may be carried at a time. The player who collects the highest total when the numbers on his rocks are added up is the winner. Any flat, non floating objects may be used instead of rocks.
In five’ deep water, make a small pile of five to ten familiar objects that do not float (spools, coins, metal nuts and washers, bolts, soda can full of water, etc.). Players swim out, surface dive to inspect the articles, and return. They then tell the leaders all the articles they remember seeing. The game ends with the swimmers retrieving all the objects.
Play this game in chest deep water. Divide the group into two teams. Put one member of each team some distance from his teammates and give him a towel. On signal, he walks or swims to his team, tosses the end of the towel to a teammate, and tows him back to the position from where he started. The "rescued" boy then becomes rescuer and repeats the actions, "saving" another team member. Continue until the whole team has saved and been saved.
Make a target, as shown, and let the boys practice heaving a rope to a person in the water. Use a 25- to 30 foot rope and have the boys stand about 20 feet from the target. Weight the throwing end of the rope with a beanbag.
The score for each heave is indicated by the numbers between the dowels. Dowels are 6” tall, placed 6” apart and painted as shown.
Assign a small area of the pool side to each player. Scatter a dozen or more small corks or blocks of wood on the water close to the far side of the pool. On signal, each player dives into the pool and brings back corks one at a time and places them in his assigned area. The player who retrieves the most corks wins.
BB, Northwest Suburban Council
Most boys stall when it comes time to get wet in a bathtub. However, at the slightest hint of swimming or boating, be prepared to move to safely out of the line of the stampede. The aquanaut badge will help Webelos Scouts learn to feel at home in the water while developing respect for the dangers that water holds.
Swimming is one of the best sports that a boy can be involved in. It is one of the few sports in which every muscle in the body is exercised. As Webelos leaders we have the responsibility to develop self-confidence in every boy in our den. Through learning to swim, each boy will gain a sense of achievement, as well as gaining a skill that may save his life some day. The Aquanaut requirements are simple. They represent the most important of all Webelos requirements because life depends on them.
Swimming is one of the skills that once learned, lasts a lifetime and provides excellent exercise. Some of your boys may know how to swim and others will need help in learning how. Read the pages on this activity in the Webelos Scout Book, then get your boys into the water as often as possible. To help your boys feel at home in the water, get them to play some water games. If they have any fear of water, obtain the advice of a swimming instructor. The familiarity with water will normally lead to greater proficiency in water sports, which is the aim of the requirements for this badge.
The Aquanaut badge is designed for Webelos Scouts that are good swimmers. Any Webelos Scout that is not a good swimmer deserves special attention by someone who can teach beginners. Before attempting to do any games for this badge, it is important that all boys be aware of the safety rules regarding swimming and boating. They should swim in a well supervised area with permission from their parents.
One of the main points of this badge is to teach safety rules. These rules will be found at every Scout waterfront. The rules may not particularly impress a Webelos Scout this year at the pool where he swims daily, but next year at summer camp, their value will become apparent to him. To use swimming pools in the cooler, off season months, check with local YMCAs, YWCAs, and community schools.
BB, Denver Area Council
Swimming and water sports provide the finest exercise a boy can get. The skills involved last a lifetime.
The boy who is a swimmer has self-confidence. Learning to swim well is an opportunity for personal adventure as he proudly learns to be an achiever-to never stop trying.
Webelos have an additional opportunity through the Aquanaut Activity badge: to take part in a character-building process, as well as to learn skills which could conceivably one day save his live or that of another person.