On Monday evening, our troop met at our local YMCA to conduct our annual BSA swim test. This is important event is done for a couple of reasons:
- It lets leaders know the relative swimming strengths of each youth member for when we engage in aquatic activities (boating, swimming, or even fishing — in case someone falls in the water, etc.) From a safety stand point it’s vital to the training programs that BSA has in place for safe swims and safety afloat (boating).
- It enables us to document the relative swimming strengths of each youth member against an established set of uniform benchmarks. This certification is used at summer camp to set up “buddy tags” used to denote access to aquatic facilities. The BSA has three qualifications — Non-Swimmer, Beginner, and Swimmer.
- As new scouts join the organization, part of their advancement is tied to learning to become proficient swimmers. For Second Class rank, the scout must pass the beginner test. For First Class rank, the scout must pass the swimmer test.
Heading to the “Y” once a year helps new scouts document their abilities, current scouts confirm that they’re still able swimmers and provide adult leaders with insights into safety issues when operating near bodies of water.
(The adults get tested, too!)
We’re finalizing our preparations for Summer Camp and are looking forward to a great week at Resica Falls:
- Adults and Youth — Please continue to get your paperwork completed — please carefully review each line and space to be certain it is filled out 100% — no signature lines should normally be left blank so please don’t ask our troop leaders to commit forgery at camp check-in to prevent your son from being sent home due to paperwork issues. If you’re not certain or have questions, please contact Scoutmaster Farrell ASAP.
- We’ll be sharing a campsite with another troop which creates opportunities to meet new people, make new friendships and learn new things. I’ve reached out to the leadership team of Troop 200 to make early introductions and to coordinate the set up of the campsite. Our SPL/ASPL team will need to work with their counterparts to set up appropriate duty rosters to cover shared responsibilities such as latrine cleaning, etc.
- Each participating scout was provided a “what to pack” and “what to leave at home” sheet two weeks ago. Please review and consider that these sheets are guidelines — feel free to exercise common sense, but also feel free to leave the kitchen sink at home, too. It is very easy to overpack while leaving very critical items at home. Typical day wear would be shorts, t-shirt, hat, fresh socks and hiking boots (and bug spray/sun screen, etc.) Uniforms at evening colors are expected — BSA Troop 113 gear, please. If your son has lost his neckerchief, I have more @ $10 each. Pens/Mechanical Pencils/Paper/Merit Badge Pamphlets/Uniform items/Flashlight (with brand new batteries) are critical. Please leave electronics at home! Please! This is summer camp, not X-Box Training. Cameras are fine.
- Dads (and moms, too) please talk to your sons about the value of brushing teeth, washing face, shaving, et.al. As leaders, we do our best to promote good practices, but your admonition prior to camp goes a long way.
There will be no troop meeting this Monday evening, but instead we will celebrate our troop’s first Eagle Scout Court of Honor:
- Scouts, please come in full uniform.
- It will begin at 7 PM and weather permitting will be held outside on the grass across from the park on Conklin Place.
- Refreshments will follow inside the church (please feel free to bring along some cookies or brownies, etc. to share.)
- Parents, please consider bringing an outdoor folding chair if you or your loved ones wouldn’t want to stand through the ceremony or sit on the ground.
- We’ll provide a tarp for the scouts to sit on if the grass is damp.
- If the weather turns to rain, we’ll meet in the main church sanctuary.
- The main parking lot is accessed from Park Street, behind the church.