Swimming MB requirement #4: float using clothes

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Swimming MB requirement #4: float using clothes

Postby fgoodwin » Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:21 pm

Next week, my son will begin work on his Swimming MB at summer camp. But requirement #4 is confusing both of us. It reads:

Demonstrate survival skills by leaping into deep water wearing clothes (shoes, socks, swim trunks, long pants, belt, and long-sleeved shirt). Remove shoes and socks, remove and inflate the shirt, and show that you can float using the shirt for support. Remove and inflate the pants for support. Swim 50 feet using the inflated pants for support, then show how to reinflate the pants while using them for support.

But we can't find anywhere in the book where this requirement is actually discussed. It is listed on p4 (2002 edition, 33352D), but it isn't demonstrated anywhere.

Am I just missing it? Or are the instructors supposed to demonstrate this requirement at the camp pool?
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Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:59 pm

Long Sleeve Button up shirt . Sweat shirts do not work.
Long Pants. Jeans are Ok BUt are heavy scout pants or similar material
The rest is pretty much the same. The Counselors will demonstrate this. I find it very easy But the boys in alot of cases have problems with it as they don't relax. The secret is to relax and keep your face in the water as much as possible.
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Postby Rick Tyler » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:24 pm

Since your son is doing it at camp, the counselors will teach him how to do it. It's easy -- and something I survived at camp *cough* years ago.

Some tips. Don't try this in jeans. Have him wear nylon pants if possible. Some boys with very low body fat (my son at age 11, for instance) pretty much sink like stones with heavy water-soaked jeans on. He tried it twice -- and succeeded with his nylon camp pants. Same for the shirt -- nylon is simply easier to deal with than wet cotton.

If he's doing it in a lake, have him ask about lost shoes. I've seen the "remove shoe" requirement done on the dock so that shoes don't get lost forever. In a pool, of course, this isn't an issue.

For what it's worth, the swim beach at Camp Parsons is salt water, which turned out to be just the place for really skinny kids to do swimming. The water is cold, but you float easier...

Hope he has fun.
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Postby fgoodwin » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:29 pm

Thanx for the replies -- one last question. The Troop expects the "new boys" to do four MBs at their first summer camp. This didn't sound like much at our first parents' meeting after we crossed over.

But now that my 11-yo son has looked at the text of the four MB books, he's overwhelmed, and won't even bother reading the material.

Is it really expected that the boy fully read the MB books before he starts the requirements? Because if that's the case, my son is gonna view this as no different than school-work during summer vacation!
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Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:40 pm

The boys need a knowledge of the material before starting 'any" merit badge. Do they need to read the book cover to cover?Thats up to what they expect to get from the MB. The counselor at camp is just that a counselor not a teacher.
Last edited by wagionvigil on Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mrw » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:37 pm

If your son is overwhelmed, have him look at the badge offerings and pick one which will challenge him, one that should be really easy to succeeed at (Art, leatherwork, basketry, etc.) and a couple that sound like fun - Space Exploration is a perrennial favorite with out troop.

He should finish the easy one and the fun ones without too much trouble. If he gets a partial on the challenging one, then he can finish it later, when he is more ready. I have a boy who just signed on for a camp merit badge because he didn't finish it last year and thinks he is better able this year.

There is no shame in a partial at the end of the week. And the easy one gives him an award to be proud of.
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Postby Lynda J » Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:03 am

Your son may or may not complete all the badges he does at summer camp.
Our troop has new boys do a program for first year campers. It is great. It gets the boys completely through Tenderfoot, some of 2nd Class and some of 1st Class. They will get theit Tot'n Chip, and Firemen Chip. So even though on paper it looks overwhelming it really isn't. So many of the badge requirements they are doing anyway.
They will be doing Swimming, First Aid, and Pioneering. They probably will complete Swimming and First Aid and most of the Pioneering.
The boys that have been to camp have 4 selections. Kevin is doing Emergency Prep, Mammals, Nature, and then free time at the Blob.
The badge counselors are pretty good at helping the boys. I am helping staff the first year program next week. They always ask if troop leadership can help. I got a call from our DE and ask it I could help. I am glad to.
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Postby Rick Tyler » Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:55 am

fgoodwin wrote:Thanx for the replies -- one last question. The Troop expects the "new boys" to do four MBs at their first summer camp.


The other responses to your question have been good, and let me toss another one or two your way. Some merit badges are perfect for a first-year scout (Leatherwork) and others are best for scouts with some more experience (Shotgun Shooting, Climbing). Depending on what your summer camp offers, you might find your son finishing more than four MBs.

After having been to five summer camps, I've seen our scouts earn from 3.2 MBs per scout to 3.8. The historical average for our troop is 3.5. Younger scouts tend to earn more than older scouts since they SHOULD be taking the easier MBs. Some good younger-scout MBs frequently offered at camp are Mammal Study, Leatherwork, Art, Basketry, Fingerprinting, Swimming (if he can swim), Nature, Indian Lore, and Wood Carving. Rifle Shooting shooting is another good choice. A lot of adult scout leaders think this is hard, but our troop records show that well over 90% of scouts complete this on their first try at summer camp, regardless of age -- one 10-3/4 year old scout was the best shot at camp, and had never touched a rifle before. If the scout is at all handy with knots Pioneering is another good one. Your troop leadership can probably direct you to a good list of first-year-camper MBs for your camp.

For what it's worth, my older son turned 11 about three weeks before he went to summer camp the first time and he earned six merit badges. My second son earned four his first year.

Have your son read the books (he might be one of the few at camp who actually did, by the way) and have a good time. Tell him John Tyler earned six and he can too. Good luck.
Last edited by Rick Tyler on Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby evmori » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:54 am

Our new guys sign up for leathercraft, woodcarving, basketry, wilderness survival and if they can swim, swimming. They usually get all 4/5.

As to swimming - don't wear sweats of any kind. Go with the nylon pants & a long sleeved t-shirt.
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Postby wagionvigil » Fri Jun 17, 2005 11:09 am

The Swimming requirement works best with a Button up shirt. Remember you must inflate the shirt first this helps you with the pants. The shirt must be snug around the neck to hold the air bubble in place on the Shoulder Blades. This also requires you not to tilt backwards as soon as you do the bubble is gone.
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Postby Eamonn » Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:01 pm

wilderness survival for new Scouts?
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Postby wagionvigil » Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:04 pm

Yeah I thought the Same Thing. Second or third year not first year.
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Postby Lynda J » Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:30 pm

I thought the same thing. I personally don't think that first year scouts have the skills to do Wilderness Survival. Tough badge. Kevin is 12 and Star. We camp a lot and he wants to wait until next year.

I recommend that the boys read the Badge book on a badge before they sign up for it. Had a boy last year that had signed up for Model building at Merit Badge College. I know this kid. Ask him about it. He said he wanted to build model rockets. I recommended he read the badge requirements.
Changed his mind. He took Indian Lore instead. and he loved it.

We are lucky in that we have many of the badge work books. And I always recommend that the boys look through them before starting any badge. Want to make sure they understand what the badge is about.
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Postby evmori » Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:09 pm

Wilderness Survival tough? Not really. Toughest requirement is the shelter ones (#'s 8 & 9). Very doable for 1st year Scouts.
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Postby diamondbackAPL » Sat Jun 18, 2005 5:12 pm

evmori wrote:Wilderness Survival tough? Not really. Toughest requirement is the shelter ones (#'s 8 & 9). Very doable for 1st year Scouts.


yeah, a second year scout in our troop earned it.
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Postby evmori » Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:11 pm

The only time any Scout in our Troop got a partial was when they couldn't build a shelter due to horrible weather.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:10 pm

I would say depending on the area your camp is in makes a big difference too for earning Wilderness Survival. We participate in two different camps and one is very rustic in the Adirondack Mountains with much wildlife including lots of bears. The younger scouts in our troop that have taken this badge through the years have only had the problem with sleeping out in their shelters alone. They have all gone back the following year to finish that part. I think if they had done this badge at the other camp which isn't as secluded with the bears the would've been fine. This badge also depends on the type of scout. They need to feel comfortable enough to leave their base camp for the night, which not all first years do.
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Postby papabear » Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:02 am

What shirts and pants work best for Swimming merit badge? What does not work? I am not sure jearns or the new Scout pants with the zippered legs will do the job? Any suggestions?
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Postby evmori » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:09 am

Jeans, while heavy, do work well. A long sleeve pullover shirt works best.
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:23 am

The shirts needs to be long sleeve and Button Up. You button it tight around the neck and blow the air in about the sewcond below the neck button so that would be button 3. Sweat shirts are not tigh enough to hold the air in around the neck. You are trying to get a bubble of air across the shoulder blades.
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