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Swimming is a vital life skill and and a required to earn the Traveller Advancement Badge.

Importance of swimming

Here is what B-P had to say about swimming:

Pool Party for Iraqi Boy and Girl Scouts DVIDS121923.jpg

And I look on swimming as a very important step, combining as it does attributes of all three of those classes:

  • mentally it gives the scout a new sense of self-confidence and pluck;
  • morally it gives the power of helping others in distress and puts a responsibility upon the scout of actually risking their life at any moment for others;
  • physically it is a grand exercise for developing wind and limb.

Every man ought to be able to swim; and in Norway and Sweden, the home of practical education, every boy and girl is taught swimming at school.

It is not easy


The fact that swimming has got to be learnt by the Scout before gaining the first-class badge has had the effect of putting the character of the lads in very many cases to a hard and strengthening test.

Rayner 1978 Water Rescue c.jpg

At first they complained that there was no place near where they could learn to swim. But when they found this was not accepted as an excuse, they set to work to make places or to get to where such places existed. I have heard of scouts riding five miles on their bicycles day after day to swimming-baths; streams in many country places have been dammed up, and bathing-places made by the Scouts; the summer Camp has been established at some seaside or river-side spot for the special purpose of getting everyone trained in swimming.

It can be done if everybody sets their mind to it. If the Scouts are put to extra trouble in bringing it about, so much the better for their character training. In any case, I look upon swimming as an essential qualification for First-class Scout, and for every man. Also, I don't consider a is a real Scout till he has passed his first-class tests.

Adapted from First Class Scout - February, 1914.

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