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Baloo's Bugle


June 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 10, Issue 11
July 2004 Theme

Theme: Fin Fun
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
  Tiger Cub:







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 safety-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.

Aquanaut Den Activities

Even though Aquanaut implies wet, there are a number of Den activities that can be done in a home or yard, and several requirements that can be accomplished "dry." Of course most of Aquanaut will have to be done in a pool or lake setting, so you should plan on doing it during the summer months, possibly combining it with a Webelos family campout, or a pool party.

·         Basic water rescue methods REACH and THROW can be demonstrated in your own yard. Teach the boys all of the basic water rescue methods demonstrating REACH and THROW in your yard and ROW and GO later at a lake or pool.

·         Have an experienced boater, or member of the Red Cross explain the rules of small boat safely at an indoor Den meeting or show a film.

·         At the pool do the ROW and GO portions of basic water rescue? Best bet for the ROW is an inflatable raft. All underwater requirements are best left to the pool, because of underwater visibility and readily defined boundaries. If it is permissible, water volleyball is a very good game to play in a pool. Ball tag, on the other hand, should be avoided

·         by Scouts because of the temptation to run and slip, as well as retrieving over the fence balls.

·         At a lake do ROW and GO portions of basic water rescue. You can use a beat here for ROW, and can more readily demonstrate row• at handling using a real rowboat and dock. You will have to set up a safe swimming area in a lake, using the safe swim defense. Boys should be rated in ability and given buddies of equal ability if possible.

·         Make a simple buddy board and have buddy tags for all the boys and insist that they be used each time they go swimming. Each boy is responsible for his buddy.

·         Have someone, perhaps a Den Chief who knows how; demonstrate the use of mask, fins, and snorkel. Have boys take turns using the equipment or have them use their own. Start off with the tins and show them the difference in speed with and without them. Have them practice seeing into water with masks and learning to breathe. Next, the boys try the snorkel in shallow water before venturing out into deep water. The instructor should know how to clear the snorkel and mask of water in case it gets inside while underwater.

Pack Meeting

Webelos Demonstrations: Demonstrate basic water rescue methods with props, demonstrate small boat safety with inflatable raft, rescue breathing on a practice dummy.

Aquanaut Games

Life Preserver Throws (use in the yard): Throw a weight attached to a rope. Points are awarded for both distance and accuracy

Rowboat Relay (pool only): Row or paddle across a pool, using an inflatable raft. The only rule is that the boy must be "on" the raft to make progress.

Pool Volleyball (pool only): Stretch a rope across the pool and play volleyball. Use a large beach ball, which slows the game down, allowing players more time to reach the ball.

Rowboat Slalom (lake only): Lay out a slalom course in knee to waist deep water, using homemade floats. The race can be run as a relay, or best time for each boy.

Bobbing for Apples (Pool): Surely you've tried this at Halloween, but it's much more fun in the pool. The only difference is that the boy must grab onto the apple from underneath the water.

Horse and Rider (pool): Pair the boys off. Have the larger boys be the horses and the smaller boys be the riders. While in the pool, the boys that are the riders try to push and pull the others off the backs of their "horses." This can be played in teams.

Field Trips

ü      Scuba demonstrations can be arranged at a local dive shops and outfitters.

ü      Attend a show featuring a Rescue and Recovery Unit.

Cub Scout Sports

Participation for Swimming For requirement 7, the Webelos Scout must earn the Swimming belt loop while he is a Webelos. If a boy has earned the belt loop earlier as a Wolf or Bear, he must earn it again as a Webelos to meet this requirement.

Basic Water Rescue Methods

Simple rescue procedures an adult can carry out or a boy can use to save a person in trouble when no one else is around. The order of methods to choose is:

Reach - Throw - Row - Go

1.       REACH with whatever is available or at hand. Stay onshore and reach out with a branch, a stick, or a pole. Then pull the victim to shore.

2.       THROW a line, a buoy. a floating object to provide support. Takeoff your shirt, kneel down, hold one sleeve and throw out the other sleeve. Or take off your pants and tie one leg to a sleeve if you need a longer "line."

3.       ROW when the victim is further out, use a boat to save him. In a rowboat, approach the victim with the stern of the boat. In a canoe, pull up so that he can grasp the side. (Kneel in the canoe).

4.       GO if the first 3 steps can't be used as a last resort swim to the victim. Keeping your eyes on the victim, kick off your shoes and disrobe. Jump; do not dive, into the water. Carry your shirt or towel in your teeth. Keep your eyes on the victim. Swim out near enough to extend your towel or shirt to him and tow him in by it. If you have nothing to extend to him. approach him from behind and tow him to safety by his hair.

5.       Don't allow the victim to latch onto you. Don't attempt a rescue beyond your swimming ability.

Let's make every Webelos Scout a swimmer!


Circle Ten Council

1.       FORMULATE AN EMERGENCY PLAN - Base the plan on your home surrounding and then practice various emergency situations.

2.       PROVIDE ADEQUATE FENCING WITH A LATCHING GATE AROUND THE POOL AREA - Fence should be at least 5 feet. high with vertical or solid segments close enough so that children cannot climb over it.


4.       AN ALARM SYSTEM IN THE POOL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED - Alarm sounds when someone falls in—remember to check the batteries on a regular basis.


6.       RESCUE EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE VISIBLY DISPLAYED ON THE POOL DECK - Keep basic equipment in good condition

7.       POST EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS AND PHONE NUMBERS NEAR THE TELEPHONE - Be prepared when calling 911: Who? When? Where? How?  Have victim’s medical records handy if possible Know your family physician’s name and phone number Post parent’s work addresses and phone numbers










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