Swimming Merit Badge and Swim Test
Known for being a leader in promoting and providing training in aquatics safety, the Boy Scouts have given out more than 1.5 million aquatics-related merit badges since 2009. In Girl Scouts, all girls are required to know five basic strokes before they hit the water: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and sidestroke.
Scout programming is often near water or involves aquatics activities, e.g., sailing, rowing, canoeing, and rafting.
The Swimming Merit Badge is typically completed during summer camp or as a troop activity and requires a certified lifeguard’s supervision. The J is a qualified provider for troop activity merit badges.
The JCC also administers the swim test. For the swim test, participants must be able to jump feet first into water over their heads, level off and swim 75 yards (sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl), then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. After completing the swim, they must rest by floating for one minute. Once the Scout passes the test, s/he receives a Swimmer Certification Card that is good for one year from the date of issue.
Benefits of Water Scouts
- Safety: The greatest benefit to a Water Scouts class is safety. Drowning can happen in seconds and is often silent. It can happen to anyone, any time there is access to water. With this formal swim instruction and swim test, Scouts are well prepared to participate safely in water activities.
- Confidence: As Scouts gain skills in water safety, they become more confident in being in and around water.
- Builds Character: As with almost all Scout badges, earning the swimming merit badge teaches lifelong skills. As they learn about different swim strokes and water safety methods, they also learn about perseverance, hard work, and resilience.
What to Expect
Any equipment needed for the session is available for use. Swimmers need to arrive with a towel and wearing a swimsuit or designated swimwear. Goggles and/or a swim cap may be required; your instructor will let you know before class.
A minimum of five Scouts is needed to schedule a session.
$15 per Scout
Aquatics Are Central at the JCC
Aquatics and learning to swim are deeply rooted in Jewish values and culture. Our aquatics program is integral to our community center, and we have built and maintained an aquatics center consisting of indoor and outdoor and competition-sized and therapeutic pools. Our love of aquatics and passion for aquatic exercise starts early with swim lessons offered to all ages beginning at 6 months with parent/baby classes, continuing with lessons for children and classes for adults, and we offer arthritis and therapy classes for those well into their 90s.
Visit our Schedules page for the of hours and activities for our aquatics center.