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Dreading


IF SUMMER CAMP SWIM CHECKS TWIST YOUR SCOUTS’ STOMACHS INTO SQUARE KNOTS, HERE’S HOW TO MAKE THE CHECKS


LESS STRESSFUL. by j e f f csatari


photogr a ph by tom hus se y photogr a phy


Not all Scouts immediately take to the water. But when they show up for summer camp, they


all have to participate in the BSA’s swim check. Many take it in stride. Others do not. Michelle Matowski remembers an especially difficult experience


for one Scout who had a single goal for the summer: earn an aquatics merit badge. But the Scout’s plans were dashed when he didn’t receive a “swimmer” tag at the swim check on the first day of camp. “When he took off his goggles,” recalls Matowski, a committee member


who was attending Scout camp with Troop 1104 of Dearborn, Mich., “I could see that he was sobbing. I felt so bad for this Scout. His world just came crashing down. It was like someone took away his birthday party.” The first day of camp can be an overwhelming experience for boys for many


reasons: being away from home, uncertainty about what they will experience, or thoughts of how they will measure up to their buddies. Not passing the swim check can be difficult, causing a disappointing or even embarrassing start to Scout camp week. You don’t have to let that happen. Unit leaders can help their boys both before and


30 S COUT ING ¿ MARCH • AP R I L 2 0 1 1


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