Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Swimming Merit Badge





Either this Merit Badge or Hiking MB or Cycling MB is Required to earn the Eagle Scout Rank


  1. Discuss the prevention and treatment for health concerns that could occur while swimming, including hypothermia, dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, muscle cramps, hyperventilation, spinal injury, stings and bites, and cuts and scrapes.
  2. Do the following:
        A. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how to recognize
              such conditions
        B. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete Second Class rank requirements 7a-7c and First Class rank requirements 9a-9c
        o Second Class rank requirements:
             (7a) Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim.
             (7b) Demonstrate your ability to jump feet first into water over your head in depth, level off and
                  swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting
             (7c) Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, reaching with a
                  suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be
                  attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue
                  swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.
        o First Class rank requirements:
             (9a) Tell what precautions should be taken for a safe trip afloat.
             (9b) Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.

                Jump feet first into water over your head in depth, swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or
                more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards
                using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be swum continuously and include at
                least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

             (9c) With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The
                  practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water).
  4. Demonstrate survival skills by jumping feet first into deep water wearing clothes (shoes, socks, swim trunks, long pants, belt, and long-sleeved shirt). Remove shoes and socks, 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 re-inflate the pants while still afloat.
  5. Swim continuously for 150 yards using the following strokes in good form and in a strong manner: front crawl or trudgen for 25 yards, back crawl for 25 yards, sidestroke for 25 yards, breaststroke for 25 yards, and elementary backstroke for 50 yards.
  6. Do the following:
        A. Float face up in a resting position for at least one minute.
        B. Demonstrate survival floating for at least five minutes.
        C. While wearing a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD), demonstrate the HELP and huddle
              positions. Explain their purposes.
        D. Explain why swimming or survival floating will hasten the onset of hypothermia in cold water.
  7. In water over your head, but not to exceed 10 feet, do each of the following:
        A. Use the feet first method of surface diving and bring an object up from the bottom.
        B. Do a headfirst surface dive (pike or tuck), and bring the object up again.
        C. Do a headfirst surface dive to a depth of at least 5 feet and swim underwater for three strokes. Come
              to the surface, take a breath, and repeat the sequence twice.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
        A. Demonstrate snorkeling and scuba diving knowledge:
            1. Demonstrate selection and fit of mask, snorkel, and fins; discuss safety in both pool and open-
                  water snorkeling.
            2. Demonstrate proper use of mask, snorkel, and fins for underwater search and rescue.
            3. Describe the sport of scuba diving or snorkeling, and demonstrate your knowledge of BSA policies
                  and procedures relating to that sport.


        B. Demonstrate the following competitive swimming skills:
            1. Racing dive from a pool edge or dock edge (no elevated dives from racing platforms or starting
            2. Racing form for 25 yards on one competitive stroke (front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, or
            3. Racing turns for the stroke that you chose in 8b(2), OR, if the camp facilities cannot
                  accommodate the racing turn, repeat 8b(2) with and additional stroke.
            4. Describe the sport of competitive swimming.
  9. Following the guidelines set in the BSA Safe Swim Defense, in water at least 7 feet deep, show a standing headfirst dive from a dock or pool deck. Show a long shallow dive, also from the dock or pool deck.
  10. Do the following:
        A. Explain the health benefits of regular aerobic exercise, and explain why many people today do not
              get enough of the beneficial kinds of exercise.
        B. Discuss why swimming is favored as both a fitness and a therapeutic exercise.
        C. Write a plan for a swimming exercise program that will promote aerobic/vascular fitness, strength
              and muscle tone, body flexibility, and weight control for a person of Scout age. Identify resources
              and facilities available in your home community that would be needed for such a program.
        D. Discuss with your counselor the incentives and obstacles for adherence to the fitness program you
              created in requirement 10c. Explain the unique benefits that could be gained from this program, and
              discuss how personal health awareness and self discipline would relate to your own willingness and
              ability to pursue such a program.

Swimming Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.