BSA Swim TestEdit
Any scout who wishes to do more than wade in the shallow "white" section must take and pass the swim test which is administered on Sunday during orientation (Late scouts may schedule a make up test). The test determines the swimming knowledge of a scout, his swimming ability, and also his physical condition.
More about the test and pool sections can be read here.
Like any pool, there is absolutely no running around the pool deck nor is there to be any horseplay within the pool. Limited roughhousing is allowed during games of water polo though the aquatics staff will break up anything that gets out of hand. It also shouldn't be a surprise that diving is only allowed in the deepest section of the pool, the "blue" section.
Horseshoe also requires there to be numerous lifeguards in addition to the aquatics staff present. Each of the three sections requires two life guards and a seventh mans the look-out chair at the head of the pool. Life guarding not only provides added protection and safety for swimmers but it also helps scouts fulfill requirements for any aquatics badges they may be taking.
The aquatics staff also requires all swimmers to shower immediately upon entering the pool area. Scouts only need a quick rinse before entering the pool but the two-man shower still creates a bottleneck for entrance during peak times such as the polar bear swim. The shower's water is typically much colder than the pools so the brief rinse is frequently much more of a shock than the later polar bear plunge into the pool itself.Like many scout activities, the pool also uses the buddy system. It is of course nearly impossible for anyone to be lost within such a small and enclosed area but the buddy system ensures that at least one person is always keeping an eye on each swimmer in the event of an accident. This system is incorporated with the buddy board. Upon entering the pool, scouts must buddy up with someone else and place their pool tags next to each other on the board.
Whistles and DisciplineEditWhen in the pool, a lifeguard's word is law. There are numerous ways the lifeguards/aquatics staff may get the attention of a swimmer.
Calling out/Minor problem - If only one or two scouts are fooling around, running, or something else of that nature, the life guard will simple communicate with the offender(s) face to face.
Single whistle/More serious - If a life guard can not easily gain a swimmer's attention by other means, time is of the essence, he is addressing a large group of swimmers, or the offending swimmer is simply ignoring or can't hear the life guard a whistle will be blown followed by the verbal warning or punishment.
Prolonged and rolled whistle/Buddy Check - This distinctive whistle blow then followed by the spoken command "Buddy Check" requires all swimmers to immediately stop what they are doing. Buddies pair up, grab hands, and then raise their joined hands in the air. The aquatics staff then counts the sets of buddies and compares it to the buddy board. If scouts are not in the proper section, are not even on the board, don't have buddies, or are breaking the rules in some other way the problem will be addressed immediately.
Nine whistle blows - This signal is broken into three groups of three short blasts. Like the buddy check, it is a sign for all swimmers to stop immediately. However, this command also orders all swimmers to exit the pool. It may be called for a serious injury, a problem with the pool, or inclement weather.
The pool bell - The pool's bell is rung at the end of a pool session. It is by no means an urgent signal but all swimmers must make their way out of the pool at this time.