"Are there any Polar Bears out there?!"
Polar Bear is the very first activity held in camp each day. As the name might suggest, it involves an early morning plunge into the cold water of the pool. What a great way to start the day!
Scouts who attend Polar Bear for five days of the week will receive a special segment. Generally the Troop goes to Polar Bear Monday through Friday. Saturday acts as a make-up day for any scout who misses on a previous day.
Early every morning in camp, scouts are woken and put their bathing suits on for the Polar Bear Swim. Scouts roll out of their bunks, put on their bathing suits and flip-flops/sandals, and then form up by patrol with their towels.Polar bear is a troop event and all scouts participate. Patrol Leaders will attempt to rouse any still sleeping scouts but it is not unheard of for a scout to miss one of the days (but they often make it up later in the week).
Preparing for Polar BearEdit
Once all the patrols are assembled, the troop sets off through the woods along the "pool trail" to the Olympic sized camp pool. Scouts will leave their footwear, towels, and any other clothing minus their swim trunks at the benches before approaching the pool. Sometimes the Troop might be early and will have to wait for the pool to open but other times scouts can head right in. Scouts enter with their buddy tags and take a quick shower (the REAL icy water) before they can actually swim.
Finally scouts can go for that nice relaxing early morning swim! Some choose a quick hop into the sallow "white section" and then quickly exit the pool. Others actually take a full plunge before leaving. A select few actually choose to swim for a few minutes and make Polar Bear much more than just a wake-up call.
Once they've finished their swim, however long that may have been, scouts hang up their tags, reclaim their belongings, and head back to Lisle. Adult Leaders will stay behind to ensure that all Paoli 1 scouts make it out of the pool and then back to camp to start their day.
Polar Bear is also a great time for scouts taking either the Swimming or Life Saving merit badges to get time for life guarding requirements. Scouts can take the plunge and then remain for a few minutes to life guard afterwards.