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Bathing And Swimming

When in camp, bathing will be one of your joys and one of your duties-a joy because it is such fun, a duty because no Scout can consider himself a full-blown Scout until he is able to swim and to save life in the water. But there are dangers about bathing for which every sensible Scout will be prepared.

First, there is the danger of cramp. If you bathe within an hour and a half after taking a meal, that is, before your food is digested, you are very likely to get cramp. Cramp doubles you up in extreme pain so that you cannot move your arms or legs-and down you go. You may drown-and it will be your own fault.

There must always be a bathing picket posted, while bathing is going on, of two good swimmers, who will not bathe themselves but will be ready, undressed, prepared to jump in at any moment and help a bather if he is in difficulties. The guards should not bathe until the others have left the water, and a life line must be available.

Many lives are lost every summer through foolishness on the part of boys bathing, because they don't think of these things. Bathing must only be permitted in safe places and under strict supervision.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

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