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Mile Swim BSA

Swimming is a fun and healthy activity that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for centuries. Not only is it a great way to cool off during hot summer months, but it is also a fantastic form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and strengthen muscles. For those who love swimming, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has an exciting challenge that will put your skills to the test – the Mile Swim.

The mile swim BSA patch

The Mile Swim is an annual event held by the BSA that challenges Scouts and Scouters to swim one mile (1.6 kilometers) in a pool, lake, or ocean. It is an opportunity for participants to showcase their swimming abilities and demonstrate their endurance and commitment to achieving a goal.

Swimming a mile may seem like a daunting task, but with proper training and preparation, anyone can complete the challenge. The first step is to ensure that you are a competent swimmer who is comfortable in the water. If you are new to swimming, consider taking swimming lessons to improve your technique and build your confidence in the water.

Once you are comfortable in the water, it’s time to start training for the Mile Swim. The BSA recommends starting with shorter distances and gradually increasing the distance as you build your endurance. You should also focus on improving your stroke technique to swim more efficiently and conserve energy.

It is important to remember that swimming is a physical activity that requires adequate hydration and nutrition. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your swim, and eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Also, don’t forget to apply sunscreen before swimming to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Swimming a mile is not only a physical challenge but also a mental one. It requires focus, determination, and perseverance. To stay motivated, set achievable goals, and track your progress. Celebrate your milestones along the way, such as completing a certain distance or improving your time.

Participating in the Mile Swim is a great way to strengthen your bond with your fellow Scouts and Scouters. You can form a team and train together, providing support and encouragement along the way.

Additionally, the BSA offers a variety of awards and recognition for those who complete the Mile Swim, such as the Mile Swim BSA patch and certificate. Scouts who swim a mile under the supervision of a certified BSA Aquatics Instructor may be presented with the Mile Swim BSA award. The patch is meant to be worn on swim trunks, on the left side.

The award may be earned by members of Scouts BSA, Venturers, and their adult leaders. The Mile Swim is an exciting challenge that offers an opportunity to showcase your swimming abilities and demonstrate your commitment to achieving a goal. With proper training, preparation, and determination, anyone can complete the Mile Swim and earn recognition from the BSA. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and start training for the Mile Swim today!

Mile Swim BSA Requirements

  1. Explain how regular exercise contributes to good health and why swimming is one of the best forms of exercise.
    • Exercise lowers several risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, being overweight, and high cholesterol.
    • Exercise also results in stronger bones.
    • Swimming is to some degree superior to other forms of exercise because it is a full-body exercise.
    • It also avoids the risk of damage to joints and other parts of the body that may result from activity such as running.
    • See the printable copy below for more details.
  2. Tell what precautions and procedures a swimmer and escort must follow for distance swimming over open water.
    • You must follow all of the requirements of Safe Swim Defense.
    • Courses over extended distances in open water must conform to Safe Swim Defense guidelines regarding hazards such as submerged trees, currents, or boat traffic, as well as water quality, depth, and clarity.
    • See the printable copy below for more details.
  3. Under the supervision of a currently qualified certified aquatics instructor, BSA or equivalent, participate in 4 hours of training and preparation for distance swimming (1 hour a day maximum).
    • The participant must first prepare before swimming a continuous mile.
    • Four conditioning sessions of an hour each are appropriate.
  4. Swim 1 mile over a measured course that has been approved by the trained instructor who will supervise the swim.
    • After preparing, you can attempt to swim the mile.
    • Normally this is done at summer camp.
    • You might swim many short loops in a swimming pool, or a longer circuit in a lake.

Video Explanation

See and here more about how to earn this award with this video.

Related Resources for Mile Swim BSA

Safe Swim Defense

Safe Swim Defense

Safe Swim Defense provides the steps which a BSA unit must take to safely participate in an activity which involves swimming.

national outdoor awards aquatics

National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment Requirements

A Scout who completes the Mile Swim has already completed one of the requirements for this award. To complete the requirements for the National Outdoor Award Aquatics Segment, a Scout or Venturer must be a proficient swimmer, have some lifesaving skills, complete the mile swim, and spend some time enjoying aquatics adventures such as swimming, paddling, fishing, or scuba diving.

Swimming Program Feature

Swimming Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Swimming program feature helps Scouts learn how to safely enjoy fun and physical activity in the water. Scouts also need to know how to swim to enjoy other aquatics activities such as boating and paddling.

BSA Swim Test

BSA Swim Test

The BSA swim test is used to determine ability level so that participants can swim in an area which is appropriate for them.


One response to “Mile Swim BSA”

  1. Robbieking Avatar

    IHi Mario swim BSA

    Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
    And Eagle Scout

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