The BSA swim test is used to determine ability level so that participants can swim in an area which is appropriate for them.
Mile Swim BSA
To complete the requirements for the National Outdoor Award Adventure 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.
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.