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Here’s one swimming record you could actually break

Can’t swim the 100-meter butterfly in less than 50 seconds?

That’s OK — nobody but Michael Phelps can. But I did just hear about a swimming record you and your Scouts do have a chance to break.

Register now to participate in the Guinness World Record attempt for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, held at pools and lakes around the world at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 18. 

Scout camps or local packs, troops, teams, and crews can register as official Host Locations for the event and then conduct the 30-minute swim lesson covering water safety and basic skills. You need to register by May 19 to participate.

The current record for largest simultaneous swimming lesson is 24,873 participants, but the event’s importance extends far beyond surpassing this number. Drowning remains the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under 14, and research proves that swimming lessons can dramatically reduce that risk.

Of course, Scout summer camps already have a strong swimming safety program that includes teaching the Eagle-required Swimming merit badge. But I’d encourage those camps operating on June 18 to include the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson in their plans.

Scout units not attending summer camp on that date could host their own lesson at a community pool or someone’s house. The cost to register a location is $42 — per location, not per individual — and includes guidebooks, the curriculum, promotional materials, participant certificates, and 25 orange World’s Largest Swimming Lesson wristbands.

A small price to pay for potentially saving a life one day.


Photo from Flickr: Some rights reserved by djwtwo

15 Comments on Here’s one swimming record you could actually break

  1. Nicole Rockmacher // April 15, 2013 at 11:06 am // Reply

    Hmmm, neat.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Tina Muller // April 15, 2013 at 11:36 am // Reply

    We did it when my 6-year-old was three. He got a certificate and everything.

  3. Kevin Mocker // April 15, 2013 at 11:56 am // Reply

    NICE, How do I do this! Would love to teach again.

  4. Daniel Grondin // April 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm // Reply

    You can count on 8 scouts and Scouters.

  5. John Bellemare // April 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm // Reply

    You had me (and my pack) right up to $42…

  6. Christopher Porcu // April 16, 2013 at 10:52 am // Reply

    Really? Tuesday, June 18th @ 11:00 am?

    Didn’t anybody consider the fact that scouts in the Northeast (we are in NYC), are in school until the end of June. I don’t have issue as much with the date, as I do with the time of day, on the date selected. If this date was planned for a specific reason, why wasn’t the time adjusted until the kids are dismissed from school?

    IMHO – Poor Planning, & “Not Prepared”

    Chris Porcu Sent from my iPad

    • Same thoughts I had here in NJ, our kids are still in school on that date for at least another week, so will not have the opportunity to participate. Could have chosen the same date, but at a later time of day and more scouts could have participated. As you said, poor planning!

  7. Bryan looks to be just spreading the word on this. BSA is not the organizer, did not pick the date or time. Sure for us on the east coast it’s a shame that the organizers picked this date and time but it’s not the BSA’s fault.

    • Absolutely right, Ron. Thanks for clarifying this.

      • Christopher Porcu // June 3, 2013 at 8:10 am // Reply

        Bryan, please understand, I was not putting the blame on you. I realize tat you are only the messenger here, but this is definitely poor planning on the part of BSA. How does a youth organization plan an event at a time tat the youth are in school. I sand by my statement tat it was poorly planned. It could easily have been scheduled for late afternoon or early evening. Hopefully, BSA will learn fom ths mistake.

  8. Brian Palmateer // April 18, 2013 at 8:06 am // Reply

    Are you sure you’ve got the date right? I image most kids will still be in school on a mid-June weekday at 11 AM.

    >________________________________ > From: Bryan on Scouting >To: >Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 12:04 PM >Subject: [New post] Here’s one swimming record you could actually break > > > > >Bryan posted: “Can’t swim the 100-meter butterfly in less than 50 seconds? That’s OK — nobody but Michael Phelps can. But I did just hear about a swimming record you and your Scouts do have a chance to break. Register now to participate in the Guinness World Recor” >

    • The date is right: Tuesday, June 18. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson isn’t a BSA program, but they have invited BSA units, districts, and councils to participate.

      For many schools in Texas, where I live, the last day of school is June 6 or 7. Circle Ten Council in Dallas has its first week of summer camp starting June 16.

      That said, you’re right that a lot of schools aren’t out until after June 18. Public schools in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago end after June 18, while public schools in Miami, Seattle, and Los Angeles end before June 18.

  9. its also a hard time to get the adults, either for the event or for transporting kids- 11 am on a Tuesday is prime-time work time

  10. Bryan, we were thrilled to read your post about the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event. Thanks so much for passing on the information about our program. We recognize the timing is a challenge for some and appreciate you taking the time to clarify that many states across the US are out of school and attending camp on June 18th.

    Since the event was first established in 2010, we’ve sought input, researched and compromised to find a date that meets the needs of as many aquatic facilities and media outlets around the globe as possible, which are vital to our mission of spreading the word “Swimming Lessons Save Lives.”

    In its three year-history, the WLSL event has sent that crucial message to more than 50 million in the US through local and national media coverage of the event, and millions more around the world. Check out the fun media highlights reel:

    Despite these efforts, more children ages 1-5 die from drowning than from automobile accidents. It’s just crazy.

    Our hearts go out to all the folks in the Northeast that are far too familiar with this kind of senseless loss as they continue to endure so much. And, we greatly appreciate aquatic facilities in the region that have found creative ways to participate in the WLSL event by working with pre-school groups, Head Start groups and home school groups when the school calendar does not work in their favor. Hopefully, next year’s event date will accommodate more participation.

    We look forward to seeing quite a few of the 400 Scout camps across the country participate in this year’s event. In fact, we have a new program recognizing the top performing facilities by category (waterparks, swim schools, Park and Rec. Departments, etc.) and we’ve decided to add Scouting as a separate category, with an award going to the Scout group or camp with the greatest number of participants in their lesson. (Note: a minimum of 25 participants is required to qualify for inclusion in the Guinness World Record!)

    Thanks again for your help in sharing this important story.

  11. How do we find a location near us? I have a den of three, and we would love to participate, but where would we go.

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