I love watching my children challenge themselves in the water (most of the time).
They are driven, adventurous and love to master new skills. A few weeks ago, the girl one asked if she could jump off the diving board sans life jacket. Since then, she has been training by jumping into the not so deep end, holding her breath, swimming to the top and then swimming to the ledge.
She is determined to make a jump from the diving board, and she’ll get there.
I have zero experience with Scouts or any other organization that awards badges for skills mastered, but I think the idea is fun. I know my children already get their badges from completing a level in swimming lessons, but I’d like to give them the opportunity to make their own goals and badges to strive for.
They could be serious skills to work towards, or silly “stunts” to accomplish, but either way it would give them something purposeful to do when they’re at the point of getting a bit bored just playing in the water.
Most children seem more able to brainstorm when there are a few ideas out there so here are a few
to get us started: spin jump off of the diving board; swim the width of the pool two to four times; complete a summersault under water; do a hand stand under water; tread water for one minute; and complete a solo artsy swimming routine.
Depending on your children's age you can have them illustrate the badges and possibly laminate them to add some waterproofing for being near the pool. Carry the pouches and a small book or fabric sash with you when travelling to various pools, so that you can award the badge whenever it is earned.
It would also be great to have a few goals for yourself.
I think it’s always fantastic for children to see their parents constantly learning and working towards achieving new things as well. It helps back up what I often say to my son: “Dude, if I still have to learn things, your six-year-old self definitely does NOT know everything.”