Looking through the Lifescouts website I have realised that this could be quite a difficult challenge that I’ve set myself, considering that many of the badges I have no chance of completing (skydiving and seeing the Taj Mahal? Not likely to happen any time soon). But despite this, I have found one badge that I definitely have completed; swimming.
The majority of children at one point or another have all been taken down to the swimming pool to go through the half an hour a week that was swimming lessons. This, for me, was a good experience and I do consider myself to be a fairly strong swimmer now. I had plenty of friendly, encouraging teachers, although one of these is now the local crazy man who sits in town playing the accordion, which is slightly worrying!
Learning to swim meant great things for me because it meant that I had the privilege of going on the diving boards when we did swimming at school, which was always the cause of jealousy in P.E! I got to traipse, year after year, into the arctic waters of Whitby sea on the annual holiday and splash in the waves until I was blue and numb from head to toe. But of course, most exciting of all, was learning how to ‘seal dive’; there was obviously a very bizarre swimming teacher who thought it would be hilarious to make children lie on their belly’s and wriggle head first into the water like a beached wale and an extremely bored lifeguard who thought rescuing concussed ‘seal’ kids would pass the time and gave it the health and safety nod of approval. The last one of course is a skill that I can safely say will come in very useful in the future for all those times when I need to make friends with a lonely seal.