Outdoor Recreation’s Swim Camp at the Sonic Splash Pool is giving children on base a chance to enjoy the summer sun, while staying cool. The two-week camp, which runs July 28 to Aug. 8, accommodates a range of ability levels from beginners to a more competitive style with flip turns.
“In order to be in swim camp you need to be able to sustain yourself in the water,” said executive assistant, Amy Driscoll. “Most of the kids in swim camp are either on our Blue Fin Swim Team or they’re in swim lessons.”
Swim camp builds on the basics of swimming, teaching water safety, breathing, types of strokes and pool rules. This year’s camp is taught by three certified swim instructors for 34 campers.
“I think learning these skills is really good, basic swimming, so you can save yourself in a situation or at least get to the side. And it’s fun for them,” said Driscoll.
Before getting in the pool, the students are assigned written lessons that teach topics like safety on the deck and pool patrol using crosswords and other games. They are also taught rescue, self-rescue and survival floating. By the end of camp, they have learned about the various hazards of swimming in varying environments such as the pool, ocean or streams. After their swim lessons, the students play a game in the pool.
At the end of camp, each student is issued a certificate from the American Red Cross Society, designating the completion of the next swimming level in the Whale’s Tales program.
During camp, students may also learn junior life guard concepts.
“If a friend starts drowning, you don’t want to go in after him, you want to find something to help him out,” said Jean Roland, water safety instructor. “Then we give them different ideas of things they can use to do that.”
Roland emphasizes to her students that they should never swim alone and that an adult should always be present. That is especially important in situations where there no lifeguard is†on duty, such as at a resort or hotel.
“Every child at some time in their life is going to swim whether it be when they’re younger with their parents or when they go away to college,” said Roland. “I think every child should learn to swim. It opens up a whole new world to them, scuba diving, skiing, just swimming and frolicking around with the other kids in the pool. It gives the parents a sense of security with their child being around the water. It teaches them safety in and out of the water.”
For more information about the swim camp, call 661-275-CAMP.