Swim Camp makes a splash
By Jonathan Branch
The sun is up and school is out. That can only mean one thing—pool time.
For 39 children ages 6 to 14, the Morgan County Aquatics Center was the pool of choice, as the Morgan County recreation department hosted a swim camp last week.
“The camp went great,” said camp coordinator Chris Sides.
Campers began each day with a 30 minute discussion and video in the Aquatics Center video room. Afterward, they moved to the pool where they learned the different strokes.
The campers then spent an hour rotating between three stations: starts, turns and stroke refinement, a more in-depth teaching than the earlier lesson.
At the turns station, campers learned the differences between flip turns, backstroke flip turns, and two handed touch turns. At the stroke refinement, swimmers received instruction on the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Campers learned to dive at the starts station— the “camp favorite” according to Sides.
“The campers love to dive,” Sides said.
Sides said he saw a marked improvement in the campers as the week went along.
“I heard many of the parents say ‘Is that my son/daughter? I can't believe it,’” said Sides.
Each day Sides’ assistant instructors—the Morgan County Marlins—raced the stroke of the day so the kids could cheer on their coaches.
“The real work horses of camp are the Morgan County Marlins swimmers that volunteer their time to jump in a lane and do the hands on instruction,” said Sides. “Every day I try to catch them and thank them before they leave because this camp does not exist without them.”
The camp concluded on Friday with a swim meet between campers.
“We have a meet so the kids can learn how a meet runs and show their moms and dads what they have learned,” said Sides.
With turnout at full capacity, Sides couldn’t be more pleased with this year’s camp. The director also hopes the campers carry the lessons with them.
“We hope the campers had fun, first and foremost,” said Sides. “We hope that the can take this experience and build it into a life sport that will help them stay in great shape for all of their chosen sports.”
Printed in the July 5, 2012 edition