Swim checks usually take place during the first full day of camp when campers go with their cabin mates on an activity tour. The purpose of the activity tours is to make sure everyone knows where each activity takes place and to highlight some of the possibilities in each activity area. Fire-building in Woodcraft is one example.
During the waterfront segment of the activity tour the campers learn about waterfront protocols such as use of the buddy board. This is also when we conduct a swim check. The swim check is described in advance and consists of swimming app. 10-15 yards from the swimming dock to the swimming float and back and then treading water for one minute. The purpose is to get a sense of each camper’s comfort in the water. Campers are not required to take part in the swim check and non-swimmers can either watch or take part while wearing a PFD, personal flotation device. When campers choose not to take part we want to learn what their concerns are and then make a plan to address them. This might mean working with the Head Lifeguard to practice swimming and doing the swim check later.
Our goal is to help everyone enjoy the Chewonki waterfront and swimming. Parents and friends can help out by talking with campers about the swim check beforehand and describing its purpose. If a camper is anxious or a non-swimmer we want to know. We’re looking forward to the summer and to some wonderful time in and on the water. As always please be in touch any time with questions.
Garth Altenburg, Camp Director
Henry Heyburn, Assistant Camp Director