Probably one of the most important things we do at Shibley is to teach the campers to swim and be comfortable in the water. We consider swimming a necessary life skill. I personally started my own swim instruction at Shibley at age 4 and continued through age 12. I started from the beginning at a pool made for my size and continued on to reach the card level of Junior Lifesaver, which was the highest camper level. As an adult I continued my swim education by taking the Water Safety Instructor Course, the Lifeguard Training Course, the Lifeguard Management Course and the Nassau County Lifeguard Certification test. I then worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor at Shibley for many years which I really enjoyed doing.
Why is being able to swim and be comfortable around the water so important? The ability to swim for recreation is just a lot of fun and is a social thing that you do with family and friends throughout your life. I remember as a child creatively building things in the sand and then playing in the ocean waves. Then as a father I can remember doing the same beach things with my son. We spent hours and hours together playing in the water and creating all kinds of sand structures. Those shared memories with my son are priceless. He also learned to be a good swimmer at Shibley.
Swimming laps is also great exercise for the heart and easy on the body as opposed to the pounding of running on the legs. It is an activity you can do from a young age all the way up to a very old age. Being adept around pools or the ocean is also a safety issue. You never have to worry about falling in because you are a good swimmer. Plus as a good swimmer you have the ability to give aid to someone else who may need help in the water. It is just a very valuable and necessary skill to have throughout your life. If you become a lifeguard, it is a great summer job to have as well as a very rewarding kind of job. Lifeguards are always in demand by the camps, schools, town pools and parks. Teaching others to swim is just such a satisfying experience because you are giving to others a lifetime skill that will keep them safe and that will also give them a lot of pleasure.