We are currently replacing the Junior 2 Pool at Shibley with a brand new pool and this brought back some fond memories for me as both a camper and as a lifeguard and swim teacher. I swam in that pool as a 6 and 7 year old back in my camper days. The pool was purposely designed to be just the right depth for the height of those age campers. That was the Shibley secret so that campers will feel comfortable and are more likely to learn to swim. I learned a lot of my swimming skills in that pool under the instruction of some very fine swim teachers. I became a great swimmer during my camper years at Shibley and later worked as a certified lifeguard and swim instructor at that very same pool.
Swim instruction at Shibley has always been priority one for our campers. It is a lifelong skill that is not only fun and great exercise, but it allows you to always feel confident and fearless around pools and oceans. Teaching children to swim can also be a great summer job while you are going to school. Helping others learn to swim and to feel comfortable in the water can be a very satisfying endeavor. My favorite campers to work with were the ones who in the beginning would not even get in the water. I mean they would not even come close to the pool or even look at the pool. Using a gentle approach, I was able to get them in the water so they could learn to swim with the other campers.
These campers would start out holding on to the side of the pool and refuse to put their faces in the water. Later that summer these same campers were swimming in water over their head. I remember getting thank you letters from the parents of these campers who started out with such a fear of the water and who now were swimming like pros. Their parents were amazed.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to give so many campers a skill that they will have for life and that has always given me a great feeling inside. It also taught me the life lesson that helping others was something very worthwhile and that is why I love dedicating my life to creating excellent camp experiences for children. We are looking forward to creating new memories in the brand new Jr. Pool 2.