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Mishpacha Junior Speaks to Summer Camp Staff. This week: Lifeguard

Meira Feinman

Lifeguards make sure we’re safe in the pool and teach us how to swim. Mishpacha Junior spoke to Leora Dahan, lifeguard at Camp Pardes Chana in Canada’s Laurentian Mountains, to find out more about life by the pool.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MJ: The “first” of any camp activity is always memorable. What’s the first time experience at the pool like for campers?

LD: They’ll see a big pool for the older campers and a small pool for the younger campers, as well as fun pool toys and a slide. They’ll learn the rules – no running or eating around the pool, for example – and they’ll take a swimming test.

MJ: Is the test hard? What do they have to do?

LD: It’s not hard but we do need to know that a camper knows how to swim, or we can’t let her in the deep end. Usually the test is two laps front crawl, 2 laps back crawl, and tread water in the deep end for 40-60 seconds. If someone doesn’t pass the test, they have to stay in the shallow end. But they still have lots of fun!

MJ: What if someone is afraid of the water?

LD: We tell them to stay in the shallow end because there’s nothing to be afraid of there. We help them have as much fun as possible. Some campers take swimming as an elective because they want to improve. For those campers, we gently bring them into the water with us, and stay with them.  We teach them how to swim better. Hopefully, they slowly get used to it and then start to have fun. I understand because I used to be scared of the water myself!


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