Swimming at Camp Talooli
In the past few weeks I have gotten a lot of phone calls and questions about our swimming program, so I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you a little bit more about Camp Talooli’s waterfront…
Camp Talooli has a calm and private 13-acre lake, called Lake Temalo. In the summertime, campers can learn to canoe on our lake, go fishing, use nets to examine the crittersliving in our lake, and swim in our Swimming Area. The Swimming Area is supervised by our Waterfront Director and four additional lifeguards that spend the day teaching swim lessons and keeping kids safe at our Waterfront.
The Swimming Area includes a stretch of shoreline, with three distinct sections that divide campers by swimming level. The first fifteen minutes of each swimming period are for swim lessons, which are delivered by our lifeguards and supervised by our Water Safety Instructor. To determine the level of swim lesson and the section that each child can swim in, our Waterfront Staff assess each camper’s swim level with a brief swim test on Monday.
Here is a description of each swim section:
The GREEN SECTION is the first area of the waterfront. This area is shallow and only goes up to about 3.5 feet. “Green Tag” campers are typically some of our youngest campers, or those who have had minimal swim experience prior to camp and/or still need to develop basic skills. Any camper that does not take a swim test will also be identified as a “green tag.” Lessons for this section often include basic skills such as floating, kicking, putting their face in the water, and the front crawl.
The WHITE SECTION is the middle area of the waterfront. This area goes from about 4-7 feet. “White Tag” campers have demonstrated rudimentary skills with the front stroke and are comfortable with water over their head, but often still need to develop endurance, breathing techniques, and/or treading water. Lessons in this section often include rhythmic breathing, additional swim strokes (e.g. breast stroke, back stroke), and endurance building.
The YELLOW SECTION is the furthest section of the waterfront that includes the raft. This area is between 8-11 feet deep. “YellowTag” campers have demonstrated skills, endurance, and confidence in deep water. Campers in this section are eligible to test for the “Lake Swim” later in the week, which is a longer-distance swim that occurs on Thursday. Lessons in this section often include additional swim strokes (e.g. side stroke) and surface dives.
A note about swim testing
Our lifeguards are highly trained and err on the side of caution when conducting swim tests and placing campers in different sections. Their main goal is to ensure that campers are safe, and no one is placed in a section beyond their current skills. SOMETIMES this means that campers are placed in sections below their skill level. This could be because the camper was nervous about swimming in a lake, seemed hesitant, or did not fully execute the skills our lifeguards were looking for. This can often be upsetting to campers, and we totally get that. However, campers can retest later in the week and move up in their swimming section. To do that, they would need to participate in their assigned swim lesson group the next day and then, ask a lifeguard to retest them.