Written By: Melissa Johnson, Waterfront Specialist Coordinator
The waterfront at Camp Coleman is one of the places where the entire unit can be together, play together and bond together. Not only do the campers have the opportunity to cool off, play around, relax and even learn a bit about activities in and around the water, but they get to further their bonds with new and old friends from other bunks within the same unit.
Campers in Bonim, Kochavim and Solelim are exposed to a variety of learning opportunities, including swim instruction, junior lifesaving techniques, diving classes, and canoe and kayak instruction. Our goal in swimming is to teach campers to love all aspects of being in and around the water, but also to develop swimmers who are safe, comfortable and confident in the water.
Campers in our older units: Tsofim, Nachshonim, Kesher and Chalutzim are exposed to similar opportunities as the younger units but in a less structured way. Campers are taught skills when needed to strengthen their swimming strokes and are also instructed on a regular basis on safety in and around the pool and lake. Canoe and kayak instruction is offered for campers in these units who wish to increase their proficiency.
All of these skills are lifelong difficult skills. The skills that you can see and do…and they will take them with them for the rest of their lives. Campers will also learn the “soft” skills, such as confidence, resilience, respect and cooperation through learning each of these hard skills.
Swimming provides so many opportunities for our campers. Swim period provides a social outlet for campers to be able to laugh, play and have fun in an unstructured, but safe and supervised way.
Swimming provides adventure. Campers have opportunities to learn and experience new things in and around the water every day. Whether it be going kayaking for the very first time, experiencing the thrill of blobbing someone for the first time, or being the one to get blobbed, diving off the diving board, or learning a new trick or game with friends, they can learn and experience things for the first time or even the 100th time.
Swimming offers the opportunity to relax and refresh, both the soul and the body. Campers will often be found just relaxing at the side of the pool in an attempt to unwind from a busy day. They have the opportunity to choose this elective daily during Chofesh, free period, or during Mandatory Optional’s. Campers celebrate success together and overcome struggles and challenges. Swimming at camp, whether that be during Chofesh or swim period, brings campers all together in a new and different way.