Aquatic activities have always been a large part of my life. I was one of those kids that learned how to swim before I walked. Growing up, the worst days of summer were those when I had the dreaded swimmer’s ear and wasn’t able to get into the water!
My favorite class throughout high school was lifeguarding; it was a class that I had looked forward to for as long as I could remember. Before I was a lifeguard, I taught kids how to swim through the local recreation department and the summer swim club.
As I look back at my aquatics history, I sometimes wonder how I am still alive! I had a great group of friends, but we weren’t always the smartest when it came to water safety.
That could be one of the reasons that aquatics safety is such a passion of mine. I know and understand the dangerous behaviors, firsthand, that often happen around water and want to make sure that everyone is making smart, safe choices.
As the novelty of being asked to be the guest editor of the aquatics issue of Camp Business wore off, I started to ask myself, “Aquatics … one issue … where do I begin?” Do we write about swim lessons, sailing, waterslides, pool management, or in-service training? The list could go on and on!
While I was asking colleagues to participate in this issue by writing articles about aquatics, our conversations centered on aquatics issues that are important from camp to camp—safety, supervision, and training.
However, I felt that we were missing a large topic that is important to a camp’s growth—how to successfully implement a new activity at the waterfront.
I’d like to thank all of the experienced aquatic supervisors and managers that have written superb articles about aquatics safety. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
A. Todd Lennig