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Confessions of a Day Camper Swim Mom

Sunday night 10:00 PM
"Hey, Mom. Doesn’t that camp we signed up for back in February start tomorrow?!?  Oh my gosh!Once we verified that Go Swim’s Cornwall camp would start in just nine hours — at 7:00 am Monday morning — we began the mad dash to assemble all the essentials: faded (but-not-yet-tattered) swim suit, functioning goggles, and a cap that didn’t stand up on its own. The bottom of my swimmer’s swim bag is like something out of a Stephen King novel — dark, frightening, and sometimes disturbing.

Day 1
Here we go again…back on the road. Good news for swim moms who just got used to not having to make lunches: Go Swim camp includes lunch! Meal tickets are a good thing…I like this camp already!

Early morning registration is laid back (everyone tends to be a little groggy) yet effective, thanks to a lot of up-front work by the camp staff, I’m sure. Like any good swim mom, I put out the "car-pool radar." Snap! I find someone, we set up the logistics, and — voila — we have a plan that will cut our daily drive time in half.

At the end of the day, don’t expect to hear much from your swimmer…he or she will be exhausted! And for once you won’t have to argue with them or cajole them to go to bed at a reasonable hour. They practically fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Getting them up in the morning might be a little challenging.

And about the tattoos…they wash off. A tattoo is the official Go Swim "pat on the back" for a job well done. The kids love them, plus it’s a great way to start conversation.

Just in case you’re wondering how Go Swim will manage all those kids (there were 40 swimmers at the Cornwall camp) in the pool — not to worry. They have plenty of coaches, and they split the campers into groups so that while one group is in the pool, the other is doing dryland exercises or learning about race visualization. Yes…dryland. Now that’s something most swimmers don’t get enough of. Don’t worry about hydration, either. The staff provides plenty of water.

Day 2
Our carpool rendezvous point works perfectly. And we’re off! With a couple of sleepy campers (and driver), it’s a quiet ride. The staff is at the pool early and ready to "go swim." (I’m told that’s a popular mantra during camp.) It’s good to arrive a few minutes before camp. There’s plenty of supervision and it gives the kids a chance to wake up and make friends –or go back to sleep. And parents have an opportunity to talk to the staff.

A tired, but happy camper arrives home proudly bearing the signs of a job well done…more Go Swim tattoos! Today there’s a lot to talk about…they learned the connection between sculling and speed, plus the drills helped my camper learn how to break a few bad habits that she had developed this past season.

Don’t be surprised if your camper eats like a bottomless pit. They are in the water for five to six hours of instruction and training, so they need all the energy they can get.

Days 3 to 5
Now they’re really getting into condition…lots of talk and lots of tattoos! I can’t wait to see the improvement. The last day is set aside for filming each camper and showing how well they improved throughout the week. The Go Swim coaches put your child’s before and after videos on a CD, with voiceover analysis, and send it to your child after camp (along with camp photos). At the end of the filming is the grand finale…the big meet.

The kids are split into two teams, and the older swimmers get an opportunity to become coaches for a day. They must determine the team lineup, arranging for each swimmer to swim two individual and two relay events. They have to use every swimmer — and at the same time try to "win" the meet. Some of the parents act as timers and officials. This is a lot of fun for swimmers and spectators alike.

No matter what happens at the meet, these campers learned valuable lessons that will help them achieve their personal best in swimming and beyond. Go Swim provides a positive, encouraging environment for swimmers of all ages. And each swimmer not only gets a thorough, well-rounded training program but also individual attention. Plus, the staff is available for you to discuss your swimmer’s progress.

Would I come back again next year? Absolutely!

Thanks for a terrific week!
"Swim Mom"