Skillful Summering: All About the Waterfront Department!

Hey Camp George!

For the month of April, each weekly blog will focus on one of the four activity departments at camp – Athletics, Adventure, Arts and Waterfront. Through these blogs I will be sharing an insider’s look at camp activities and how each unit works on skill building at each activity! I also get a word from the specialists who share their favorite parts of working on their specialty areas! This week I’m covering the Waterfront Department (This includes Swim, Sail, Ski, and Paddle Sports)!

Aquatically yours

- Jane HK

All About Swim

Safety: Campers learn about lake safety including the use of the buddy system for free swim. And of course campers learn about dock safety. We know you’re excited to get in the lake but please remember to walk – and not run on the dock!

Skill building: Our younger campers focus on getting comfortable with swimming in a lake, becoming familiar with the swim test and of course on the completion of their Red Cross swim levels. Our older campers continue to build on this, and also focus on the completion of their Red Cross swim levels, while also participating in leadership opportunities to teach their fellow campers.

Sample activities: Everything from fun skill based games – like the “Bob game”, to endurance swims, and learning about boat safety!

Words from a Swim specialist – Sarah Gregor: I am so unbelievably excited to be heading back to the docks at swim this summer! In my opinion, I think it is the best place on camp – with full access to the lake, lots of sun, an amazing view, and lots of fun!

This summer everyone can look forward to a great group of swim staff, who will provide fun and safe swimming lessons. Teaching campers is such a rewarding experience – whether you’re teaching them the basics or lifeguarding. It’s wonderful to see campers of all ages pass their levels!

And of course I also love to have fun at free swim! There are always a large variety of activities to do at swim such as going blobbing, swimming in any of our 3 areas, or just relaxing and building sandcastle on the beach.

I can’t wait to see everyone in a few months on the docks!

All About Sail

Safety: Campers learn everything from how to safely enter and exit the boats, to how to correctly pick their life jackets according to size, to how to duck when the boom comes around!

Skill building: Our younger campers focus on building a comfort level with sailing. They always head out to the bay with sail staff in their boats that help them get a feel for “skippering” by even letting them help to steer! Our older campers begin to sail independently and go for longer trips around the main part of Maple Lake.

Sample activities: Everything from learning the different parts of the boat, to pirate themed days, to regattas!

Words from a Sail specialist – Michael Marks: I’m really excited to get back to sail this summer so I can keep doing and teaching something that I love! Teaching campers how to sail is something I love to do – and its especially meaningful having learned how to sail as a camper at Camp George.  A period at sail is guaranteed to be fun – whether you’re enjoying a cool swim on a hot day or ripping it across the main lake, you’ll get to experience the best that camp has to offer. This summer, we’re planning to start a regatta program, where campers can use their new skills in exciting races!

Read more about Michael Marks’ experience as sail staff in this blog!

All About Ski

Safety: All of our campers learn the signals that we use out on the water, from slow down, to speed up, head home, and most importantly “I’m ok!” for when campers finish their runs.

Skill building: Our younger campers begin by skiing on the boom, and mastering that so that they can try skiing on the rope! Our older campers work on progressing from the basics to building new skills, like slalom skiing and crossing the wake. Whatever you do – it’s guaranteed to be fun – and on top of that you get a great tour of Maple Lake! 

Sample activities: Everything from learning to ski, wakeboard or kneeboard, to learning how to drop skis to banana boating!

Words from a Ski specialist- Sam Bader: Skiing is one of my favorite activities and I wait all year to go out on the water. I’m also very thankful for the instructors who taught me to ski as a kid. I want to repay the favor by teaching campers how to recognize their true potential, overcome their fears, and have a great time!!!! There’s nothing like seeing campers get up on skis for the first time – it’s an amazing thing to witness, the smiles on the camper’s faces say it all! I love working as part of the ski staff team, and I’m very excited to teach our junior ski staff all about what I learned last summer as a junior ski staff. It’s all an incredibly rewarding experience and I can’t wait for camp to be here and to see a whole new group of campers get up on skis for the very first time!

All About Paddle Sports

Safety: All our campers learn how to enter and exit the boats properly (remember no standing please or you’ll tip!), and how to pick out life jackets and paddles according to size.

Skill building: Our younger campers focus on mastering the basic canoe strokes, to learning the different parts of the paddle. Our older campers begin to canoe independently, and also spend time kayaking.

Sample activities:  Everything from short canoe trips around the bay to longer day trips, kayaking and paddle relay races.

Words from a Paddle Sports specialist – Dayna Moreash: This summer will be my fourth summer on paddle sports and I’m so excited! I love to canoe and kayak and obviously I love teaching campers the new skills they need, whether they have tried canoeing or kayaking before, or if it’s their very first time. Being a returning specialist has also meant that I’ve gotten to see how campers progress year to year, and it’s always exciting to see that they remember what they learned the previous summer!

Of course for summer 2012, theme days such as the famous melon day will be returning along with programs like scavenger hunts, Viking adventures, and races… Brainstorming has already begun for new and exciting programs for this summer to make sure it’s our best at paddle sports yet!


And on board for next week is a blog from Camp’s Associate Director, Karen Kollins (or “KK” for short)!

Ever wonder what being an Associate Director means? Ever wonder what KK does for camp during the school year? Ever wonder what chugim KK would choose if she were a camper again?? Here’s your chance to ask KK any and all questions that you have!

Send us your questions, we will get you your answers! Email me at janesays@urj.org

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