This summer, the Wyckoff YMCA partnered with Oasis in order to provide a summer camp experience for children who may not otherwise get such an opportunity. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, Oasis strives to change the lives of women and children in need by providing programs that address basic needs, social services, adult education and youth development. The Wyckoff YMCA hosts approximately 106 campers, ages six through twelve, in each of the four two-week camp sessions.
For the sixth year, the Oasis campers were able to participate in a learn-to-swim program given by the Wyckoff Sharks at our pool facilities. Sharks swim team members, twelve year of age and older, volunteered their time as swim instructors for all Oasis campers. The Sharks volunteer instructors participated in a water safety training program run by the YMCA and taught swim lessons on Tuesdays for eight weeks, from 9:30am- 12:00pm in the Boye Pool. In addition to swim lessons, the Sharks were also able to provide campers with bathing suits, goggles, swim caps and prizes by partnering with USA Swimming’s “Make a Splash Foundation.”
The Sharks swim instructors taught water safety skills such as treading water and floating on the back, and basic swimming techniques for freestyle and elementary backstroke. These volunteers dutifully upheld the four pillars of the YMCA:Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
Instructors worked with one to two campers at a time so that each camper received an individualized learning experience, which also allowed the opportunity for Sharks swimmers and Oasis campers to create a lasting bond and many summer memories! This year, Sharks volunteer instructors were able to teach oasis campers how to submerge their faces in water, float, tread water, swim unassisted and even dive! Most importantly, they taught campers how to be safe around water while still having fun, and to be confident in their swimming abilities.
Thank you, Oasis, for allowing us to be a part of your summer. We look forward to seeing you back in the pool next year!
By: Tracy L. Nieradka