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Big Blue Tarp Blog

Top Three Questions (Almost) Every Parent Asks! Part 1 [Feb 27. 2017]

by Eric Musselman

We field many questions a week about our day camp program, and have discovered that many parent generally inquire about the same things – so for the next three Big Blue Tarp entries we’re going to look  into the three top questions MDC families have about our summer day camp program.

Question #1:  “Can you tell me more about swimming?”

If you have a question about Mooredale Day Camp, chances are it has something to do with our swimming activities.  I know this because usually the  #1 thing I get has something to do with our pool and our swimming activities.   Let’s ‘dive’ into some details:

Our Pool

The Mooredale outdoor, heated swimming pool is located on our property so we don’t have to worry about traveling to another facility.  With a capacity of 175 swimmers, it is spacious enough to allow for the whole camp to swim and it also gives us the unique opportunity to offer swimming twice a day – once for swim instruction, and once for an all-camp recreational fun swim.

Swim Instruction Group Lessons

Except for some campers enrolled in certain Senior Specialty Streams, all Mooredale campers swim twice a day.  The first time in the pool will be for Red Cross swim instruction between 9 and 11:30am, depending on which level your child is in.   These lessons are led by the Pool Club life guard staff and they follow the industry standards for instructor/swimmer ratios depending on the swim level of their group.  

Assessing Swim Levels

A few weeks before camp starts, our families will be given the opportunity to tell us their child’s swim level.  We’ll create lesson groups based on this information.  For families that don’t know what level their child is, no worries - on the first day of each session all campers are assessed by the instructors to ensure they are in the right level.

Pool Club Instructors and Lifeguards

The Pool Club lifeguards are not camp staff – they work for the Pool Club full-time from Victoria Day to Labour Day.  They are fully qualified for guarding and instruction, and participate in weekly training sessions with the pool managers to keep their skills sharp.

Getting To and From Swim Lessons

A camp staff member will take your child to their lesson (since not everyone in their group will have the same lesson time if their level’s are different), help them with changing if needed, and will wait on the deck during the lesson time.  Afterwards, they will reverse the process and ensure your child returns safely to their group to participate in the remainder of the morning activities.

All-Camp Swim

At the end of the morning, just before lunch, the entire camp takes part in a recreational swim from approximately 11:30 – 11:55 am.  This daily highlight is a time to have fun in the water with the counsellors and beat the mid-day heat before the afternoon activities
During the recreational swim time we take several precautions to ensure everyone remains safe and secure, including:
   •    All Junior section campers (ages 4 & 5) are required to wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
   •    Intermediate campers who are not strong swimmers have the choice of wearing a PFD
   •    All camp counsellors are required to be in the water and within 1 arm’s length of all their campers
   •    Campers must be at least in Level 5 and successfully complete a deep end test before being allowed to swim in the deep end and use the diving board
   •    Campers who pass the deep end test are given an identifying bracelet
   •    Camp leadership staff are in the water assisting counsellors throughout the swim time
   •    After 15 minutes the pool is completely cleared and an attendance check is taken by the camp counsellors.   Swimming resumes only when everyone is accounted for.
   •    The Pool Club has a fully staffed lifeguard team on duty during the swim – exceeding the normal standards of guard/swimmer ratios

As you can imagine, with all this swimming during a two-week session, some campers can expect to see quite a bit of swimming improvement!

If you have any further questions about our swimming program, please don’t hesitate to contact me at daycamp@mooredale.on.ca.  In our next post, we’ll look at answers to our #2 Question – ‘Who’s looking after my children’?

Until then,



Eric Musselman
Camp Director

PS.  A Pool Club membership is a great alternative to building and maintaining your own pool.  We do all the work, you show up and swim!  Click here for the details.