Whiling away the day in the water - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Whiling away the day in the water

Ahwatukee Y campers enjoying swim camp

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Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:45 am

The Valley of the Sun has been scorching this summer, and the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA has just the thing to keep its energetic campers cool with its H20 YEAH! swim camp.

H20 YEAH! swim camp is a full aquatic-themed camp where children from ages 5 through 11 enjoy different weekly themed activities.

Some weekly activities range from campers participating in Olympic competitions where they compete in swimming contests and other competitive activities.

“All the kids are having fun with it, and we always have a great turnout with it,” said aquatic coordinator Michael Pyykkonen. “I think they enjoy just being in the water in the summer.”

The weekly themes were brought about by Vikee Diaz, childcare aquatic director, who wanted the kids to have options to choose from while in the water.

“The camp is tailored to what they might like that week,” she said.

This week’s theme consists of different volleyball-based games the kids play inside the pool.

Students gravitate toward the more competitive activates, but are just as happy playing with their peers and cooling off in the pool.

“Our whole goal was to create an aquatic camp where the kids know how to swim, but then get to play a lot of activities for the physical fitness of it and learn team building,” Diaz said. “Our team who teaches it, they’re all aquatic instructors, so that give us a little more quality in what we are doing.”

After each session, campers are given a brief discussion on safety tips they can apply when they’re in and out of the pools, and they’re quizzed at the end of each week. The safety tips allow campers to know what is acceptable when entering a pool, but also helps them to know that the day has come to an end.

“Every kid likes to swim in the summer. There is a thing of free play in the water and then there’s a thing of let’s do organized games in the water, which makes it so much more fun,” Diaz said. “The time goes a little bit quicker for them when they’re here.”

H20 YEAH! swim camp also offers campers a place to make new friends with different kids from all around the Ahwatukee area.

Annabel Cullen has enjoyed the camps thus far because of the water games she gets to play. Her favorite activity is sharks and minnows — a pool game similar to Marco Polo.

The camp runs from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday for kids who know how to swim prior to signing up for the camp. For more information about H20 YEAH! camp, or any other camps the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA offers, visit www.valleyymca.org/ahwatukee.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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