Craig kids get their feet wet as part of World’s Largest Swim Lesson |

Craig kids get their feet wet as part of World’s Largest Swim Lesson

Craig Pool Complex staff members and kids splash around Thursday in the wave pool as part of The World's Largest Swim Lesson.
Andy Bockelman

Learning an important life skill in a fun-filled environment was on the docket this week for young Craig swimmers.

Craig Pool Complex was part of The World’s Largest Swim Lesson Thursday afternoon, a free worldwide initiative to teach proficiency and safety in the water.

Among thousands of facilities internationally offering the program, Craig had a modest turnout of nine, though Aquatics Manager Charlie Carroll said that was to be expected in the first year.

Additionally, that meant the children who attended received more individual from staff members as they worked on the fundamentals of the activity.

The lesson took place in the wave pool — with the wave function turned off — rather than the lap pool, which is more approachable to beginning swimmers, Carroll said.

“Getting in at zero-depth is a lot less intimidating than jumping into three feet of water, and it’s also about three degrees warmer,” she said. “It’s super safety-oriented, more about knowing what to do in the water than worrying about stroke technique.”

Simple skills like floating and paddling were part of the curriculum, as well as working with submergence with diving rings for kids who were ready to hold their breath and take the plunge.

Caroline Riley and Jaycee Holman were among the group of lifeguards aiding with lessons.  All lifeguards at the complex are Red Cross-certified, and those who work as instructors are certified in Water Safety Instruction to ensure they are capable of working with younger children.

Holman said she is in her second year providing lessons and provides four classes daily.

“The toughest thing is if they’re scared of the water, you’ve got to help them get used to it,” she said. “Once you start them off young, they carry it with them, and it helps them as they get older.”

Riley said she regularly sees improvement in how kids approach the water their first time compared to later in the summer during a swim session.

“It’s so rewarding, and my favorite part is seeing a kid who’s scared of water and then by the end of the lesson is super-excited about it,” she said.

Craig Pool Complex offers regular lessons throughout the summer for all ages, with a new wave of classes beginning in July.

For more information on prices and times, call 970-824-3015.