Category Archives for Come Live Over Here

Camps in PA – a link to the FAQ from Harrisburg

Q: Are organized team sports permitted during the Governor’s phased reopening plan? 

Organized sports are only permitted in counties in the green phase of the Governor’s phased reopening plan. Organized team sports and events are defined as physical activity directed by adult or youth leaders that involves rules and formal practice and competition. This includes school and club sports as well as youth and adult formal activities. Physical activity conducted as part of summer programming is allowed. Activities and games with little or no physical contact are recommended.

Great sign for SKWIM in your summer camp in the pools in Pennsylvania.

Looks like SKWIM, if part of a day camp, would be permitted in both the yellow and green phases. SKWIM is no contact. 

Q: Are public bathing places regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other community pools permitted to operate during the Governor’s phased reopening plan?

Public bathing places and other outdoor community pools are permitted to operate in counties in the yellow and green phases of the Governor’s phased-in reopening plan, provided they follow CDC guidance for aquatic venues and the Governor’s Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency.

How we’re teaching swimming from behind our computer screens in a dry, fully cyber, summer camp experience in 2020

SKWIM & Water Polo Camp plans and opportunities for HOW MANY? (part 1)

Our opportunities and expected interactions with students and families within the SKWIM & Water Polo domain for Summer Dreamers 2020 are FANTASTIC. They are so strong, on many levels, that we feel it is wise to open up the scope of the project.

Rather than only present and program our activities at camp with 30 students in grades 4 and 5 at Camp Classical, we feel that it would be GREAT if SKWIM & Water Polo was offered to everyone in SDA, and even, everyone in PPS. Let's open up the doors and allow all to participate, if they choose to do so.

These efforts can scale.

We can do this for 30. But, why not for 300 or for 3,000?

Let's talk about these possibilities.

Who, and how many we get to include in the SDA & PPS audience is up to PPS, but we're offering to take our efforts far and wide. Can all PPS students join in? How about all Dreamers in grades 4 & 5 and also how about all PPS students and their families?

Brain Breaks

Within the SDA camp framework, it is also important to offer to allow SKWIM & Water Polo to lead FIVE or more SDA BRAIN BREAKS, in the early days in the camp's schedule so that we can reveal to the others what we are doing and what to expect in our activities. Perhaps they can do SKWIM & Water Polo as an EXTRA activity?

SDA Night Out

As the school year ends, and as summer begins, we should offer SKWIM & Water Polo webinars for students and families to get them excited to show up for Summer Dreamers and to, perhaps, opt into an extra with our activities. 

Many programs are dry this summer. 

We are going to have the support of the International Swim Coaches Association in these efforts.

The situations in Pittsburgh, with closed pools, is being shared elsewhere. So, we can harvest the power of many guests and keep our students engaged. But, we'll also have a focus that is blended between MENTAL and PHYSICAL. The mind leads and the body follows. We want to address far more than the screen time. We're planning on doing academic, enriching things that include our physical self.

We'll get kids and their excited about swimming and water polo, but in fitness and all sports. Wellness matters. When we get back into the team sports and can use the pools again, we'll have planted seeds of confidence and plenty of insights into safety and different perspectives.

Logistically, we could do SDA SKWIM & Water Polo from 11:30 to 12:30 for our students. Plus at another time in the day, perhaps from 8 to 9 am, we could do the "early bird" session as a "dress rehearsal" for district wide viewers. We can be flexible with the plan and talk about that in due times, if you are interested.

  • 1. Water safety lessons
  • 2. Stories -- about water safety, water polo, swimming, water polo.
  • 3. Exercises, including YOGA pose of the day
  • 4. Pedometers are possible. (More research needed, but did it a past year.)
  • 5. A for Athlete, kids vocabulary, translations, illustrations
  • 6. Build wiki-pages & reflective writing
  • 7. Online course, Get Your Feet Wet -- Swimming
  • 8. Video watching from movies to race highlights
  • 9. Goal Setting & Digital Badges
  • 10. Pre-Lifeguard training
  • 11. Quiz making and taking
  • 12. Visualization


Each day, we'll want to hit upon six to ten mini segments. Each segment is from 5 to 10 minutes in length. We'll keep the sessions moving. Most will be pre-recorded with time to ask questions or watch again later. But then the coaches will keep the pace up-beat. Some of the activities are for later in the day. Here is how to get it started, but then you do the quiz on your own. Here is how you do the submission for the reflective writing, but do that later. Come back and submit and we'll see what the coaches display and get put onto this page tomorrow.

1. Water safety lessons are about saving yourself first of all. 

Then, perhaps, getting smart so you don't get into bad situations around water for yourself or your friends. Heling little brothers, sisters and cousins be safe too. Awareness isn't taken for granted.

2. Stories -- about water safety, water polo, swimming, water polo. 

We all love a good story. We'll have one a day. They are going to be pre-recorded, but we expect to have the story be a launch point for more discussion, often with the subject of the story present for Q&A via the web conference. We've been cultivating these stories for years. Many are pearls and we'll string them together throughout the days of the camp. Some come from podcasts. 

3. Exercises and motivation to exercise are expected every day. 

We'll introduce routines. Many can be done indoors and with limited space and without equipment. We're not talking about boring jumping jacks. Coach Kathi's daughter, a college student and athlete can help with the demonstrations and video instructions. Heart rate, and other fitness concepts are touched upon. Pointers to eBooks are available for more reading. 

4. Calls were places to Zwift as they have taken over from Milestone Pod. 

There is a Zwift Running Pod that can track exercise, $30 retail. But, i am bucking for cases of devices at gratis / sponsorship. Perhaps they'll be former models, etc. We used these with great satisfaction in a past Summer Dreamer experience. They communicate via Bluetooth and then to the cloud. Then all in the club can chart their own metrics and the administrators can witness aggregate results.

5. A for Athlete, kids vocabulary, translations, illustrations. 

We have wiki pages with A-B-Cs with term and the kids generally start with their initial for their first name. Z for Zack! Write a fun quip or bio with a photo and decorate the Z letter. Then let's think of Z words that would go into the tool box of an athlete. The Zoo at Pitt is the student fan club for basketball games. And, the Zoo's founder can join us in a session to lead a cheer and tell of going to Pitt and enjoying college sports as a spectator.

6. Build wiki-pages & reflective writing.

We can explore Wikipedia and then learn how to write and edit wiki pages. This opens up discussions on crowd-sourcing, open source, peer review and making media, with responsible behaviors. Some student athletes with great hopes of getting scholarships -- free college -- have had their social media accounts reviewed by college coaches and lost all hopes of getting offered a scholarship to play sports. This happens all the time. Kids need to learn this at a young age, before it is too late.

7. Online course, Get Your Feet Wet -- Swimming .

 This is perhaps the best activity. Happens in an independent way. But, it takes some hand-holding to get the log-in. Where to find the course. Start it. Resume it. Get credit for taking it. All available now. We can also add more materials to the course such as better photos or illustrations. 

8. Video watching from movies to race highlights. 

Mark Spitz. Michael Phelps, Katie Ladecki. The USA water polo team -- some highlights are fun. And, we've got the video from the 2020 WPIAL Swim Championships too. Let's see a couple of races. Who do you think is going to win? 

9. Goal Setting & Digital Badges.

We have a suite of stages for the digital badges for goal setting. This can come in bite size content areas throughout the summer. The one self assessment Goal Orientation Index (also called the GOI) is from a local Ph.D., Kay Altman.

10. Pre-Lifeguard training can be with a global introduction from some lifeguard instructors.

But the exciting parts are learning from the guests as to what to expect, where to work, views of the various pools and some stories from this summer and the past. Then the students can explore some online resources, such as CPR, First, Aid, etc. 

11. Water safety quizzes, especially with Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 with 

Anyone can take these quizzes now, Not many know about them. Each are about 25 questions. Try to get a perfect score at each level. Can be retaken. Can be taken with an adult or friend. Once a good score is obtained, then the next quiz presents itself. Doing one quiz per day is reasonable. More a more demanding challenge comes when the kids are asked to take a test that has been used for becoming a lifeguard. No harm in giving it a go. This test is online now too. The next quiz growth element comes when the students are presented with the option of making their own test / quiz that others can take. Could be a quiz on their favorites (food, music, sports, athletes, teachers, dream vacation spot, etc.) Could be a quiz on the neighborhood or school. Students would use a form to craft the questions and answers. We'll build the back-end web delivery. Kids can do each other's quizzes for fun.

There is a BIG why quiz. Rank the reasons WHY one should swim on a school swim team. 

12. Visualization quiz from Bob Steele. Concentration game. Mini sports psychology reading and stories are available.

Some are able to visualize certain things well, and not other things. This ranks them. Fun day activity. Can be returned to at mid-camp and later in the camp. All athletes, plus musicians, performers, speech presenters, and such can gain from visualization. Swim teams do this frequently. 

If you or anyone else wants a deeper dive into any of these activities, just let me know. 

It is not July yet, but we’re getting ready for it in big ways, even on the weekends.

412-public-noise, is a low volume outreach e-blast

Full e-newsletter

Hi Fellow Travelers on this journey through a pandemic!

Now for something different -- including a bunch of good news!

1. My older son, Erik, now from NYC but recently home again at our home in Pittsburgh's South Side. has been working hard to launch a business, They're bringing products to the marketplace and got great media coverage this week.



1c)'re+Actually+Excited+About Best yet.
1d) Watching for Ad Week, a business publication, soon.

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2. My younger son, Grant, is hunkered down in New Orleans. He'll graduate from Tulane Univ in a less than two weeks and then attend Medical School there in August. Whew!

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3. One of Catherine's stories is going to be included again on a national, PBS radio show, The Moth, on Mothers' Day weekend. More importantly, she and her crew in Audiology have been changing laws with telehealth, guiding the profession and leading graduation ceremonies at Pitt.
Cheers to all who graduate in 2020! Wow!

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4. Sadly, the swim pool on the Northside at The Pittsburgh Project won't open in 2020. However, looking forward, it would be great if funding from taxpayers via the park's referendum could go to great use with programming in that park in 2021. The nonprofit took over that pool and part of Fowler Park about 15 years ago. The city would have closed it, as it did with many other neighborhood pools. Now, Citiparks can step up and take it back again.

5. We got a contract from Pittsburgh Public Schools to lead some programming for 2020 Summer Dreamers for SKWIM & Water Polo Camp. The summer camp for city school students is going to happen in a fully virtual setting. I'm so excited -- really -- to lead swimming classes from my computer screen with nothing but dry students. I've got a vision. I'm expecting lots of fun literacy and aquatic lessons. But, I could really use some helpers. If you have some time to spare, I am going to build programming for an hour a day for 27 days for a virtual swim camp. Are you with me?
Link above is a new email list just opened to work on this effort. I'd love to have your volunteer effort and record your water stories as part of the build out of a fun camp for the 4th and 5th grade students.

6. One more worry swirls -- the city's summer youth job program. More help desired. I'm offering to help lead a summer work experience -- fully virtual -- for up to 200 kids, especially athletes. We need to get our youth entering the knowledge economy. Plus, we need to get them developing with better understandings of wellness, fitness and sports. Let's code about sports in 2020 -- and then inject some exercise into their summers -- with social distance guidelines in place.
This year would be a great time to plan for 2021's all city sports camp -- as an outcome project of the jobs experience in the months to come in 2020. My letter to the mayor: It is a long-shot, but I'm meeting with Majestic Lane of the mayor's office on Monday afternoon.

7. More good news. I have a new gig! I'm helping the International Swim Coaches Association as its webmaster.

Stay healthy. Stay connected. And, Erik would want us all to stay cool too!
Thanks for the interest and replies.

-- Ta.

Mark Rauterkus Mark at
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3) The Pittsburgh Project - swim coach and head lifeguard Coach at The Ellis School for Swimming, T&F and Triathlon Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters)
412 298 3432 = cell

Parks from Home to happen in summer 2020 in Los Angeles

Detroit and Indianapolis have closed their parks programming efforts for summer 2020. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is going to go with a Parks At Home option. 

Wondering what will occur in Pittsburgh's Citiparks and Allegheny County Parks for summer 2020? Plus, the other big question is centered upon Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Dreamers where we are with a contract to operate SKWIM & Water Polo Camp for kids at Greenway for 27 days. Insights welcome.

Today I hope to issue a video letter to Pittsburgh's Mayor, Bill Peduto, and Chief of Staff, Dan Gilman.

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