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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

Programming

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 SKWIM.us. 

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. 

PPS Summer Dreamers — proposal for 2020 SKWIM & Water Polo

UPDATE at the bottom of this page as camp goes online in summer 2020.

Check out the proposal for SKWIM  & Water Polo. It is being made with the cooperation of The Pittsburgh Project.
This is a draft, and some changes are expected.

Application for PPS Summer Dreamers Academy 2020 for SKWIM & Water Polo with
The Pittsburgh Project and Coach Mark Rauterkus


Cover Page:


SKWIM & Water Polo

by Coach Mark Rauterkus and The Pittsburgh Project


Activity Name: SKWIM & Water Polo

Desired Number of Campers Per Block: 120.

Desire only double-block. Desire 60 campers at Camp South Hills and 60 at Camp PCA.

Preferred Block Type: Only interested in doing double block activity. Transition time is needed to change into and out of swim suits.

Preferred Site: Only interested in holding SKWIM & Water Polo at schools with pools.

For 2020, this includes both: Camp South Hills with access to the on-campus pool at Brashear High School and Camp PCA.

On Site: Activities are 95% on-site, with the exception of limited, off-site/cross-site, game-days & water carnival competitions.

Preferred Grades: Grades 3, 4, 5. Older students are preferred. Grade 2 is okay, but less desired. We want the greater majority of the kids to be tall enough, to be able to stand in the shallow end of the pool.

Total Proposal Cost: $266.60 x 60 students x 2 sites = $31,992

Total Proposal Cost per 75-minute block = $133.


Descriptive Blurb:

At the always productive and popular SKWIM & Water Polo Camp, directed by Coach Mark Rauterkus, students learn and improve swimming abilities, knowledge of aquatic game play and fitness. SKWIM (played with a disk) and water polo (with a ball) are teamwork games. We race, dive and stress passing, defense, sportsmanship, water safety, goal setting, and online literacy. Plus,we keep an eye on the daily sports news leading to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan.

Cover Letter:

Coach Mark Rauterkus
Head Lifeguard at The Pittsburgh Project
2801 N Charles Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

412-298-3432 = cell
Mark@SKWIMusa.org

January 22, 2020


Dear Administrators and Selection Committee for PPS Summer Dreamers:


Students in SKWIM & Water Polo gain valuable, life-saving skills that can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment in-and-around the water, as well as future employment as a lifeguard.


Too many kids can’t swim. The number of deaths in the water, both a pools and in natural settings, are too high. The statistics report that the water is especially dangerous within the ranks of the poor, African-Americans and adolescent males. We need to teach all our kids how to swim and gain a respect for the water for public safety sake.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is the leading cause of accidental dealth for children under the age of 4 and second leading for children under that age of 14. Seventy-nine percent of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability. Research shows that 64% of African-American children have little to no swimming ability.


Formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. Furthermore, Summer Dreamers in water polo are always able to swim in the deep end by the end of camp, and often by the second week. Our high expectations and use of googles, fins, paddles, kick-boards, individual and group challenges and the clever e-course, Get Your Feet Wet – Swimming, zooms our progress. Many lessons and examples of the supporting digital learning are of our own show-off students, helping to connect the learning.


Knowing how to swim, and swim well, have so many benefits. Our efforts that advocate for more aquatic opportunities for kids includes the release of a list of more than 160 reasons why students should join their schools’ swim teams. This list (seehttps://swim.CLOH.org/why-swim)holds true for this offering at Summer Dreamers. The quality experience and the consistency of practices at SKWIM & Water Polo Camp rivals the rigor and excitement provided to those who participate in theirPPS middle-school swim teams.


SKWIM and Water Polo game-play acts like rocket-fuel for the overall experience. Game-play engages and reinforces far more with our students than what the races of competitive swimming provides. We race too. The values with the sportsmanship, teamwork and rules coding changes are wonderful problem solving situations to witness among the youngsters.


In 2020, we want to return water polo to the PPS Summer Dreamer line-up because the staffing situations have been resolved through long-term persistence and partnership efforts from efforts with a large cadre of others that include: Lifeguard Workforce Development / Learn & Earn, Citiparks Aquatics, Allegheny County Parks, The Ellis School, Chatham University, International Swim Coaches Association, American Water Polo, SKWIM USA and by far, the most important, our hosting sponsor, The Pittsburgh Project.


In the recent summers, swim instruction and pool operations on the Northside at The Pittsburgh Project has been successful. Capacity building efforts with staffing and procedures now allow for the necessary guards and instructors. We are excited to offer the programs again. Water polo was part of the first eight years of PPS Summer Dreamers.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve our children, again, in 2020.


Sincerely yours,


Coach Mark Rauterkus

412-298-3432 = cell

Boys, girls, camp coaches at swim pool.

Rohan, Toby and swimmers with Swim & Water Polo at PPS Summer Dreamers at Highland Park Pool.


Update, May 2020:

The school district has announced that there will be a camp, but it will only be conducted online, not in person. Our proposal is being adjusted, drastically. But, we're excited to serve the students and unleash more tech and fitness to the students about aquatics.

If interested in helping or using our materials and plans, join the newly opening email discussion list. We can share there.

Feel free to share the link with others seeking to help or follow along this journey.

On your own workout pointers from T.C.

Spring break means travel for many. Don't slip on your fitness gains from the past weeks. Stay in shape and keep the body moving with these suggested videos when away from the team. 

Leg Focus

15-Minute Legs

Cardo Focus

Interval Focus

Low Impact Cardio

Upper Body Boxing Focus

Yoga with Adrienne

Black History Month arrived with a big thaw, and a smashing idea from LaTrenda

My $.02:

Big idea. I'm in, if yinz are serious.

It is a year-long, or, multi-year effort. LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill should be the FOUNDING and first DEAN of studies. Kick-off / orientation should be on MLK day 2020. Intensive courses and engagement in Feb 2020. For good or bad, that time is going to bring a big storm of politics in advance of the 2020 primary and general elections.

Community Learning Outreach Hub, my hobby domain, CLOH.org, can publish the course notes, and I'll help with a few waves of invites to Libertarians, Indies, Socialists, Liberals, Conservatives, Greens, Ds and Rs.

Agree with chatter above: POLITICAL WILL is a huge element that is missing, in this front, and within some others -- sadly.

What was once called the Black & White Reunion, now re-branded, as well as PA Interfaith Impact Network could be early supporters. A long list of others could be gathered by end of Black History Month 2019.

Weekly conference calls, say 10:30 pm on a week night, would be a good way to be open and transparent.

FWIW, my calling is within the theme of "Playing Well with Others."


The original Facebook posting, now rushing past 100 comments:

LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill
It would be nice for black history month if white leaders In Pittsburgh (corporate, electeds, and nonprofit CEOs) went thru racial equity training together as a cohort. No more new leadership trainings for black people, y’all just caucus and learn about the system that y’all facilitate and uphold.
Now that would be something.

History flashback: The Pittsburgh Press, Nov 24, 1907, a swimming expo in Oakland and East Liberty

Glory years. They are ahead of us, yet! 

Pittsburgh, we're going to bring back the big aquatic events, with a modern twist and spin of a SKWIM disk. In 2019, we have some news to share, as of the end of January. Stay tuned.

Thanks to a friend and fellow coach, S, for sending along the pointer to this article. 

The 2019 Events are going to be called, Aquatic Jamborees.

Stay in tune with Coach Mark as we plan for the summer.  

Watch our other site, 4Rs.org

If you want to get involved or have something else to contribute, ideas or otherwise, leave a message and get onto the email list, 412-Public-News.

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