Category Archives for Summer Dreamers

A-B-Cs with Rivers of Steel

A for Athlete deploys the A-B-Cs often


Graffiti Lettering Tutorials

See two videos of an ongoing series that explores elements of graffiti and style-writing. Adapted from the same techniques Shane Pilster uses in his role as a teaching artist for Rivers of Steel's Graffiti and Style-writing school residencies, these tutorials provide creative expression (or simply stress relief) for kids and adults alike.

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

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. 

Arm swing exercise routine

1) Gentle Neck Rolls
2) Reverse Gentle Neck Rolls
3) Trunk twists
4) Reverse Trunk Twists
5) Leg swing forward and back
6) Other leg swings forward and back
7) Leg swings lateral with abductor and adductor motions
8) Switch legs and swing laterally.
9) Foot Spins
10) Foot Spins with same foot in the other direction.
11) Foot Spins on other foot
12) Foot Spins on other foot other direction
13) Kneeling position
14) Right Arm forward Arm Swing
15) Left Arm Forward Arm Swing
16) Right Arm Backwards Arm Swing
17) Left Arm Backwards
18) Right arm swing in a Sideways Figure 8 Motion
19) Right Arm Figure 8 in the Reverse Direction
20) Left Arm Figure 8
21) Left Arm Figure 8 Reverse
22) Up the Sides with both arms
23) Up the Front Arm Swings
24) Horizontal Arm Swings
25) Opposites Arm Swings
26) Opposite-Opposites Arm Swings
27) Wrist, door-knob open
28) Wrist door-knob close
29) Wrist range of motion
30) Other wrist range of motion
31) Sit ups
32) Yoga Cobra
33) Rattle Snakes
34) Hamstring Stretch with Legs in Figure 4
35) Other Side, 4 for Legs
36) Yoga Butterfly Stretch
37) Knee to ear
38) Other knee to each ear
39) Butterfly arm motion
40) Backstroke arm motion
41) Breastroke arm motion
42) Freestyle arm motion
43) Toe raises
44) Other leg toe raises
45) Heel raises
46) Heel raises with other leg
47) Squat stoop

Swimmers in Pittsburgh: We’ve got some weekend fun on May 12, May 19 and June 2

SKWIM player at Brashear, SDA16

SKWIM disk toss from play in the pool.

The Saturday Swim School is a labor of love with Coach Mark Rauterkus and a crew of other volunteers. We’re looking for Scouts, summer-swimmers, future lifeguards, and former Summer Dreamers to come out and join us as well.

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11:30 am to 1 pm Oliver High School 2323 Brighton Road, Pgh 15212

11:30 am to 1 pm
Oliver High School
2323 Brighton Road, Pgh 15212

Team Meetings at Swim & Water Polo with SDA18 include CIRCLES

Coach Mark at team meeting at Camp Langley.

Expecting both team meetings and circle time in our Swim & Water Polo Camp in 2018. Ideas welcome.

With Summer Dreamers in 2018, #SDA18, our regular, daily, Swim & Water Polo Team Meeting is going to include some circle time. This new program wrinkle comes on the wake of a school district push to Restorative Justice.

Mindfulness history

A few years ago, a friend, Richard King, PhD, helped to launch and lead a practice with circles with the students in a program he championed, Mindful Gardening. He is not leading any SDA activities in 2018., sadly.

Wishing for sanity and dialog in recent seasons

In 2017 as well as in the early part of 2018, I would have welcomed the on going use of restorative practices within PPS programs. The kids were fine. I needed the circles among a few of the adults who were going in different directions.

Circles and community slide from PPS training.

 

This offers a dramatic mind shift for some at PPS. With us at the swim pool, not so much. Sure, it is a new wrinkle. New touchstones are going to be needed. But we have always had an approach that gives students a voice, some choices, and builds upon respect.

Ideas and tools to implement the new circle time at Swim & Water Polo are welcome. We hope to document the process and offer more examples.

Expect Great Things, the slogan of Dr. Anthony Hamlet, superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Hamlet at podium

Dr. Hamlet, superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, opens the Maker Space at Obama Academy in December 2017. Dr. Hamlet has branded the expression, Expect Great Things, into the mission of the district since his arrival.

The psychology and deeper meaning of the new vision for Pittsburgh Public Schools has merit, if it is put into practice. The slogan is being put everywhere, such as on the web site, on stationary and on posters throughout the district. The slogan is getting plenty of practice, as it is repeated often. But is its message being implemented?

The motivational message makes sense. Furthermore, the actions need to speak volumes too. Words and deeds are both required.

Headline: Expectations leads to manifestation. 

You get what you expect. Your expectations are the source code of your creative possibilities.

We are all swimming in a soup of sensory inputs. So focus is needed. Easy to understand that the leaders of Pittsburgh Public Schools are confronted with a seemingly endless set of challenges. The leaders are putting out fires on multiple fronts any given week, day and hour. But, what are they really hoping to accomplish and what is expected?

What the leaders pay attention to is what they see and hear. Sadly, it seems to me, the leaders do not pay much attention to the support of those who are expecting greatness.

Understanding the power of expectations comes with both opportunity and warning.

My mission and what I’m looking for with PPS builds upon the concept of “summer dreamers” and goes to “year-round achievers.” I expect great things and have always lead the struggle to bring brushes of greatness to the students, through sports and swimming programs. Our holistic approach offers championship competitive swimming, but it goes to personal improvements and building upon our shared community capacity of playing well with others.

Part 2 goes to leadership.

Our swimmers are intellectual bloomers. We have the magic sauce for the self-fulfilling prophecy that has proven itself every year, to a certain extent, with most of our student-athletes on the varsity swimming team. 

Agents and management have to understand the power of expectation and also keep grounded in the real world. When we have coaches and principals with ordinary track records and below satisfaction results, be done and find others who want to reach and want to aspire to the performance high bar.

Message from Dr. Hamlet at the opening of the maker space at PPS Obama Academy in December 2017

Back To School Event — #WeArePPS — District visits Langley on 8/21

All from Pittsburgh Public Schools are headed to a back-to-school event at Langley K-8 from 1 to 5 pm on Monday, August 21, 2017 — and everyone is reminded to bring their swim suits, towels and goggles.

The Langley pool is small, but a nice place for a full-pool SKWIM game, Ultimate-style. Coach will bring the disks, head-bands and fins. We hope to get some kids from Summer Dreamers back in the water and even a few spectators to watch, learn about SKWIM, cheer on the kids and begin to plan on attending the Saturday Swim School events that are slated for throughout the school year.

The Langley Water Polo Stadium

Pittsburgh Langley K-8 is located at 2940 Sheraden Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15204.

After the Langley event, our next couple of practices for kids and adults happens on Tuesdays

  • 6 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, August 22, at Northisde’s Citiparks Sue Murray outdoor pool
  • 6 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, August 29, at Northside’s Citiparks Sue Muray outdoor pool

Update

About 20 kids got in the water at the pool at Langley for the special event. There were hundreds of kids and parents present, including administrators and Antonio Brown of of the Steelers.

Update and message home from Tan, coach with PPS Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo

One of our staff members at Swim & Water Polo on the Northside, Tan, sent home a message to the Pittsburgh Summer Dreamers. He left camp after a few weeks for a trip to Europe to play, train and better condition himself in the sport of water polo.

Tan is a student at North Allegheny and also plays with Tiger Water Polo.

Talking to the water polo players about a pending trip to Europe, where the sport of water polo is even more popular than the NBA is the the USA.

 

 

 

 

Earlier in the summer, at the University of Pittsburgh, we got to watch Tan play at the Pittsburgh Combine event. Here is one of his plays. He is wearing the dark cap and is playing offense, the hole-set position.

Coaches include: Curtis, Tan, Rebekah, Katie, Julia and Kyra. Plus, Coach Mark took the photo.

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