The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Changes in store for swimming pool


To The Eagle:

I am really excited about the upcoming 2017 season at the Julia Butler Hansen Swimming Pool.

Last year we invested in an excellent pool liner, two new water heating systems for our showers and a new locker room floor for the ladies. This year we will have a fantastic new pool heater system.

Perhaps more significantly, I have chosen to change the lifeguard training and the swim lesson programs to what I think will be a very successful system for us. I signed up for the Starfish Aquatics Institute programs to train guards locally and to have a proven swim lesson system. I think that pool customers will see a difference and the results will speak for themselves.

Please consider the Cathlamet Pool before you fill that backyard pool this year. Most folks who have their own pool at home don’t think about safety and the attractive nuisance that the pool is for young children. Rather than filling a pool and chemically treating it to make it not grow bugs, load up the family and take them to town. You will know that the little ones have a trained guard overseeing them and also that the water is safe – and no dead grass ring on your lawn.

The Wahkiakum EMS and Trauma Care Council has given some money to the pool towards adult fall prevention programs. The goal here is to have adults be in the pool, swimming or moving to maintain and improve their strength, mobility and stamina. If that causes some weight loss, then I guess most of us would be happy with that too! If you would like to participate, please sign up either at Town Hall or at the pool once operations get underway there. Cost of this program: free.

Remember that Wahkiakum on the Move buses can take you to the pool if you don’t live near enough to walk or ride your bike.

Please plan on coming for a swim this summer. Or lots of swims. If you have grandkids coming to town, one great activity may be to have them learn to swim with us. We will have a parent/tot class, swimming lessons and even stroke schools if needed. The Star program is very thorough.

A huge focus of the Star programs is teaching water safety. Program students take the skills learned under the watchful eye of their swim instructor, and transfer these to the home pool, swimming hole, or river’s edge. Even very young children have shown that they take the safety lessons to heart. These lessons could save a life one day and are a fantastic investment in any child’s future.

The guards will teach private lessons for those who don’t want, or cannot tolerate, the group lessons. So, if you have (or are) a special needs person who could be around water and who cannot swim, or if you are embarrassed that you are scared to put your face in the water but want the exercise and fun, our warm pool may well be the perfect place to overcome your fear.

Along with evening swims and special late swims, I think it will be a great year for the pool customers. When will I see you at the pool?

Duncan Cruickshank


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