All our Children Need to be Safe on the Water
“All our children need to be safe on the water.” A strong sentiment, one that Deborah Wilson, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, PortsToronto, shared with us in a recent conversation. And since 2014, PortsToronto has been making sure that Toronto children who attend Moorelands Camp will be!
Water safety and water recreation have always been a key part of the Moorelands Camp experience. The Swim Assessment Test is the very first thing that happens when children arrive at camp. Ongoing swim lessons are the only mandatory daily activity.
Water Safety and Recreation
Thanks to PortsToronto, children and youth growing up in neighbourhoods affected by poverty are provided with vital water safety skills while at the same time developing positive character qualities and leadership skills. One camper’s parent expressed it best when he wrote.
“We are newcomers and we do not swim. I never imagined my son could be so comfortable in the water. Now he’s asking me to go to swimming lessons with him so I can be safe too – all because of Moorelands Camp. Thank you so much, PortsToronto!” – Camper Father
The PortsToronto Water Safety /Water Recreation Program’s goals are:
1) To provide a safe and enjoyable aquatic experience
2) To teach or enhance swimming and water safety skills
3) To encourage ongoing skill development with peers; appreciating the abilities and limitations of others
To-date, PortsToronto’s Water Safety /Water Recreation program has provided more than 2620 kids from Toronto neighborhoods with the tools and strategies they need to enjoy the water safely. Kids leave our camp with new skills, greater self-esteem and the ability to navigate water play safely.
We’ll leave the last word to Deborah;
“PortsToronto has a long history on the water. For more than 100 years our organization has developed the waterfront and managed the harbour to ensure commerce and recreation. In recent years our focus has been on keeping the harbour safe. So it just makes sense that we would support an initiative that teaches kids to be safe in and around the water. We try to sponsor many organizations each year in a variety of areas, but we have a soft spot for Moorelands and its summer camp because it’s about kids having fun and learning important skills that will keep them safe and enjoy the water. We know that when a child returns from Moorelands Camp, they’ve had an excellent introduction to water safety and can see the water as a place to have fun and hopefully begin a lifelong love and appreciation for water. Every child should know how to swim and through this sponsorship, we are doing that one kid at a time.”