U.S. Army MWR

Water safety program available for children


Joint Base Lewis-McChord is one of 25 installations participating in the “Feet First into Safety” program during the month of June.

With aquatics staff preparing for the summer season, the Installation Management Command initiative teaches water safety to children of all ages. JBLM Aquatics Director Jessica Rockhill launched “Passport to Safety” as part of the program.

As swimmers visit Shoreline Beach and each of JBLM’s four pools (Keeler, Kimbro, McChord Outdoor and Soldiers Field House) to learn about various safety topics, they will answer questions from lifeguards to get a stamp in their passports. The kid-friendly questions are related to topics such as following pool rules and wearing a life jacket in open water.

After they have visited all five locations, swimmers can turn in their passports to Soldiers Field House pool to be entered into a raffle drawing. Two swimmers will be selected for a one night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge water park resort.

“This is encouraging people on the base to go around to the different aquatics facilities that we have,” Rockhill said. “Not only are they learning about different safety topics, they’re also seeing the different locations we have, too.”

The safety topics are based on the American Red Cross Longfellow’s WHALE Tales program and follow a lot of the same topics taught in JBLM’s Learn to Swim program. Rockhill teamed up with a regional representative of the Army Corps of Engineers to plan a Sun, Sand and Safety Day at Shoreline Beach on Lewis North June 26. Children of all ages will participate in games, activities and pontoon boat rides from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free to military ID cardholders and each participant is asked to bring two 1-gallon milk jugs for a project.

“We’re going to go over different safety topics for the kids and relate most of the topics to the beach,” Rockhill said. “We do so much at the swimming pools that we don’t always think about the things at the beach.”

Movie Night at the Beach

JBLM aquatics’ summer lineup includes Movie Night at the Beach starting with “Escape to Planet Earth” June 29 at Shoreline Beach. The outdoor screen will face toward the water for boaters to anchor and watch from their deck, or for viewers to watch from the beach.

Christmas in July comes to the beach July 27 with decorations, Christmas music, the movie “Elf” and Santa Claus. The summer program wraps up Aug. 24 with a showing of “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

All movies are free and will start at dusk.

For more information contact the JBLM aquatics administrative office at 253-967-9210.

Feet First

Article provided by the Northwest Guardian, Joint Base Lewis-McChord's authorized newspaper.

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