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Fun in the water

camp aquarius about more than learning to swim

by Michron Robinson

Summer time may be easy, but youth attending Camp Aquarius have discovered that the roster of aquatic activities is as strenuous and it is fun.

The camp which caters to 51 campers is situated at Underwater Barbados on Bay Street, St. Michael and caters to everyone — from those who have never swam before to expert swimmers.

Head Counsellor Mickhael Dulal-Sealy spoke to Barbados TODAY amidst the sounds of screaming children and splashing water from three large pools at the campsite.

Sealy stated that the camp, which was not only about learning to swim, but involved teaching of certain basic marine and extra terrestrial life.

“They are taught the intricate connections of marine life and how they relate to one another and how we need to protect both in order to keep them. Apart from learning to swim they do kayaking, snorkeling, beach walks, teaching on the sand and where it comes from and how it gets there, along with varioius tours,” he added.

The camp, which is in its 13th year, is growing and camp counsellor Joshua Clarke said that because of the nature of the aquatic camp and its emphasis safety first, a large contingent of supervisors definitely needed.

“We must look after the safety of the campers and the counsellors had to be trained in dealing with children, obviously because we do not cater to any one kind of child but we have children from all kinds of backgrounds,” Clarke said.

“So the counsellors would have to know the needs of the children, especially if they have learning difficulties or developmental disorders. We have to ensure that we have people who would know how to deal with a child with down syndrome versus a child with autism.

“So all of that requires a special kind of training and a special kind of person who can be sensitive enough to do all of this and to have the stamina to deal with all of the swimming and exercise.”

One of the major challenges Clarke identified beside sponsorship was finding people who would have the time and strength to deal with all of the different types of children attending the camp yearly.

Eight year old Kyle Marshall, who was with camp from the time he was four years old, told Barbados TODAY that he enjoyed swimming out to the barge, but kayaking was his favourite activity.

Kacia Sealy, 13, said the camp taught her to motivate herself to do better.

“I enjoyed the walking and the swimming is fun. I learnt to encourage myself and to take care of one another,” she added.

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