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Insights for Cooperation with 2013 Swim & Waterpolo CampEdit

Hi Ben and others at VO:

I think it was BEN at Ventures Outdoors who has worked with PPS Summer Dreamers.... Well, this year we talked a number of months ago and are gearing up for 2013. I'm doing that PPS dance again and we'll have some kids at CAPA, post 8th grade. I was wondering if we might be able to do a few things together.

After our kids can swim, after week 1 and 2, I'd love to have a KAYAK race among our 20 kids (all incoming 9th graders) and 5 staffers, one afternoon.

We'd start with a little warm up. We'd then race from bridge to bridge or something. We'll have the kids from 12:30 to 3:30 every day, M-F. The day on the river would go well to see if our fastest runners are also our fastest in a kayak. Camp starts July 1. So, any day, especially about July 29, 30 or 31 would be GREAT. We'd help you promote the services as we run along the rivers every day.

I have a digital clock / timer that we could use to time the event too.


Another day, Thursday August 8 or Friday August 9 seems like a GREAT time to do a day on the river for our 3rd grade students. We could have a time in our camp on one day when we have a boat, lifejacket and paddle and show the kids the equipment. We could have them take a spin in the pool on the boat. And then, we could invite our BETTER Swimmers -- only those that are strong swimmers and well behaved, to join us for a paddle on the river between certain times on August 8 or August 9 -- depending upon our plans. We would do outreach and education to all the families. We'd give the kids a chance to experience the river, with their families. These are days AFTER the camp with school children have ENDED. So, an adult would be needed to bring the student(s) to the river, sign the forms, etc. Perhaps we'd put a staffer or a parent or an 9th grader into the boat with the kid too. ?? Perhaps we'd run another RACE from bridge to bridge, (and back?) -- to see if we can BEAT the record set the prior time.

We will use the KAYAK experience as a REWARD for those that do well at our Swim & Waterpolo Camps. You'd have to be able to swim 200 yards, non-stop, for example. You'd have to have always stayed out of trouble, without messing up the group, for example.

We have 20 kids going into 9th grade.

And, we have 160 kids going into 4th grade.

Your staff would not need to come out to the camps (Homewood, Hill District, West End and Brookline/Carmalt) -- but I'd get myself and another staffer over to you to have you talk to us as to what to tell the kids. Peraps we'd even make a YouTube video or slide show for our iPad to present to them.

I own a CANOE, big, aluminum. But, we'd want to show them a kayak of yours.

Another thing we are doing is running a RACE downtown on Friday night, August 9, the Liberty Mile. Last year was the first year. We had 60 kids do that. So, we could visit the River on the day before we run the race that night. Or, we could visit the river on the day before the race. Parents / guardians will need to be involved with the Liberty Mile as well. No school either Thursday the 8th of August or the 9th, on Friday.

Call, and I'll come over to chat.

In the past, V.O. has done a "free day" of sorts. Perhaps you can bill that day as a "kids day" and then we'd be able to sneak in without paying the full fares. Perhaps we can hook in with a special with the Steel City Road Runners too (operated by the Pgh Marathon) as they are helping us. We could do a mentor day or something. Plus, on Liberty Mile weekend, we might get some runners and their families to visit. We could plug it with the web site(s). Cooperative marketing ideas abound.

Our Swim & Waterpolo Camp as an activity provider with PPS Summer Dreamers is being hosted as part of the BGC (Bloomfield Garfield Corp), 501(c)(3) this year. We'd be sure to do a newsletter article and/or web page about our fun outing for you there too. Furthermore, next year I am bucking now to get 1,000 kids into the program. This year we went from 100 to 180 but are the most popular of all as 260 kids in only 2 grades (post 3rd and 8th) were able to pick our activity. We are doing AM activities at Citiparks pool in Hill District with varsity swimmers and some Hill Church Day-Camps too.

Once we get our groove on for 2014, we'll want to have a regular feature so our kids can rotate to the boat house and we can cover boating safety at the swim pool in a more extensive way.

So, is something like this possible in 2013?