One of the best parts of summer camp is the joy of getting out on the water, whether paddling about in a kayak, zipping around on water skis or learning to harness the wind on a sailboat. While kids love the excitement of skimming over the lake on a windy day or perfecting kite-boarding tricks, it’s also important that they become well acquainted with the rules of boating safety. Camp boating instructors stress following the rules of safe boating at all times.
Life Jackets On
Wearing a life jacket is one important summer camp boating safety which should be just as routine on boarding a boat as putting on a seat belt in a car. Whether just paddling around in shallow water or zooming around the lake in a power boat, summer camp counselors are trained to be sure their young charges are outfitted with properly fitting life jackets. Disaster can strike quickly out on the water and there often isn’t time to retrieve a stowed away life vest and put it on in time. Even good swimmers can be injured or incapacitated when going overboard, impeding their ability to stay on the surface.
One of the best ways to be prepared for boating accidents is to take part in safety drills. Waterfront instructors teach kids exactly what to do in case of boating accidents. For example, young sailors take part in person-overboard drills and capsize recovery. While kayakers receive instruction on how to right their kayak if they flip over and water skiers learn how to safely enter and exit the water.
Young boaters are taught to be aware of constantly changing weather and water conditions. Not only should boaters check the weather forecast, but they need to also be aware of signs of changing conditions or signs of incoming storms.
On the waterfront and out on the lake or bay, young campers learn such basic safety rules as the importance of holding on while moving about the boat, keeping hands and feet inside the boat and not sitting on the bow. Safety comes first at camp, followed by loads of fun!