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Swim at Camp

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Upper West Side Campus

The Summer Camp uses the outdoor pool at Skyview On the Hudson in Riverdale, NY, only 15 minutes away by bus. Skyview has both a large pool and a kiddie pool for the younger campers. 

At Bank Street, all campers learn to swim using the Red Cross's Learn to Swim Program. Campers are continually assessed for swim ability and classified appropriately, using a color-coded bracelet and nametag system. Campers are only allowed to be in the deep part of the pool if they pass the deep water swim test, which consists of swimming freestyle for 25 yards with rotary breathing, swimming the backstroke for 25 yards, and treading water for 60 seconds. No camper is allowed in the deep part of the pool that has not passed this test. 

Along with the monitoring of swim skill and the appropriateness of water depth allowed to each child, our swim staff accounts for the whereabouts of each individual child in several ways. Most importantly, there are multiple adults responsible for campers while they are in the pool. The group sounselors, who spend each day with campers, are required to be in the water, assisting during lessons and interacting with campers during free swim. Supervising and instructing each group is one of our ten Red Cross certified WSI (Water Safety Instructor) lifeguards. Skyview lifeguards monitor in addition from elevated seats over both the large pool and the kiddie pool. 

Our highest priority as a department is risk prevention at the pool. Our lifeguards undergo ongoing training. We weekly review Red Cross regulations, pool scanning techniques, and rescuing skills. We conduct mock rescues - those involving potential head neck or spinal injuries and those requiring simple assists. We review typical signs of danger in the pool, and we are prepared to conduct CPR and first aid. While forty Head Counselors and Supervisory staff are certified in RTE (Responding to Emergencies) and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), we still employ at least 16 trained lifeguards, whose training includes First Aid and CPR.  Skyview pool will also provide 4 additional lifeguards to help monitor the swim program.  Sixteen members of our staff are WSI's (Water Safety Instructors).  As a testament to our program, many of our Aquatics Staff are former campers. 

Each camper is assigned another camper at his or her same swim level. They keep track of and stay with one another for the duration of the swim period. When buddy check is called by the Aquatic Director each buddy couple holds their hands on the edge of the pool. Once a count has been completed by the Aquatics Director swimming can resume.

As mandated by the Board of Health and the American Camp Association, every 15 minutes, our aquatics director and assistant directors conduct a "buddy check," during which each counselor and child is accounted for - those in the large pool, the kiddie pool, on deck, and those who have notified us that they are in the restroom.