BGCA Native Service is excited to congratulate the second place winners of the 2022 BGCA Aquatic Safety Video Challenge: Boys & Girls Club of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, operated by Marimn Health. Club leadership has made continued efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of the Native and non-Native youth served by the Club by teaching them best practices while close to bodies of water.
In a recent newsletter from BGCA, Club staff noticed an opportunity for youth to exhibit water safety skills they learned through the Club by creating an instructional video showcasing the Club’s water safety practices and procedures. Native youth and staff worked together produce an aquatic safety video for consideration.
Through Club programming, Native youth are offered trips to Lake Coeur d’Alene for canoeing and fishing as well as daily swimming opportunities at the Clubhouse, furthering the importance of water safety for their youth.
All Club youth are required to complete the Club’s water safety program which consists of three steps prior to being able to participate in the Club’s swim times. The water safety steps consist of testing their level of swimming, marking youth based on their ability and protecting youth with necessary swim assistance as needed prior to being able to partake in the Club’s daily swimming time.
The first step is “testing” youth for their proficiency in the pool by having youth complete a swim test where they need to swim three quarters of their pool without touching walls or using any other assistance. The second step is “marking” where youth are provided colored wrist bands that signify their swimming ability and what extra protective measures may be needed. The third step is “protecting” youth by ensuring that Club staff safeguard youth by providing life vests and attentive supervision of youth in the pool.
By making certain youth follow all steps of this process, Club staff are able to make essential determinations related to the safety of Club youth and ensure that youth are appropriately cared for while near bodies of water.
Native youth have taken away lessons including the joy and entertainment that water can provide, an awareness and respect for bodies of water, the importance of a healthy lifestyle and gaining a better understanding of aquatic safety.