Pup Camp

Do you have a child who loves to swim – who was a fish by the end of last summer or took lessons over the winter? Do you wonder if your child is ready for swim team? Or did your child join swim team last year but found the “controlled chaos” of the practices and meets a bit overwhelming? If so, then Stingray Pup Camp might be right for you.

Pup Camp is designed for swimmers ages 4 and older – either those new to swim team or those who swam for the first time last year. Our aim is to build confidence in our youngest swimmers and to hook a new generation of young Stingray pups in a fun and low stress environment. Although previous swimming experience is not required, familiarity and comfort in the water is necessary.  Swimmers will be divided into small skill and age appropriate groups. Our team of “coaches” (including our head coach, Jamie Grimstead, our assistant coaches, and veteran swim team teens) will introduce them to basic swim skills, show them what practices will be like, and determine if they are ready for swim team as they assess their water basics and water comfort level. We will also hold daily Swim Team 101 instruction and Q&A sessions for new parents.

The cost of Pup Camp is $20. If you think your child is ready and coaches concur, you can join the swim team by paying the online swim team registration fee. During the season, we will plan to “buddy up” your swimmer with a seasoned swim team member to help them feel more at ease as they start attending full team practices.

Pup Camp Q & A:

1. What do we need to bring? Your child should come in a swim suit prepared to swim. Please bring goggles, towel, sneakers, and a dry set of warm clothes.  The water will be cool and they will be cold when they get out, so have a warm sweatshirt ready for them. If you have a swim cap, please bring one, but this is NOT required.

2. What time should we arrive? Plan to arrive by 4:45pm for check in. Group assignments will be posted on the white wall to your left as you enter the playground.  Please find your swimmer’s assigned group/coach. Upon entering, you will be greeted by older swim team members to “mark” your child. We use a Sharpie marker to indicate their name and age on the back of their shoulder or on their arm if they will wear a shirt. This technique is used for ALL meets to identify swimmers and we want children to get used to it early. It will also help us identify them as we get to know their names. If you prefer, you may mark them before you arrive.  We will sort into groups on the black top to begin @ 5pm.

3. What will they do? Each group will be assigned a name and coach. Depending on the number of participants in Pup Camp, groups may be split in half, (A and B subgroups). Pup campers will spend half of their time in the water and half of their time on “dry land” (ie. while Rays A are in the water, Rays B are on the playground – at 5:30 they will switch). In the water, they will be with their assigned coach and several assistants to work on a specific skill of the day. On the playground, they will rotate through “stations” to learn and practice dry land “swim” skills and techniques (relays, streamline, kicking) with our veteran swim team members.

4. Where do parents go? Can I watch my child? Of course! Tables and chairs are set up on the pool deck. Feel free to find a place near your swimmer to watch them in the water. While they are rotating in stations on the playground, we will have a “Swim Team 101” session with any new parents to cover swim team basics and answer any questions.

5. Is every day the same? The format is the same on all 4 days. However, each day we will cover a new Skill of the Day, introduce a new swim team concept to Pup Campers, and discuss a new Swim Team 101 with parents.

6. We will miss a day. Is that OK? Yes, we understand schedules are variable. We encourage you to make as many days as possible, but if you have to miss, please notify Colleen or your child’s assigned coach ahead of time.

7. Are there rain dates if inclement weather forces a cancellation? No, we will not make up cancelled days. Our fingers will be crossed for a warm and sunny forecast.

8. Is this a try-out for swim team? No, and attending Pup Camp is not a requirement to join the team. However, it is an excellent way for you and our coaches to observe and evaluate your swimmer’s readiness to join from a perspective of interest AND safety. Our #1 priority is that your child be safe in the water. That said, in order to be a member of our swim team, your child will need to be able to demonstrate adequate safety in the water if a coach’s back is momentarily turned and adequate independence in the water to swim across the pool unassisted by a coach. Pup Camp was designed for and tailored to our youngest swimmers in order to create a love of swimming in the future of our swim team, whether they join us this year or next!

9. How will I know if my child is “ready” to join? By or before the end of week, Coaches will provide feedback on your child’s readiness. When Pup Camp ends on Thursday, you should already have a good idea of their readiness, but you will also receive an email with either a “green light” (ready) or a “red light” (not ready) designation. Readiness is a combination of skill, maturity and interest.

10. We haven’t officially joined the swim team. If we get a “green light,” how do we join? Some Pup Campers are returning for a 2nd year after swimming for our team last summer, and may have already paid their swim team fees with the intention to join us again. If you haven’t already joined the swim team, and your child is ready to commit, notify league rep Colleen Armentrout or Christina Kim. You will need to complete the Swim Team Registration through your online MemberSplash account and pay via credit card online or with check made payable to New Sherwood Pool & Tennis Club, LLC, mailed to Paragon Properties, 6816 River Center Drive Clemmons, NC 27012.

11. If we join, do we have to order a team suit? No, team suits and personalized silicone swim caps are optional but do make a nice statement for team unity. Each swim team member will receive a latex team swim cap and a cotton team T-shirt. Many parents choose not to order a team swim suit until they know their child is committed to the swim team. A plain black suit is a nice complement to our team suit, but again, not required.

12. How do I order a team suit or other spirit wear items? More info to come regarding our online team store through Carolina Swim Shop – stay tuned. This online team store will be open from 4/26 through 5/17 and we will hold a few trial suit fittings at the pool. The online team store will take orders for all items through 5/17. Team suits are available to order beyond that date but free bulk team delivery by the first meet is ONLY guaranteed for online orders placed by 5/17.  After this date, shipping charges apply and delivery date is not guaranteed. They are embroidered with our logo and are non refundable.

13. Who is the Kick Off Party for on 5/17? ALL swim team members are invited, including Pup Campers who may want to join the team. Carolina Swim Shop will be on site for team suit orders.  An Evite will be sent out via Remind and team email newsletter. All you need to do is RSVP!

MORE QUESTIONS?  Email Colleen @ swimteam@newsherwoodpool.com.