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San Angelo swim camp presses forward to give children an active summer

The student instructors and coach running the Angelo Aquatics camp are taking every precaution to keep swimmers safe.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Many summer events and camps have been canceled because of COVID-19. However, the Central Bobcats swim team recently received permission from the City to hold its 2020 Angelo Aquatics swim camp, which has been going on for approximately 20 years.

Head swim coach Matthew McLaughlin attended the camp when he was a young elementary school swimmer. His sister, and now assistant, Megan McLaughlin, also began swimming at a young age. The swimming sibling duo now run the swim program and camp that got them started.

He said the camp is a perfect feeder to get children interested in enrolling in the middle school swim program and then the junior varsity and varsity high school team.

The Angelo Aquatics camp usually starts the week after school ends, but was moved back a month because of the pandemic. McLaughlin said the whole camp runs four weeks with swimmers signing up for one week of 40-minute sessions a day for $60. He said many parents are repeat customers and will sign their children up for multiple sessions.

Students will be in groups of two or three to one instructor, who is a high school swimmer themselves. All instructors go through a training and are well-equipped with keeping the children safe and excited.

For safety purposes, only 20 children will be in the pool at a time with their 10 instructors. Another instructor without a group during that session will be posted outside the pool to keep a watch over everyone. On top of that, McLaughlin and his assistant will also be helping.

In response to COVID-19, McLaughlin said parents and their children will enter their session through one set of doors and exit another to prevent cross-traffic and exposure. They will also be sanitizing and requiring people to keep their social distance while waiting for lessons. McLaughlin said lessons have already begun to fill up, but there are still spots available for the last week of sessions.