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Aquatics Newsletter | June 2010 |
Register Now for Summer Classes!
Registration for summer programs began June 5 and continues as space is available. Take a look at our Adult and Youth Programs Catalogs to see what we're offering!
Lightning Safety at Indoor Pools
LightningOn your way to the pool, you see a flash of light that bursts from the clouds. You continue to venture to the rec center thinking an indoor pool won't close for a thunderstorm. You arrive at the center, swim suit on and towel in hand. Then you hear, "I'm sorry, but the pool is closed because lightning has been spotted in the area."

The National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI) reports there are some 22 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes in the United States annually. Lightning will follow the path of least resistance through the air and along or through the ground. This means that if lightning strikes the ground near an indoor pool, it may lead into the building via low resistance conductors. How is that possible? The underground water pipes, gas lines, electric and telephone wiring all connect to the pool creating a metallic network that extends outside of the building.

There have been no reports of deaths from lightning while using indoor pools and that is good news. However, there are many reports of lightning deaths in bathtubs as well as reports of injuries to people indoors with direct and indirect contact with water (kitchen sink, laundry room, bathroom, etc.) It seems reasonable to NLSI that the potential for lightning incidents with people in indoor pools does exist. In fact, some have reported the main circulation pump had been destroyed, injuries to employees touching electrical panels and visible lighting inside of the pool area.
The following recommendations for lightning safety at indoor pools are available from
  • Suspend activities when lightning is within 6-8 miles and move to safe areas.
  • Safe areas should be inside the building in a dry area. Not safe areas will be any area near electrical conductors, electrical equipment, metal objects (such as lifeguard stands or ladders) and water (including showers). 
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last observed lightning to resume activities.
12 + 1 = Valuable Membership
Buy 12-Month Membership, Get Additional Month Free
Fitness RoomFrom June 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011, purchase or renew a 12-month membership to the six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers and get an additional month for FREE. And don't forget: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation has no joining fees and there are no monthly fees.
Our Virginia Beach Recreation Centers are an economical and convenient option for your fitness needs, and provide fun and accessible programs for kids. All six centers feature an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, game room, gym and great activities!

The 12+1 membership promotion is available only to 12-month memberships (resident and non-resident) purchased between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. Six-month, 3-month, or memberships bundled with our Out-of-School Time programs are not eligible for this promotion.
If you're looking to save a little extra money, purchase or renew your membership in June. Membership rates will increase slightly starting July 1. View membership information.

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Quick Links
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Pool Events
7/11 | Float-a-Rama | Princess Anne
7/30 | Movie Night in the Pool: G-Force | Princess Anne

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 Ask Aquatics

Q: Can a group rent the pool at a rec center?

A: Pool rentals are available at any of the six recreation centers. A maximum of 3 lanes are available for contract rental and include lifeguards as well as set up and break down of pool area. 
For rates and additional information, contact Teri Dalone, Aquatic Coordinator at
Submit your questions to
S is for Sun Safety
Sun SafetyKnow how to protect your family from the sun. For the best protection, we recommend a combination of sun protection measures.

Protect Your Skin
1. SLIP on a shirt that covers as much skin as possible.
2. SLOP on broad spectrum, water resistant, SPF 15+ sunscreen.
3. SLAP on a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.
4. SEEK shade.
5. SLIDE on some sunglasses, but make sure they have UVA protection coating.  

Which Sunscreen Should I Use?
Select a sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB radiation, this means using a broad spectrum sunscreen.  It should be SPF 15+ sunscreen and water resistant. According to a study by the FDA, an SPF 15 can provide approximately 93% protection from the sun, while an SPF 60 provides approximately 98%. Therefore, no matter which level of sunscreen is used, the guidelines for use and application are the same.

  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours- perspiration and water can wear off even waterproof formulas.
  • SPF 15 - ideal for everyday use with minimal sun exposure, such as walking down the street or driving to work.
  • SPF 30 or higher - ideal when spending 2 or more hours outdoors, even on cloudy days, since clouds do not block UV rays.
  • Make sure the sunscreen that you are using has not expired yet, if so throw it out.
  • Sunscreen that is past its expiration date will lose its effectiveness and start to deteriorate.
  • Avoid the sun between 10am and 2pm, when the rays are the strongest.

Put your knowledge to the test with this Sun Safety Quiz created by the American Cancer Society.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures
All Community Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed July 4 & 5 for Independence Day.

Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.