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Aquatics Newsletter | February 2014 |
Swim Lessons for Homeschoolers


We're offering a Learn to Swim program this spring at Seatack Recreation Center that is specifically geared toward homeschoolers learning how to swim. Participants will learn how to swim in a supportive and fun environment alongside their peers. This program is ideal for any homeschooler who wants to enjoy the water safely, regardless of skill level or ability. 


Learn to Swim Levels 1-3 (Ages 5-15)
Wednesdays | March 26 - May 21 | 2:00 - 2:50 pm | $46 
The American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program is a three-level instructional program. Each level of the program includes training in basic water safety and helping others in an emergency. This course is intended for participants with little to no swimming experience. 


A current rec center membership or day pass is required. Register online or in person at any recreation center.

Celebrating 20 Years at Princess Anne

Saturday, March 15 | 1 - 4 pm | Princess Anne


It's been 20 years since we opened the doors to Princess Anne Recreation Center and the fun hasn't stopped! To thank everyone for their continued support and patronage, we're offering an afternoon of free admission and fun for the whole family, including children's crafts, face painting, cake and prizes from 1 to 4 pm, Saturday, March 15. No membership needed.

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Upcoming Events

3/1 | Movie in the Pool | Great Neck

3/14 | Movie in the Pool | Princess Anne

3/16 | Float-a-Rama | Princess Anne
Lifeguarding Goes Beyond Teenage Years 


Roby Hudgins

Many people make the assumption that lifeguarding is just something teenagers do to earn money during the summer. While this may be true for many, teenagers are certainly not the only ones safeguarding your local pool. Two lifeguards at our recreation centers, both over the age of 40, agreed to share their perspectives: Roby Hudgins at Great Neck and Cathy Rotch at Bayside


When asked about the benefits of lifeguarding, both Roby and Cathy agree that it helps to maintain their level of fitness. Working in a fitness facility puts you in a positive environment for staying in shape. Cathy adds that when you take a lifeguard course, you learn how to perform CPR, First Aid and lifesaving techniques in the water. It's nice to prove to yourself that you can pass the physical training prerequisites. Roby admits that some of the physical challenges, such as removing a victim from the pool on a backboard, can be intimidating, but lifeguards are part of a team and there are always others willing to help out. 


Cathy Rotch

Aside from the fitness component, both women mentioned lifeguarding as a way to rise as a leader, as well as an opportunity to serve others. Being part of an inter-generational team is a great way to stay youthful, and there are so many chances to meet and interact with different people that the job remains fun and interesting.


Cathy and Roby agree that working for Parks and Recreation is an especially wise decision because the monthly training exercises are extremely valuable. They also appreciate the increased awareness of other opportunities within the department and the networking with other Parks & Rec professionals. Cathy adds that the flexible schedule allows her to pursue other ambitions and interests. 


Interested in pursuing a job as a lifeguard? Sign up for a Lifeguard Training course. Many options are offered, including weekend and evening classes, to accommodate your schedule. 

Swim Tip Video Clip: How to Perform the Eggbeater Kick

One of the most effective kicks to use while treading water is the rotary, or eggbeater kick. This kick enables you to stay at a constant level in the water without bobbing up and down like you would while doing a breaststroke kick. People who are really comfortable with the kick can do it without having to use their arms. This is the standard kick used by water polo players as it allows them to keep their hands free to catch and throw the water polo ball. This kick can be difficult to describe, but one way to think of it is doing an alternating breaststroke kick one leg at a time. The left leg should be moving clockwise and the right leg counter-clockwise. 
Check out our video clip to see the kick being demonstrated, first out of the water, then in the water. This kick takes practice, but once mastered, is a very efficient and effective way to tread water.
Volunteer Spotlight: Catherine Munitz
Catherine (multi-colored suit) assists during swim lessons
Meet Catherine Munitz, a 12-year old student in 6th grade at Kemps Landing Middle School and volunteer Junior Swim Instructor at Great Neck Recreation Center. She took the time to answer a few questions about her experience as a volunteer. 
What made you want to volunteer in Aquatics? "I love kids and teaching them new things, and I love swimming, so I thought this was a perfect match." 
Did you have to have some experience or skill level to be able to volunteer? "Yes, you have to know your strokes, know how to execute them, and know how to explain them in a way kids understand."
What is the best part of your experience so far? "Being able to spend time with the kids in the pool and get experience."
Have you had any challenges that you have had to overcome while volunteering? "There are kids you have to talk to and get them to listen more than others." 
Has your experience helped you consider a future job in aquatics? "Yes, I want to be a lifeguard or instructor here when I am old enough as my first job."
Are you volunteering for a requirement for school or another activity? "I enjoy volunteering and I just wanted to do it. The fact that it looks good for school is just a bonus."
Volunteering opportunities are available in our Aquatic Unit beginning at 10 years old for Junior Lifeguards and 11 years old for Junior Instructors. Wondering how you might get started? Sign up for a Junior Swim Instructor or Junior Lifeguard course and upon successful completion, submit a Volunteer Application. 
Catherine pointed out what a great experience our volunteers get while also having to overcome challenges and further their knowledge about swimming. Another benefit of volunteering for the Aquatic Unit is the ability to take the Lifeguard Training course or the Water Safety Instructor course at a reduced rate after completing 40 hours of volunteer time. 
The experience and knowledge that our young volunteers gain during their time as Junior Lifeguards and Junior Swim Instructors will benefit them as they move on to future jobs and endeavors; and the Aquatic staff welcome the chance to provide that opportunity to the young people in our community.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures


Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project
The pool at Great Neck Recreation Center will be closed through Wednesday, February 19 for the installation of accessible railing.   
Seatack Recreation Center will be closed Monday, March 10 through Sunday, March 16 for annual maintenance. The pool may remain closed through March 23.


Don't forget that your membership is good at all Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed, 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 requires 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.