So You are Thinking what have past SNC Campers been saying about the cool Adventure Trips?
Take a look!

So You are Thinking what have past SNC Campers been saying about the cool Adventure Trips?
Take a look!

Expect to capsize and swim occasionally when paddling a canoe, kayak or raft - it’s part of the sport! But when you hit the water unexpectedly, even strong swimmers need a lifejacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD). It allows you to concentrate on doing what’s needed to execute a self rescue and will allow you to assist others. Nearly 70% of all drownings involving canoes, kayaks or rafts might have been avoided if the victim had been wearing a lifejacket! 

We at Swift Nature Camp believe that your child’s safety is the most important part of camp. That is why we have a strict Lifejacket rule. Everyone must wear a PDF when in a boat. No exceptions, staff and campers alike. THis is true if on a river canoe trip or on on our own camp lake. Water is so much fun and kids love it but it is dangerous and we must be prepared. We even have a special “titanic test” to ensure that our lifejacket fits nice and snug in case of an emergency. Campers learn this the first day of camp.

As camp director of Swift Nature Camp and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor I know how important proper safety at the waterfront is. Learn about some of our water safety guidelines... 

Be on guard

 
Swimming areas are filled with distractions, lifeguards must always be aware. Kids could die if one lose his or her focus. Actively scan your area. All at the swimming area must realize that the waterfront is an area of grave danger.


Buddy pairs are very important

 
 “BUDDY CHECK” Swimming in buddy pairs adds a layer of redundancy to the active scanning that lifeguards perform on the dock or shore. Buddy pairs also give lifeguards something to look for the camper that is swimming alone.
Buddy separation is common and therefore becomes a good target for lifeguards who are actively scanning their area. Lifeguards who make sure buddies are together are making sure campers are safe while swimming.
“Where is your buddy?” is a great question that tells me the lifeguards are doing what needs to be done. This is often followed by the reminder for buddy pairs to swim within 8 feet of one another. THis provides verbal confirmation that the lifeguards are doing their job.


Staff must always swim in buddy pairs 

 
Staff set a good example for campers and help protect one another when they also buddy up during staff swims. No one at camp should ever swim alone, even briefly.
When I need to hop in the water at an odd time to fix Sally or Wally ( our swimming structures) , I always have a fellow staff member actively spotting me and acting as my buddy. Other staff should do the same.


Avoid so-called “triples” 

 
Triples are only allowed for a short period of time, until another shows up at the waterfront. If singleton swimmers show up for a swim, I find them another swimmer with whom they can buddy or they often buddy with a lifeguard.


Never swim at night 

 
As Director, I am at the waterfront for any early or late swims and I call time over when the sky is to dark to swim. Never should campers or staff swim between sunset and sunrise.


Never exceed ratios

 
 Programs vary, but I’m most comfortable with a ratio of 1 staff member to every 12 swimmers in the water. On particularly hot days, We train our own lifeguard’s so our staff is made of 80% Lifeguards so that ratio is never exceeded. This exceeds the state of Wisconsin’s codes. 


Use PFDs

 
 When an off-camp trip includes a water element, we follow this rule: “Above the knees requires PFDs.” Even when we are at an island near camp we wear PFD’s to ensure safety. 
PFD’S are always used when a child is in a watercraft. Every time and always no exceptions.
That means that dipping your feet in a cool mountain stream is fine, but as soon as there is any significant wading or swimming, every person is wearing a properly fitting life jacket.
Children enjoy water activities more than any other while at 
Overnight Summer Camp but it is also a very dangerous are if not all safety precautions are not being met.
As camp director of Swift Nature Camp and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor I know how important proper safety at the waterfront is. Learn about some of our water safety guidelines... 

Be on guard

 

 Swimming areas are filled with distractions, lifeguards must always be aware. Kids could die if one lose his or her focus. Actively scan your area. All at the swimming area must realize that the waterfront is an area of grave danger.


Buddy pairs are very important

 
 “BUDDY CHECK” Swimming in buddy pairs adds a layer of redundancy to the active scanning that lifeguards perform on the dock or shore. Buddy pairs also give lifeguards something to look for the camper that is swimming alone.
Buddy separation is common and therefore becomes a good target for lifeguards who are actively scanning their area. Lifeguards who make sure buddies are together are making sure campers are safe while swimming.
“Where is your buddy?” is a great question that tells me the lifeguards are doing what needs to be done. This is often followed by the reminder for buddy pairs to swim within 8 feet of one another. THis provides verbal confirmation that the lifeguards are doing their job.


Staff must always swim in buddy pairs

 
Staff set a good example for campers and help protect one another when they also buddy up during staff swims. No one at camp should ever swim alone, even briefly.
When I need to hop in the water at an odd time to fix Sally or Wally ( our swimming structures) , I always have a fellow staff member actively spotting me and acting as my buddy. Other staff should do the same.


Avoid so-called “triples”

 
Triples are only allowed for a short period of time, until another shows up at the waterfront. If singleton swimmers show up for a swim, I find them another swimmer with whom they can buddy or they often buddy with a lifeguard.


Never swim at night

 
As Director, I am at the waterfront for any early or late swims and I call time over when the sky is to dark to swim. Never should campers or staff swim between sunset and sunrise.


Never exceed ratios

 
Programs vary, but I’m most comfortable with a ratio of 1 staff member to every 12 swimmers in the water. On particularly hot days, We train our own lifeguard’s so our staff is made of 80% Lifeguards so that ratio is never exceeded. This exceeds the state of Wisconsin’s codes. 
 

Use PFDs

 
 When an off-camp trip includes a water element, we follow this rule: “Above the knees requires PFDs.” Even when we are at an island near camp we wear PFD’s to ensure safety. 
PFD’S are always used when a child is in a watercraft. Every time and always no exceptions.
That means that dipping your feet in a cool mountain stream is fine, but as soon as there is any significant wading or swimming, every person is wearing a properly fitting life jacket.
Children enjoy water activities more than any other while at 
Overnight Summer Camp but it is also a very dangerous are if not all safety precautions are not being met.
As camp director of Swift Nature Camp and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor I know how important proper safety at the waterfront is. Learn about some of our water safety guidelines... 

Be on guard

 
Swimming areas are filled with distractions, lifeguards must always be aware. Kids could die if one lose his or her focus. Actively scan your area. All at the swimming area must realize that the waterfront is an area of grave danger.


Buddy pairs are very important

 
 “BUDDY CHECK” Swimming in buddy pairs adds a layer of redundancy to the active scanning that lifeguards perform on the dock or shore. Buddy pairs also give lifeguards something to look for the camper that is swimming alone.
Buddy separation is common and therefore becomes a good target for lifeguards who are actively scanning their area. Lifeguards who make sure buddies are together are making sure campers are safe while swimming.
“Where is your buddy?” is a great question that tells me the lifeguards are doing what needs to be done. This is often followed by the reminder for buddy pairs to swim within 8 feet of one another. THis provides verbal confirmation that the lifeguards are doing their job.


Staff must always swim in buddy pairs

 
Staff set a good example for campers and help protect one another when they also buddy up during staff swims. No one at camp should ever swim alone, even briefly.
When I need to hop in the water at an odd time to fix Sally or Wally ( our swimming structures) , I always have a fellow staff member actively spotting me and acting as my buddy. Other staff should do the same.


Avoid so-called “triples

 

Triples are only allowed for a short period of time, until another shows up at the waterfront. If singleton swimmers show up for a swim, I find them another swimmer with whom they can buddy or they often buddy with a lifeguard.
 

Never swim at night

 
As Director, I am at the waterfront for any early or late swims and I call time over when the sky is to dark to swim. Never should campers or staff swim between sunset and sunrise.


Never exceed ratios

 
Programs vary, but I’m most comfortable with a ratio of 1 staff member to every 12 swimmers in the water. On particularly hot days, We train our own lifeguard’s so our staff is made of 80% Lifeguards so that ratio is never exceeded. This exceeds the state of Wisconsin’s codes. 


Use PFDs

When an off-camp trip includes a water element, we follow this rule: “Above the knees requires PFDs.” Even when we are at an island near camp we wear PFD’s to ensure safety. 
PFD’S are always used when a child is in a watercraft. Every time and always no exceptions.
That means that dipping your feet in a cool mountain stream is fine, but as soon as there is any significant wading or swimming, every person is wearing a properly fitting life jacket.
Children enjoy water activities more than any other while at 
Overnight Summer Camp but it is also a very dangerous are if not all safety precautions are not being met.
At long last, the Governor has signed into law the bill designating the Totogatic as Wisconsin’s fifth Wild 
River. The Totogatic joins the Pine, Pike, and Popple in northeastern Wisconsin and the Brunsweiler in 
Ashland County as the best of our best, to be protected and kept wild...

permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>



for future generations. 

In 1965, the Wisconsin “Wild Rivers” designation was established by the legislature to afford the people of the state an 
opportunity to enjoy natural streams.” Section 30.26 of the statutes further states that “it is in the interest of the state to 
preserve some rivers in a free-flowing condition and to protect them from development.”

Washburn County and Washburn County Lakes and Rivers Association, local citizens, the River Alliance of 
Wisconsin, UW-Extension and Wisconsin DNR have been seeking this designation since 2004. These groups 
worked very hard researching how to designate a river, and what the designation would mean for local river 
protection. There were several public meetings in 2005 and 2006, along with letters to legislators to ask for
their sponsorship. Finally early this year, Senator Bob Jauch and Representative Nick Milroy introduced 
legislation in the State Senate and Assembly (respectively). The bills passed committee hearings and floor 
debates, and Wisconsin Act 32 officially designating the river was signed into law by Governor Doyle on July 
10, 2009. 

The bill signing ceremony was held at Totogatic Park northwest of Minong on the Minong Flowage (an 
impounded reach of the river). The Slow no-wake legislation was also signed there that day, with young 
children having a swimming lesson in the flowage as a backdrop. Tony Tubbs was our eloquent Master of 
Ceremonies, with speeches by Washburn County Board Chair Michael Bobin, Washburn County Lakes and 
Rivers Association President Cathie Erickson, and Wisconsin DNR’s St. Croix Basin Supervisor Kathy 
Bartilson. Earl Cook, President of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, spoke on the Slow-no wake bill, as did 
Jim Brakken, Bayfield County Lakes Forum President. Dale Cox, a National Park Service Ranger with the St. 
Croix National Scenic Riverway encouraged our river protection efforts, and shared his poem “I Will Meet you 
at the River.” Governor Doyle, Senator Jauch, Representative Milroy and DNR Secretary Matt Frank were
present for the official signing of both bills in the park pavilion, under a “Totogatic – Wild by Law” banner. 

The Totogatic is a wild gem flowing through Bayfield, Sawyer, Washburn, Douglas and Burnett Counties. It 
provides rich habitat for diverse aquatic and terrestrial species, has excellent water quality, beautiful scenery, 
and great fishing and paddling opportunities. The free-flowing reaches are now designated wild, with the four 
flowages (Nelson Lake, Totogatic Flowage, Colton Flowage, and Minong Flowage) excluded. Here is a 
description of the designated reaches: 

oFirst Reach: From the outlet of Totogatic Lake (located in Bayfield County) to the upstream end of 
Nelson Lake (located in Sawyer County). 
oSecond Reach: From a point 500 feet below the dam in the Totogatic Wildlife Area to the upstream end 
of the Colton Flowage (both located in Washburn County). 
oThird Reach: From a point 500 feet below the dam that forms the Colton Flowage to the point where 
the river crosses the Washburn-Douglas County line immediately above the upstream end of the Minong 
Flowage. 
oFourth Reach: From the bridge on CTH “I” in Washburn County to the confluence of the river with the 
Namekagon River in Burnett County. 

From the beginning, the goal of this effort has been for all landowners and visitors to work together to keep the 
river wild. The land ownership includes county forest frontage (some in all 5 counties), commercial forest, 
private recreational parcels, and a very small amount of state and federally-owned frontage. Wisconsin 
Administrative Code NR 302 specifies how land and water activities will be managed on Wild Rivers. This law 
specifies that the landowners along the river need to recognize and protect the wild characteristics. The rule 
limits grading on the banks to less than 10,000 square feet (the point at which a permit would be needed from 
the DNR), and prohibits docks, dams, bridges (other than on public roadways), dredging, filling, and removal of 
natural obstructions. 

A special case was written into the Totogatic Wild River bill to allow docks that were placed before the 
designation to remain, provided they are sized to meet current pier standards. These docks can be repaired and 
replaced, but not enlarged. New docks will not be allowed, in order to preserve the wild appearance of the river 
banks. Anyone who had a dock prior to the bill being signed is encouraged to contact Kathy Bartilson at 635-
4053. 

This is a great accomplishment on the part of local landowners, the counties, Washburn County Lakes and 
Rivers, and all of the citizens and agencies involved. It is one of the highest levels of stream protection possible 
under Wisconsin Statutes. With everyone working together, we can keep it not only “Wild by Law” but also 
“Wild by Example” with good stewardship, care and respect from all who live along it and visit it in years to 
come. 

 Camp is all about trying new things. Taking trips out of camp is a big part of the adventure.Our out of camp trips are often seen by campers as a huge highlight to camp. There is something amazing about being out in nature responsible for yourself. Setting up tents, gathering wood and making meals. Adventure Trips are by canoe, mountain bike, and of course on hiking. All trips are age and ability dependent but most trips go for one to 3 days; some are longer for our older teen. There are trips for all skill levels in each activity. Campers must qualify for a trip - which means they must demonstrate the necessary skills during lessons here at camp. But it is all worth it!
We go out by canoe, mountain bike, and of course on hiking. All trips are age and ability dependent but most trips go for one to 3 days; some are longer for our older teens. There are trips for all skill levels in each activity. Campers must qualify for a trip - which means they must demonstrate the necessary skills during lessons here at camp. 
permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>
Camp is all about trying new things. Taking trips out of camp is a big part of the adventure.Our out of camp trips are often seen by campers as a huge highlight to camp. There is something amazing about being out in nature responsible for yourself. Setting up tents, gathering wood and making meals. Adventure Trips are by canoe, mountain bike, and of course on hiking. All trips are age and ability dependent but most trips go for one to 3 days; some are longer for our older teen. There are trips for all skill levels in each activity. Campers must qualify for a trip - which means they must demonstrate the necessary skills during lessons here at camp. But it is all worth it!
So You are Thinking what have past SNC Campers been saying about the cool Adventure Trips?
Take a look!
permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>

So You are Thinking what have past SNC Campers been saying about the cool Adventure Trips?
Take a look!
As camp director of Swift Nature Camp and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor I know how important proper safety at the waterfront is. Learn about some of our water safety guidelines... 
permalink=”http://www.swiftnaturecamp.com/blog”>

Be on guard

Swimming areas are filled with distractions, lifeguards must always be aware. Kids could die if one lose his or her focus. Actively scan your area. All at the swimming area must realize that the waterfront is an area of grave danger.

Buddy pairs are very important

 “BUDDY CHECK” Swimming in buddy pairs adds a layer of redundancy to the active scanning that lifeguards perform on the dock or shore. Buddy pairs also give lifeguards something to look for the camper that is swimming alone.
Buddy separation is common and therefore becomes a good target for lifeguards who are actively scanning their area. Lifeguards who make sure buddies are together are making sure campers are safe while swimming.
“Where is your buddy?” is a great question that tells me the lifeguards are doing what needs to be done. This is often followed by the reminder for buddy pairs to swim within 8 feet of one another. THis provides verbal confirmation that the lifeguards are doing their job.

Staff must always swim in buddy pairs

Staff set a good example for campers and help protect one another when they also buddy up during staff swims. No one at camp should ever swim alone, even briefly.
When I need to hop in the water at an odd time to fix Sally or Wally ( our swimming structures) , I always have a fellow staff member actively spotting me and acting as my buddy. Other staff should do the same.

Avoid so-called “triples”

Triples are only allowed for a short period of time, until another shows up at the waterfront. If singleton swimmers show up for a swim, I find them another swimmer with whom they can buddy or they often buddy with a lifeguard.

Never swim at night

As Director, I am at the waterfront for any early or late swims and I call time over when the sky is to dark to swim. Never should campers or staff swim between sunset and sunrise.

Never exceed ratios

Programs vary, but I’m most comfortable with a ratio of 1 staff member to every 12 swimmers in the water. On particularly hot days, We train our own lifeguard’s so our staff is made of 80% Lifeguards so that ratio is never exceeded. This exceeds the state of Wisconsin’s codes. 

Use PFDs

 When an off-camp trip includes a water element, we follow this rule: “Above the knees requires PFDs.” Even when we are at an island near camp we wear PFD’s to ensure safety. 
PFD’S are always used when a child is in a watercraft. Every time and always no exceptions.
That means that dipping your feet in a cool mountain stream is fine, but as soon as there is any significant wading or swimming, every person is wearing a properly fitting life jacket.
Children enjoy water activities more than any other while at 
Overnight Summer Camp but it is also a very dangerous are if not all safety precautions are not being met.
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Winter

25 Baybrook Ln.

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Phone: 630-654-8036

swiftcamp@aol.com

Camp

W7471 Ernie Swift Rd.

Minong, WI 54859

Phone: 715-466-5666

swiftcamp@aol.com