The last week of lessons at camp can be a stressful time for the campers. They have levels that they want to complete and only a few lessons left in which to get all the necessary work done. This can be especially stressful for the oldest girls whose last year it is at camp and their last chance. At camp there are 4 levels to every activity. 1st and 2nd can each be achieved easily within half a summer so sometimes a girl will get both in a single summer. 3rd and 4th levels however are much harder to attain and will typically take a whole summer each. When a girl achieves her 4th level she’s a post graduate (PG) and PG’ing an activity is a pretty big deal as a girl may only ever PG around 2 activities. At swimming this summer there were 3 girls working on their 4th level. Throughout the summer I was working closely with two of these girls and took a large majority of their lessons.
It was really fun teaching these two girls as they were dead set on achieving their fourth level. You could make small technical adjustments to their stroke that made a huge difference and lesson by lesson their strokes became better and better which was so good to see. In the last week they were getting pretty stressed because we didn’t tell them how close they were to their level, even though we knew they would get their level, they didn’t. Because of this they became very stressed if they couldn’t do something we told them to do in a lesson. We didn’t tell them because we wanted them to come to every lesson possible in order to make their strokes the best they could be, but also so that it would be a big thing when we told them they’d PG’d.
On the last lesson of the summer I was teaching the to girls i was usually with and Shauni, the head of swimming, was taking the 3rd. Whilst we were teaching the other teachers wrote ‘Congratulations 4th Level’ in the sand on the beach. At the end of the lesson we took them out and then got them to look at the sand. Cue smiles, relief and crying. It was great to see these girls achieve their levels as I had worked with them pretty much all summer and they’d actually ended up being better than their level required. It was also a sad moment because it marked the end of teaching at camp and also meant the girls were to be leaving for home soon.
Written by Michael