ZAC Camp offers water safety training to area kids

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – For the 6th year, The ZAC Foundation is joining local organizations and First Responders to host a four-day water safety camp March 19-22 for Green Bay children and families.

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, YMCA, and First Responders are working with national water safety advocates to make sure both parents and kids are ready for fun in the water this summer.

Aquatic Director of the East Side YMCA Wendy Grelson joined Local 5 This Morning Monday for more on how important water safety is for young kids.

The award-winning ZAC Camp brings life-saving water safety skills to local five to nine-year-olds. More than 10,000 kids all across the country have participated in the camps in recent years, including hundreds in the Green Bay area. Combining ‘classroom’ instruction with swimming lessons and opportunities to learn important skills from First Responders, the camp provides children and parents with tools to enjoy the water safely while understanding avoidable risks.

The Green Bay ZAC Camp will be held March 19-22 at the Greater Green Bay YMCA’s East Side Center, 1740 S. Huron Rd, Green Bay. Community leaders, along with representatives from local police and fire departments, will participate alongside professional water safety instructors.

Opening ceremonies for the Green Bay ZAC Camp will take place on Monday, March 19 at 9:00 a.m. with special guests Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, top-eight finalist on the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay swim team Ali Hanson, and the Club’s Executive Director John Benberg.

Founded in 2008, The ZAC Foundation was established by Karen and Brian Cohn after the loss of their six-year-old son, Zachary Archer Cohn, who became trapped in a drain in their backyard swimming pool.

The Foundation’s advocacy and education efforts have reached more than 10,000 children and their families directly, with millions more reached through social media and news outlets.

In addition to in-pool lessons and safety classes with First Responders, campers will learn the fundamental tenets of water safety from a classroom curriculum based on The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim, a children’s book co-authored by Zachary’s parents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children aged 1-4, and the second leading cause among those aged 5-14. Drowning risk is highest in minority populations, with drowning rates nearly three times that of Caucasian children. Many of these tragic deaths are preventable through proper water safety skills and measures.

If you missed out on this year’s camp visit www.greenbayymca.org for more on local swimming lessons to keep your kids safe on the water.