Sunshine, swim and safety with JBA youth

By Airman 1st Class Gabrielle Spalding 11th Wing Public Affairs


Swimming is enjoyed by many children during hot summer days. For parents, water safety is paramount.


Due to the popularity and hazards of this activity, the Joint Base Andrews Youth Center and ZAC Foundation teamed up to host a four-day ZAC Camp for 107 children, ages five to nine, at JBA, Aug. 8-11.


This is the second year in a row the camp was held for JBA and the local community. The foundation, which began in 2008 by Karen and Brian Cohn after the loss of their six-year-old son, Zachary, in a swimming accident, holds courses that follow a 4-step process, known as the A, B, C and D’s of water safety.


“A for Adults - always ensure an adult is present when children are near water,” said Vincent Eure, JBA Youth Center section chief. “B for Barriers - make sure there's a fence or gate that protects a pool or water source to keep children out. C is for Classes - take your children to a class so they can learn how to swim and D is for Drains - to make sure before you enter a pool it has been updated with the proper drain component.”

“We’re thrilled to have been able to partner with the ZAC Foundation again,” said Maj. Jennifer Stewart, 11th Force Support Squadron operations officer. “We appreciate their support in bringing this essential program to the Joint Base Andrews community.”


Swim instructors and first responders spent approximately three hours a day with children, either in the pool, in the classroom or interacting with equipment, teaching them basic swimming techniques, the A, B, C and D’s of swimming and how to contact emergency personnel.


“We had a very good time with the kids,” said William McBrayer, JBA pool manager and swim instructor. “You never know when you’ll need to swim. Making sure that [children] know swim safety skills and can handle it on their own, builds them into better people.”