Eckerd College Waterfront Program hosts first Watersports Champions Camp with local partners – News | #schoolsaftey

The students were given a swim test to assess their ability, followed by sessions on water and boating safety, saltwater fishing, kayaking and powerboat seamanship, along with other instruction. On the final day, each camper received a certificate, a T-shirt, a fishing rod and reel, and a life jacket.

Funding for the camp came from Greg Mino ’93, a member of the Eckerd College Board of Trustees and a former member of the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team, and his wife, Jennifer Giovingo ’91. “I think about the Waterfront Program and what it stands for,” Greg says, “and community service is a part of that. This is an opportunity to align my passion and Jen’s. We were interested in adding to the College’s connection to the community, bringing the campus to the city and the city to the campus.”

Mino adds that the camp provides a unique opportunity for both campers and the Eckerd students who teach them. “The campers can get the experience so they don’t have as much apprehension about the water, and the students who are teaching them can get leadership skills. It’s a nice way to support the Waterfront Program and open it up to the greater community. And if one day one of these campers ends up with a water-related career, that would be an awesome outcome.”

It wasn’t just the children who benefited from the experience. “On our first day of camp, we had one young girl, around 10, scared to get in to take her swim test,” explains camp instructor Leila Koenig ’23. “I asked her if I did the swim with her, would she do it, and she said yes. So I got into the water and she followed. Once she got in, she grabbed my hand and said, ‘Don’t let go!’ And I didn’t. We swam along the dock together.

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