Camp Chikopi’s competitive swimming program focuses on individual development. Emphasis is on fundamentals: drills, starts and turns. Through instruction and conditioning, each camper’s physical and mental conditioning improves helping each swimmer improve in the pool.
Stroke technique, breathing, turns, positioning, grabbing, streamlining, rotating, and pressing.
Understand the tactics of racing: starts, efficient stoke technique, breathing, turns, finish, control and managing your race.
Each camper will gain significant improvement in speed and agility, power, endurance, and aerobic capacity thus reducing the risk of injury.
Camp Chikopi’s recreational swimming program focuses on teaching campers the basics of swimming and swim safety.
A Camp Chikopi experience is the supreme mix of training and fun.
Founded in 1920 under the directorship of University Of Michigan and Olympic swim coach Matt Mann II, Camp Chikopi is the oldest so-called swim camp in world. Its body of alumni swimmers has graced various national, international and American and Canadian Olympic teams. Now, almost a century later, Chikopi’s competitive swimming program retains the focus of Mann’s traditional camp philosophy, namely the moral and physical development of the individual boy.
The camp’s waterfront is dominated by almost a mile of Ahmic Lake shore, one of Ontario’s most unspoiled and picturesque lakes. It is the lake then that becomes the training ground for swimmers. Beyond the centerpiece 50 meter pool, located along the lake shore, lies the extensive reaches of the lake itself, mile after mile of pure water that not only invites but embraces the opportunity for open water swimming, one of the primary focuses of competitive swimming at Camp Chikopi. Beginning with daily “Early Bird” swims at 7:00 in the morning, open water swimming is not only stressed for competitive swimmers but introduced in various swim sessions for non-competitive swimmers as well during the day. Distance swimming builds confidence and reliance on one’s swimming ability. The summer season is punctuated by numerous open water swims highlighted by the 12 mile Chikopi to Magnetewan swim, as well as the popular Knoepfli Falls Mile Swim. Each contributes in a significant way to a swimmer’s awareness of his growth and development as a swimmer. The summer culminates in a sprint for Chikopi swimmers, a 2K holiday event at the historical Kempenfest Festival in Barrie, Ontario.
The competitive lakeside pool lends itself to shorter distances in which technique and fundamentals in the four competitive strokes are stressed. Understanding racing strategy: the tactics of pace, stroke control and race management, is often addressed. Given the importance of what happens at the ends of pools: starts, turns, streamlining, momentum in and out, is also taught and echoed repeatedly. Since speed is the essence of competitive swimming, much of pool practice focuses on sprint specific sets, incorporating a wide assortment of drills that apply to technique (open water swimming provides the alternative). One of the most popular competitions is the Cabin Championship Meet organized and participated in by campers and cabin counselors alike.
Supervised recreational swimming, for the most part, is conducted in late afternoon at the swim cove. This lovely sheltered area lends itself to all sorts of water activities. To begin with, it draws the comfort of afternoon sun to a paradise of medium shallows and sandy bottom and beach. All sorts of water craft are available for play: kayaks, surf boards, paddle boards, wind surfers, sunfish sailboats . . . the choices are endless.
Pursuant to all the various swim activities at Chikopi is the importance of water safety, skills development and learning to swim. Survival swimming, sometimes called “drownproofing” is taught to all campers. The “buddy system” is adopted, especially for open water swims. Lifeguards supervise the various scenes of these activities to ensure security and safety.
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