Pelican Harbor Swim Lessons Bring the Fun

One of the program areas that faced some of the biggest COVID-19 safety challenges at Bolingbrook Park District was swim lessons. The team at Pelican Harbor Aquatic Park have taken things seriously and have worked hard to provide a high-quality swim lesson program. Led by Christine Pfau, Assistant Aquatic Manager, swim lesson participation has steadily increased.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I was ready for it,” said Christine. From trying to get enough staff and equipment, to following all the safety measures to keep everyone safe, it certainly was a lot, but our staff have been amazing.”

It all began back in June when the State of Illinois Restore Illinois Plan was released. Parents began calling and asking questions about what the program would look like.  Pelican Harbor was the first facility to open up swim lessons in the area, which garnered a lot of interest.

“We had a lot of new participants from Woodridge, Naperville, and other surrounding cities,” said Christine. “We were able to pioneer how new lessons would look and with our high training standards and fun lessons, we’ve retained a lot of those participants.”

Morgan Phillips has been a swim instructor and lifeguard at Pelican Harbor for two years now. Even with the added safety precautions and smaller classes, when they’re all in the water, it feels normal.

“It’s a lot smaller. It used to be six kids in class and now the most I ever have is two,” said Morgan.  “They do get a lot of one-on-one instruction and have an opportunity to grow in class. They love it, they love being in the water.”

Part of the reason swim lessons have been so successful outside of the implemented safety measures has been communication with parents. From an initial phone inquiry to the last day of lessons, there’s never a break in communication.

“We want everyone to feel welcome and not rushed,” said Christine. “When all the questions are answered and the parents feel comfortable, it really allows the focus to be on the kids and that they’re having fun, smiling, and learning.”

 Safety protocols:

  • Instructors wear a mask and face shield while in the water.
    Class sizes limited to two participants per instructor.
  • Participants required to practice social distancing and remain six feet apart.
  • Limited to one parent per participant to limit the numbers of people inside the facility 
  • Locker rooms, common areas and equipment are sanitized after each lesson. Staff use personal protective equipment when cleaning.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided at pool deck entry points, exit points and multiple places throughout the facility.