By VICKI BROWN
After 10 years, the Swim Camp is still going strong and Colleton children are learning to swim.
Jimmy Wiggins Swim Camp 2021 was held July 6-20 at Camp Wildwood in Hampton, with 25 students from Colleton County attending the camp.
For 10 years, parents have registered their children ages 5 – 17 for the swim camp. The fee is $125, but local individuals, businesses and churches have donated funds for children to attend swim camp whose parents struggle to afford the fee. The donations are appreciated and needed.
Students meet the bus at 7:30 a.m. at Colleton County Middle School and then travel to Hampton, where they swim and participate in activities. Then, the bus, sponsored by the Colleton County School District, brings them back to the middle school. Because Colleton County has no pool for children to learn to swim, they are bussed to Hampton County’s pool.
When they arrive at the pool, students are paired up into groups of four or five with a lifeguard.
The lifeguards are sponsored by the Red Cross.
For beginner swimmers, children are separated into groups where they are taught how to swim. The other youth learn basic swimming techniques, as well as how to save their own lives, as well as the lives of others who need help in the water.
They learn how to use different types of floating devices such as ring buoys, kickboards, hooks and life jackets. Parents are always welcome to observe.
All students are presented a trophy or plaque, a certificate and t-shirt for attending the camp followed by a cook out.
Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and local School Resource Officer Jimmy Wiggins has organized the camp for 10 years. He says that the camp is a unique hands-on camp where the students have an opportunity to do something different every hour.
The camp usually offers arts and crafts, music, basketball, field and track, food nutrition, do-it-yourself building, and swimming. But because COVID delayed the ending of the school year, several weeks of the swim camp had to be cut out, including those extra activities.
Parents can register their children for next year’s swim camp and call Jimmy Wiggins at 843-908-4060 for more information.
“I would like to give special thanks to the bus driver, and volunteer chaperones and parents who attended the camp,” said Wiggins. “Thanks to the sponsors, supporters and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office for making the camp a success. I never could have made it without you,” Wiggins said. “Thanks for being a part of this great event and keeping our children safe.”