BY BROOKE WILLIAMS
As temperatures rise this summer, public pools remain a traditional method to beat the heat.
Tunkhannock Area School District opens its pool to the public for open swim every Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. at just $2 per hour.
Anyone looking for a workout can check out the water aerobics class from noon to 1 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at $3 per hour. The pool is also open for adult swim on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 to 7 a.m.
However, note that the school district plans to close the pool for cleaning and maintenance from Aug. 5 to Aug. 11.
Kenny Janiszewski, TASD athletic director, said opening the pool to the public makes sense since the school district is the “hub of the county.”
“We’re almost like a community center here,” he said. “A lot of people don’t have pools, so we provide that opportunity for people to get of the heat, relax and use our facilities.”
Elk Lake School District also offers its pool to the public during select hours each week.
Come to Springville for open swim from 1 to 3 p.m. every Monday through Thursday, or from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday for $2 per hour.
Like Tunkhannock Area, Elk Lake offers water aerobics for $2.50 every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. From 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays, Elk Lake offers adult open swim alongside water aerobics. The school district also rents the pool out on Saturdays and Sundays for pool parties and other events.
Marion Austin, Elk Lake’s pool director, said the district aims to make the pool available to the community as much as possible.
“This being one of the only pools for several miles around, people from Montrose, Blue Ridge and some people from Tunkhannock come up to utilize our pool,” Austin said.
Public activities in the district’s aquatic center have been quite popular.
“Our water aerobics has really grown,” Austin said, noting that it’s common to see as many as 40 people exercising in the water on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Another well-attended offering in Elk Lake’s aquatic center are swim lessons, which see around 80 participants per session.
“It’s a safety issue for parents for their children to be safe around all of the lakes and bodies of water we have in our area. I just feel as soon as a child learns to walk, they should learn to be safe in the water,” Austin said of the swim lessons.
Elk Lake’s swim lessons, offered through the Red Cross, cover “Tiny Tots” to Level 6. With Tiny Tots, parents or guardians actually get into the water with their children. Level 1 consists of non-swimmers learning to get comfortable in the water. Certified swim instructors show them how to enter and exit the water safely, blow bubbles and more.
Swim lessons become more advanced throughout the levels, going over floating and swimming on one’s back and eventually adding on skills such as diving and as different strokes.
While Elk Lake wraps up its final week of swim lessons this Friday, kids can still receive Red Cross swim lessons at the Tunkhannock Area School District’s pool. The district has been offering Levels 1-3 all this week, but has a second round of lessons planned for July 15 through July 19 at 11 a.m. The second round includes Tiny Tots, as well as Levels 1, 4, 5 and 6.
Swim lessons are also popular in Tunkhannock, which see around 70 participants. Additional swim lessons are also offered in the fall and spring.
“It’s getting them acclimated to being in the water and being able to swim and enjoy themselves,” Janiszewski said. “It’s a confidence booster when they get into the pool and they know the different strokes used to swim.”
The cost is $30 for people living in the district and $35 for those out of the district. To register, contact the Tunkhannock Area High School’s athletic office at 570-836-8264.
Both school districts offer locker room and shower access to swimmers.
Other public pools available this summer include:
- Slumber Valley Campground in Meshoppen: For those not staying at the campground, day passes can be purchased to utilize the pool, waterfalls and other amenities. Passes for ages 16 and up are $5, ages 4-15 are $4, and children under four swim for free. The pool typically stays open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Shadowbrook Resort in Tunkhannock: The public is welcome to swim in Shadowbrook’s pool for a small fee to be paid at the front desk. Passes for adults are $5 and passes for children 10 and under are $3. The pool is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Cozy Creek Campground in Tunkhannock: For those not staying at the campground, day passes can be purchased to utilize the pool and other areas. On regular days, passes are $8 per person, but $11 per person on holidays. The pool typically stays open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.