BRYN MAWR, Pa. - Longtime Owls swim coach Nikki Whitlock has always had a heart for service, as demonstrated by her now yearly trips to the nation of Haiti. After learning that many of the country's residents never learn to swim, Whitlock designed a program to teach adaptive swimming. Last year, Whitlock expanded her efforts, pairing up with another local club swim coach, Anne Bradley, to found Camp Courage. The camp uses an educational curriculum that focuses on lessons based on courage, with the primary objective being to provide an opportunity for children to learn to swim and be safe in water.
"Most of the campers come from poor neighborhoods and have never had the chance to enjoy their summer before," Whitlock stated. "Swimming is not widely taught in Haiti due to the lack of resources, facilities, and skilled instructors."
Last year, in the inaugural year of Camp Courage, over 50 children from ages 6 through 13 were provided two weeks of day camp with faith-based education, swim instruction, two meals, and transportation. "For our second year of Camp Courage, we will be at a location north of the Haitian capital that will provide classrooms, dining services, housing, and a sparkling new pool for the 100 campers who will benefit from Camp Courage this year," explained Whitlock.
Coach Whitlock and Camp Courage are always looking for support, especially as she preps for her trip to Haiti for the second year of the camp from August 3-21. Monetary donations help cover the cost of the camp, while she is also looking for twin sheets, medium-sized towels, swimsuits for children, and goggles and other swim equipment. If you're interested in learning more about Camp Courage or would like to make any sort of donation, please contact Coach Whitlock at firstname.lastname@example.org!