Cassville Family Aquatic Center staff members are gearing up for the start of the 2008 swim season. Open swim hours will begin at the Aquatic Center at 1 p.m. on May 24.
"We offered the lifeguard course April 10 through 13, and we have eight new guards this year," said Larry Boswell, Monett and Cassville YMCA program director.
Guards have also participated in certification classes and orientation sessions, which include information about current policies, rules, procedures and an overview of the employee manual.
"On Saturday, the guards will be meeting at 11 a.m. to practice our emergency action plan before opening day," said Boswell.
Extra staff members will be on duty opening day to allow new guards to shadow veteran guards and go over procedures and plans on-site, said Boswell.
"The red zone will still be enforced this year," said Boswell. "Last year, every person was required to pass a swim test to receive a bracelet each day before they were allowed in the red zone."
This year, the red zone requirement will be enforced in the same manner during the first few weeks that the Aquatic Center is open.
Later in the summer, individuals who purchase a season pass will be issued a label to put on the back of their season pass card that will notify staff members that the individual has passed the swim test and is eligible for a bracelet, which will be issued when the individual arrives at the Aquatic Center.
"Day swimmers will still need to pass the swim test each day unless they have a photo ID that can verify that they have passed the test," said Boswell. "We will keep a list of individuals who have passed the swim test at the front.
"This should alleviate the big issue we have with adults who come to the pool and say, 'I can touch here. Why do I need to pass a test?'" said Boswell. "They will have to be willing to take the test a few times though."
Pool admission prices have not changed this year. A daily pass for swimmers over the age of 3 will be $4. Cassville Family YMCA members will have free access to the Cassville Aquatic Center and the Monett City Pool throughout the summer.
Season passes are available at the Cassville Family YMCA, which is located next to Able 2 Products on Highway 248 in Cassville. Season pass rates are $70 for a single person and $175 for a family.
Open swim will be held Sunday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m.
Pool rentals, which will be available throughout the year, cost $85 per hour of rental time. Pool rental fees include all staffing and use of the Aquatic Center slides.
Reservations should be made at the Cassville Family YMCA a few days in advance. All pool rental fees must be paid in advance to secure the reservation.
The YMCA will accept registrations for the first session of the Learn-To-Swim program through May 30. The program features seven different levels of instruction to help swimmers develop and refine swimming and safety skills.
Learn-To-Swim lessons, which are around 45 minutes each, are available for children age 3 and over. Lessons will be offered at 11 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
There will be four different swimming class sessions this summer: session one, June 2 through June 12; session two, June 16 through June 26; session three, July 7 through July 17; and session four, July 21 through July 31.
Fees for Learn-To-Swim lessons are $20 per session for YMCA members and $40 per session for non-YMCA members. YMCA members who register for the first session will receive a $5 discount making that session only $15.
Several additional water classes will be conducted at the Aquatic Center this summer. Swimmers can choose to attend aquababies or guard start classes at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Aquababies, an American Red Cross Infant and Preschool Aquatics Program for children 6 months to 3 years of age, and guard start, which is designed to give youngsters ages 11 to 16 a jump start into lifeguarding, will only be offered during the second, third and fourth class sessions.
Aquababies will cost $15 per session for YMCA members and $25 per session for non-members. Guard start classes will cost $25 per session.
Swimmers will also have an opportunity to participate in aquasize classes, which increase cardiovascular endurance and strengthen and tone muscles using water resistance.
Aquasize classes will be held at noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday during each swim class session. The classes will cost $10 per session for YMCA members and $20 per session for non-members.
Private swimming lessons can be arranged by appointment. Private lessons, which allow students to work at individual skill levels to improve techniques and endurance, cost $70 for six lessons.
Saturday evening between 6 and 8 p.m. will be Family Night. Families will be able to swim for $5 per family. All immediate family members are included. Family nights are free with family season passes.
The Cassville Family YMCA will offer lap swim from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Lanes must be reserved in advance. Lap swims cost $1 per visit.
The YMCA will also offer free swim days at the Cassville Aquatic Center on June 8 and July 8. A free swim day and community pool party will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 8. The Aquatic Center will be closed on July 4.
For more information, call the Cassville Family YMCA at 846-1535 or visit www.cassvilleymca.org.