LISBON - The shrieks and laughter of close to 150 children will echo across Lisbon Beach on Monday as the town begins its popular youth swimming and water safety program.
With an abundance of lakes, rivers and streams dotting the north country, knowing basic water safety is a life skill that parents should make a priority of having their children learn, according to Lisbon Beach Waterfront Director Colleen P. Hammond.
Ms. Hammond said the swimming program at the Lisbon Town Beach and Campground has grown dramatically in popularity over the years, and that children come from throughout the area, including a number of St. Lawrence River communities, and as far away as Potsdam and Norwood.
So far this year there are already approximately 140 youngsters signed up, with more expected after the program begins on Monday. She said swimming and water safety basics are taught to youths ages two to 16, starting with preschool aquatics.
“We start with the basics with the beginners, but they quickly learn things like how to swim against the current,” Ms. Hammond said. “Learning to swim in the St. Lawrence, in a river with a current, is way different from learning to swim in a swimming pool.”
Swimming lessons at Lisbon Beach begin Monday and end Aug. 8. Lessons cost $25 per child or a maximum of $60 per family. Each lesson lasts 30 minutes, which breaks down to $1 per lesson, according to Ms. Hammond. She said every day attendance is not mandatory.
In addition to learning to swim, children attending the water safety program will find a number of other activities to participate in, including scavenger hunts, water balloon tossing and a sand castle building contest.
Ms. Hammond said the large sandy beach, scenic view of the St. Lawrence River, picnic area, pavilion and campsites all contribute to the growing popularity of Lisbon Beach as a destination for children and adults. There are also horseshoe pits, baseball and softball fields, basketball and tennis courts, and areas for those who want to play volleyball, pickle ball or shuffle board.
“We have lifeguards on duty daily from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., we have a great raft the kids love to jump off, and a playground,” Ms. Hammond said. “The fishing is good, and a lot of people fish just beyond where the beach ends.”
The Lisbon Beach and Campground, 9975 State Highway 37 Ogdensburg, consists of 77 campsites, which include full hookup, water and electric and tent sites.
For more information about the swimming program, camping or to rent the pavilion, call 315-393-5374.