Jersey Shore (PA) Swim Blog

Jersey Shore (PA) Swim Blog

Monday, August 25, 2014

Someone Needs to Herd the Cats

It does take a community to support a public swimming pool to make it accessible to youth and families year in and year out. Businesses, government officials, parents, and volunteers are critical cogs in the process of making things happen for the local pool but someone needs to take the lead and be point person for all these efforts.  The Community Pool at Mill Hall has the great benefit of having Kelly McGhee, a tireless advocate for the pool, leading the way.  Below is a letter to the editor she wrote for the Lock Haven Express to say thank you to everybody for their efforts this year.  The Jersey Shore Swim Blog recognizes her and others like her across the state of Pennsylvania that make things happen.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flashback Friday - Celebration of the Montoursville Swimming Pool (or Pushing Up Clover)

Several years of blogging have occurred at the Jersey Shore Swim blog with over 900 stories and articles posted.  With that in mind, the Jersey Shore Swim blog will occasionally pull out an occasional favorite or interesting item from the archives to share with readers (plus some interesting old stuff never posted) in a series called Flashback Friday.

In 1974, community leaders saw the need for a swimming pool to service the youth of the Montoursville area (just east of Williamsport).  Lack of vision and commitment closed the pool a few years back (see here and here). Below is a plaque honoring those leaders that were committed to the community.  It still remains in place on the abandoned bath house.  Could this be the future of both of Williamsport's community pools?


The outline of the Montoursville Swimming Pool can still be seen (concrete walkway around the pool).  Clover is now pushing up in the center where the water used to rest.  The abandoned bathhouse is in the background

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Apathy Might Sink Williamsport’s New Pool

A few weeks back, Williamsport’s mayor welcomed hundreds of swimmers of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Aquatic League (GSVAL) Championship meet to the East End Pool and invited them back next year to the new pool at Memorial Park (East End is scheduled to close at the end of this summer, see here).  A few days later, the Williamsport Sun Gazette wrote an article describing how disappointed the mayor was in the community’s effort to assist in some fundraising for the pool (see here).  Now the editorial staff of the same paper (can be viewed within the blog posting) has also chimed in and is wondering if a pool is even necessary or wanted because of the community’s poor support and effort in this project.

A few comments on the editorial and more….

·         The paper makes the comment that private pools are more plentiful as a possible reason for the muted fundraising response.  Private pools are great for those who 1) have the monies to buy and maintain a backyard pool and 2) have the space.  For those that don’t have monies and space, it appears you are screwed.  Go jump in a puddle!

·         What is up with this end of Williamsport?  First, the basketball hoops are taken down (see herehere and here) and now some community leaders are questioning the need for a swimming pool (Williamsport, a town of 30,000 will be left without a public pool when the East End Pool closes the end of this summer).  For those that can afford a private pool, no problem.  Others will still need to find that puddle.

·         The Area Development Magazine listed Williamsport as a top 10 leader amongst small US cities in economic strength and recession busting (here).  That is great but what is the city going to offer or showcase to new families that might be tempted to move into the area to take advantage of this economic strength.  Current residents will already have the prime puddles marked out.

·         Williamsport’s community, businesses, and leaders open up their arms to the youth of the world as teams and their families pour into Williamsport during the Little League World Series.  Why aren’t our leaders and businesses opening up their arms to recreation for the residents of the city?

·         Where is Williamsport’s swimming community?  Some of the staunchest supporters of pools are swim team parents and are often the core of pool movements.  However, the lack of swim team parent action is not much of a surprise as Williamsport’s winter YMCA swim team (the River Valley Raiders) folded many years ago.  The summer swim team is a shell of its former self as it is now one of the smaller teams in the 13 team GSVAL (despite being the largest city in the league and central Pennsylvania).

Jersey Shore, just to the west of Williamsport, also has some pool issues (badly needed repairs).  Like Williamsport, the community has been asked to raise $50,000.  Jersey Shore, a town of 4,500 has collected just over $14,000 in cash and checks and has another $9,950 in pledges to the campaign.  That is just over $24,000 in two months (see here for more info on their fundraising).  Compare that to Williamsport (remember, a town of around 30,000) has only raised $3,000  in eight months (see here).  

Could it be that folks from Jersey Shore would rather not swim in puddles?




Friday, August 15, 2014

Flashback Friday - Senior Bios from 2006 BESL

Several years of blogging have occurred at the Jersey Shore Swim blog with over 900 stories and articles posted.  With that in mind, the Jersey Shore Swim blog will occasionally pull out an occasional favorite or interesting item from the archives to share with readers (plus some interesting old stuff never posted) in a series called Flashback Friday.

The summer swim season ended for most swimmers with the conclusion of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Aquatic League (GSVAL) Championship.  One of the traditions held over from the old Bald Eagle Swim League (BESL) Championship (merged with the Susquehanna Valley Swimming and Diving League to form the GSVAL) was senior recognition.

Below is a copy of the 2006 BESL Championship program recognizing seniors Trevor Bauman, Rachel Black, Mike Brown, Emily Cerrone, Andrew Cole, Elizabeth Gombosi, Vanessa LaBelle, Melissa Hostettler, Hyon Plants, Glen Richards, Bethany Sims, Rodman Walker, and Michelle Wheeler.

It is interesting to note that three teams listed on the cover of the BESL program no longer have teams; Troy, South Williamsport, and Montoursville.





Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reason #9 On Importance of Learning To Swim – Rock Jumping Off Bluff Island

This is a continuing series in why everybody should learn how to swim as many activities take place around water.

Bluff Island, in Lower Saranac Lake, is known for its sheer cliffs.  Some are small and others are monsters.  The lake is dotted with islands and Bluff Island has rocks of all sizes to jump off.


Below are a few pictures of jumping off the smaller rocks.  It takes some guts to go off the 70 foot cliff and some brave souls have recorded their achievements here and here.

Photos of jumping the rocks of Bluff Island in the Lower  Saranac Lake
this past summer