Lake Huron, PA (July 3, 2020) – Thirteen year old Jake Horowitz, the only camper at Camp Huron Lake this summer due to state-mandated social distancing guidelines, has yet to go swimming and likely will not go at all over the next six weeks due to fact that he does not have a swim buddy. Like most camps, Huron Lake has strict requirements regarding accountability of each and every camper especially during aquatics-related activities.
A swim buddy has long been a staple of the afternoon free swim at camps across America. Typically, a camper will pair up with a friend of a similar swimming ability or, in some cases, be assigned a buddy by the head lifeguard if no other camper is openly willing to swim with that child. And in extremely rare instances, a third swimmer may enter the mix turning the swim buddies into a “triple”.
Horowitz has begged his counselors to come into the pool with him, but unfortunately, one of them has that period off while the other uses the daily swim period to hook up with his lifeguard girlfriend behind the pool equipment shed. He has pleaded with a multitude of the other adult staff to join him only to rebuffed by them claiming that, although the idea of jumping into a crystal-clear pool sounds fantastic during this stretch of hotter than normal temperatures, they are way too busy with other things to entertain the thought.
Veteran Waterfront Director Josh Stonestein understands Horowitz’s frustration but, more importantly, knows that safety is really the only thing that matters. “It’s a huge pool so the four lifeguards on duty can’t be expected to be able to keep their eyes on Horowitz at all times. If my memory serves me correctly, he likes to bob and jump up and down a lot and splash others so it can be tricky to locate him. He also wears googles so we can’t be 100% sure it’s him. That’s why he needs a buddy,” explained Stonestein while twirling his whistle with one hand and applying an additional layer of zinc to his already white nose.
As sweat beads form on Horowitz’s faintly-mustached upper lip and the pool glistens in the oppressive mid-afternoon sun, Camp Director Marty Feldstein remains steadfast in his staff’s decision to not allow the nearly sun-stroked camper into the pool.
“If I make an exception for Jake, then I have to make an exception for everyone,” said Feldstein, oblivious to the fact that Jake makes up the entire population of “everyone”. “When his step-mom comes on Visiting Day, they can swim together the entire day. Heck, I may even join them.”