Episode 2

Episode 2 June 10, 2021 00:54:10
Episode 2
The Water Safety Podcast
Episode 2
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Show Notes

Join your hosts, Adam Katchmarchi & Laura Metro as we bring our first guest on the podcast. We are so excited for this discussion on the World's Largest Swim Lesson with WLSL Director, Beth Root. 

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:10 And welcome back to our second episode of the NDPA water safety podcast. I'm Adam <inaudible> the executive director of MTPA so happy and excited today to be joined by my podcast and virtual conference and everything in DPA, pillow hosts, Laura Metro office marketing and communications director. Hi Laura. Hi there, Adam. How are you? I'm doing great. It's so good to have you back today. And today we have a guest joining us. Our first guests on our podcasts are super excited about that. Absolutely. Speaker 1 00:00:46 This is always an exciting time when this comes up. Speaker 0 00:00:49 It is, and you know, our first guest today, I'm super excited. It's Beth root from world's largest swim lesson. Um, you and I both participated in world's largest swimming lesson over the years, and it's an event I look forward to every year and I'm really, really excited as we're hopefully coming up on our post COVID summer and seeing kids back. Um, I know you've participated in world's largest swimming lesson. Is that it's something I look forward to every single year. Speaker 1 00:01:17 Yeah, it was actually the first event I ever hosted when I first got involved in water safety after Clay's, uh, drowning, um, for those who are listening or watching, um, my son clay almost died by drowning when he was three years old, he's now 13. Um, he was in a coma for, for two days and he made a miraculous recovery. Um, that was sort of my, my entree into water safety and CPR, um, awareness and getting involved. And so when I first got involved, I was really, you know, I know this now since I've been involved for so long that a lot of people feel when they have, you know, whether it's a non-fatal or fatal incident, um, in their family or with friends and family, it immediately wakes people up and sparks an immediate interest. And in some cases, a desire or a drive to really spread this awareness. Speaker 1 00:02:08 And so having something like the world's largest swimming lesson, that's sort of th it's this turn key, you know, event that you can just jump into. And the whole point of it is to involve as many people, places in groups as possible. So it's made so easy to just get jumped, get involved that, I mean, since the day that I participated, I went around creating my foundation and doing different things, but it is one of the first places that I send people to that want to get involved immediately is to this event because they can just get to work on it immediately. They have the support they need. There's the materials there it's established, it's gone on for years now. So it is really, um, exciting on multiple levels, um, for people both personally, professionally, and to help move our move the needle forward in drowning prevention and the impact that certain events and places and things can make Speaker 0 00:03:01 Well learning to swim is one of the most critical layers of protection to prevent drowning. Um, and this event that was such great, fantastic media coverage as well to the importance of learning to swim. So, uh, let's go ahead and bring Beth and Ruth in. All right. There's bath. Hi bath. Speaker 2 00:03:19 Hey guys. Hi. How are you doing? How are you guys doing? I am good. I am really good and really good. Good. Um, Speaker 1 00:03:27 So you're going in there with the event coming up, Speaker 2 00:03:30 Hanging in there, trying to get everybody supported and get people excited and make sure they stay on it through the astic. And what are your top three? Well, Speaker 0 00:03:39 Wonderful. Um, so Beth, I want to, uh, ask you first, if you could just give our audience just a little bit of background on the world's largest homeless. And I know a lot of people are very familiar. It's a huge event, um, in water safety every year, but, um, can you give us a little bit of the history and maybe how world's largest swimming lesson got started and some of the things you're most proud of over the years? Speaker 2 00:04:02 Absolutely. I would be happy to do that. So the first year of the world of swimming lesson was 2010. It was originally conceived, um, to support national water safety month. Uh, we started working with the world's largest swimming lesson with the road water purposes creation as its founder in brought in, uh, the American red cross and the national recreation and parks association to participate. And the idea was what can we do to extend the idea of national water safety month? What could we do as someone was getting started that would really resonate and drive media? So the very first year we initiated the program, our goal was to set a Guinness world record for the world's largest swimming lesson. And that in and of itself was going to be a nice media hook for us to pull people in. So, um, very first year we had about 3,400 or so swimmers and maybe six countries, and it's just exploded from there. And we've been incredibly blessed and blessed to have such good participation year after year. Speaker 0 00:05:11 That's awesome. Well, and I know Laura, since you know, you and I have been involved in water safety. I mean, I, this is an event, like I said, I look forward to every single year and Beth, I know you and I have talked about this before, is the media impressions that you track. Um, can you tell us how many of you, the impressions you're up to now? Speaker 2 00:05:31 So I think at this point we don't even know we're, um, but we know we're well, well, beyond 2 billion media impressions. So our 10 year goal initially was to be able to hit about a billion. And obviously the media landscape has changed. You know, there was initially when we were getting a lot of those media impressions from local television stations, those numbers have shifted. We, um, we find a more online, but we feel very fortunate. We've been in Oprah magazine, we've been in USA today. We've been, you know, uh, CNN, so many different places, um, with people talking about and carrying this message and how important it is to get involved in learning discipline. Speaker 0 00:06:17 Um, you know, I remember about a year ago, well, over a year ago now when COVID first tech and we did this, I know you and I were talking about back in probably January of 20, 20, um, 20, 20 being the ten-year anniversary of world's largest swim lesson and just all the exciting things leading up to that tenure event. And then I think it just hit all of us like a Camperdown, um, you know, how we were going to shift how we're going to pivot and, you know, Laura and I often talked about this throughout the water safety conference this year was the fact that our community and water safety didn't just take a step back and say, well, COVID put a stop to everything. So we'll just have to pick up when this whole thing is over. I, you know, I like to say, and you know, Laura, you and I have said this multiple times that we innovated through, COVID not just ending, but every organization of water safety, a way to innovate and, um, you know, Beth, I thought last year with how you ran world's over swim lesson through all the curveballs that COVID through us was just magnificent. Speaker 0 00:07:22 Could you talk a little bit about, you know, what you did last year, um, for COVID and, and, you know, even this upcoming summer, there's probably, hopefully we're kind of exiting the pandemic, but, um, I'm sure there's still a lot of challenges that are facing, um, a lot of our facilities. Could you talk a little bit about how you've changed worlds or the swimming lesson over the past year and just how this year is looking like as far as participation opportunities going? Speaker 2 00:07:48 Well, I would say, uh, we learned a lot last year. I think, um, we did much, much more online. Like everybody did, you know, we pivoted and shifted to virtual opportunities. We spent a lot of time last year talking about different layers of protection, talking about learning to swim in different environments. We did some online virtual events where we provided instruction from swimming instructors for parents to be able to do at home, whether you had a hot tub, whether you had a backyard pool, we talked about some of the challenges with everybody trying to recreate in their own backyard. So we talked about above ground pools, inflatable pools, kiddie pools, the dangerous that are involved with that. Um, we also talked a lot about, um, just every kind of water safety situation and, and where people were finding themselves because they were not in traditional lifeguarded pools and they were not taking traditional students. Speaker 2 00:08:46 So this year we've kind of continued to provide resources, continue to try to direct people to where they can find resources, whether that's through the NDPA resource center, whether that's through the American red cross, um, stopped running. Now there's so many organizations now that have different tools that can be used. Um, so we're trying to make sure everybody's aware of those types of resources. And then we're also trying to simplify things for folks that want to participate this year. Um, registration is open. We encourage everybody to get online, get online and register. Our goal has been to try to have folks do 21 people in 21, if you're able to do that, because we feel that the opportunity, even if you can't make it a big event this year, um, it's such an important message to get out there because so many kids were not able to participate in the programs last year. Speaker 2 00:09:40 I mean, we, you know, the same way that people are feeling an academic pressure and concern. Um, it's, it's like everything, right? People just missed the opportunity to participate in swimming lessons and water safety training last year. And for kids, um, at those crucial learners from ages, it's really important for kids whose bodies are changing and they do not feel the same way in the water. And maybe those water competency skills that should have gotten to the next level or did they had, they're not as comfortable with because their body is different. There's so many reasons why we really want people to get back involved into nursing programs this year. So, um, we're, like I said, trying to whether or not you make it a huge event, or whether it's just, um, five people at your pool, or whether you are using your regular swimming lesson program and counting that towards this world, sort of swimming lesson event, we'd encourage you to do that because you can take the media tools, the press releases and all that information to try to build awareness in your community about the fact that you're opening, that you are teaching swimming lessons and the importance of really getting caught back up because we missed out last year. Speaker 2 00:10:52 Um, we also have, uh, two different curriculums for people that need to continue to maintain social distancing in their communities. You can do a socially distance curriculum. People are able this year to submit materials online and digitally. You don't have to send packages of materials. And so there's just, I think, more flexibility, I think, um, more opportunity to utilize this program regardless of who you are and what kind of from lesson or learn to swim or aquatic environment or facility you have. Speaker 0 00:11:26 Well, I think that's one of the most important things that we've talked about through COVID rate is what are the challenges that COVID has presented to us in the water safety world? And, um, you know, I know Laura, you and I will probably have many discussions this summer that revolve around this exact topic. Um, but one of my fears is, you know, I think a lot of families got used to, okay, at summer times I'd like kids up for swim lessons. You know, we're going to the community pool or our community water park or whatever that center of aquatics is in your local community. And that is potentially, um, lost a generation of swimmers last year. Um, bringing them into this large, this woman, you know, what worries me is not just from, you know, swimming as a sport, but you know, our purposes here in water safety, swimming is such a key layer of protection. Speaker 0 00:12:17 Um, you know, if people know how to swim, they're less likely to drown the research has shown us that. And, um, you know, kind of where my head goes with this conversation is the fact that, um, that the importance of bringing that attention back to where this one, this summer is going to be absolutely critical. Um, and we know we're going to face a number of changes right across the aquatics community from lifeguard shortages to pools, not being able to open to budgetary challenges. Um, but that doesn't change the, uh, the, uh, the idea that our patrons, our community members that we're serving water safety still need that core competency in the pool of learning to swim. Um, but I think that just puts such an emphasis on this event this year. Speaker 1 00:13:02 You know, Adam, I think, um, just to follow up on that and, um, and go, uh, to you, Beth too, is, I don't think we've lost a generation of swimmers, but I think there's been just like with school, uh, a giant sort of delay. Okay. And, or just a, a big pause. Um, but what I've seen on the flip side of that, um, which I think that the water safety community and the, and the learn to swim community is going to follow suit is, again, there's been some innovation of how to sort of get these kids back up to speed right. In their academic cases or, or, you know, whereas, you know, you look at some of these other, um, say, you know, the SATs say these, you know, they, they have finally had to pivot, right, because this was not going to be an option. Speaker 1 00:13:47 And there's a, where there has been sort of some calls to action in other areas where maybe some of the people that are involved in this space just haven't necessarily either had the time, money, effort, whatever it is to make those really necessary pivots that we've been catapulted forward into the future here of, for lack of a better phrase, sink or swim. Right. You know, people have had to figure this out and traditionally aquatics. This is why I always felt like that the world's largest swimming lesson with such a great event, traditionally aquatics. I mean, think about it. You have a lot of people that are literally in the water. Okay. So traditionally this space was not very tech savvy or very, you know, very much online, you know? Um, so this really, I mean, the innovation and what people were able to do and talk about and feel more comfortable talking about and doing these things was I think a huge step forward for learn to swim and water safety. Speaker 1 00:14:44 And the other piece is, is I think we've also been, there was Al there's historically been such a gap between pool and spa and open water no more. Okay. Because we have people that are recreating, like you said, doing far more because people were desperate, they wanted to get out. So that offers us a whole nother, another set of safety precautions we talk about. But what I think has been really good has been the melding of these two spaces to realize that water is water, and you need to know how to swim in, in and around any type of body of water. So where worlds are a swimming lesson, Beth, I think comes into play. And we can talk a little bit about that for I'd like to hear from you about, um, how people can get involved in whatever water they're using, you know, for this, um, with the online capabilities that you've always had and the resources that you've always had. Speaker 1 00:15:43 There wasn't much of a pivot there you've, you know, you've enhanced it, I'm sure in many ways, but you already had such a robust online set of tools, which I think is amazing. And that everybody can use to do really communicate this message to their community, but to maybe be able to tell them, Hey, you can do this in the local Lake, the local, you know, whatever you're doing, you know, you can do this in your bathtub. You can do this, you know, you don't have to go necessarily. If your community pool is closed, you can still be teaching and being a part of water safety with your children, with your community members and, and, and the last piece also share, share, share on social media just once is not going to be enough. You know, you're going to need to share, share, share what you're doing, because people will get it when they see it and say the information. So my long drowned out as per usual question would be, you know, one to talk about, uh, the different types of water. They can do this in. And then also what you guys think is the best way that sort of the individual or other people joining, how they can promote it to their community best, you know, and what they can do there. So we can really get this message out that any water is water, that they can be in doing this. Speaker 2 00:16:55 So I would say first, I agree a hundred percent on this melding and bringing together, uh, of this of water in general. Um, and we've been very fortunate with girlfriend's swimming lesson that very, from the very beginning, we've worked with swim schools, waterparks aquatic centers, just across the board, any type of, kind of traditional and commercial type of aquatic facility. But in addition to that, particularly internationally, we have had a lot of people doing events in open water, and we see it much more internationally because that's where the water is for them. You know, if we're in India or in Africa and other places like that, they're using open water places or they're constructing places to, um, to, to do this event. So absolutely any water will work as long as it's appropriately and safe in general as water goes. Um, you certainly can do the events in an open water environment. Speaker 2 00:17:57 Um, there are different things that you probably are going to talk about if you're in an open water event, as far as some of the safety rules, um, or the exiting entry messaging, the trigger share, but absolutely you can do it in any kind of environment. And as I said earlier, um, you can, you can work with little kids and you can certainly do it in the backyard pool, the minimum number of people that need to participate to count if you will, or the world for the swimming lessons, five feet, five swimmers, and an instructor, you do need an instructor that is trained with some sort of traditional credentialed program, which there are now many. It used to only be, you know, the American red cross has to be the only player, the YMCA, I guess those two used to be the only place that really taught people how to swim. Speaker 2 00:18:46 There are now many, many different potential opportunities. Um, one of the things I want to mention though, about the American red cross more to your question about how can you do something in your community. If you decide that this is your, your mission and your, this is the passion for you and you want to get involved with do something. The American red cross now has programs where you can learn to teach swimming together fits nine. Now we're not talking about, you know, teaching people how to lifeguard. That's still, uh, uh, water safety instructor certification, which is much more rigorous, but they now have certifications for folks to be able to teach the first couple levels of learning to swim. And that's a good vacation is not difficult and challenging to do. You don't have to be an incredible swimmer or aquatics person from, you know, forever ago. Speaker 2 00:19:39 You could be a retiree in your community. Um, you can also use that resource if you want, if you have a facility and you don't have instructors, but you still want to participate, or you're looking to try to enhance your programming, um, that is a way that you could work with volunteers in your community like retirees or school teachers or camp counselors, or, um, it's just a much faster, more accessible, easier track to get the training that you need to be able to provide those basic skills to folks in your community. So that's pretty, it's pretty exciting. And it is also pretty helpful in a year when we know folks are scrambling for staffing. Um, so yeah, and as more you've said to me, a couple of times, it's really a turnkey events. So you don't have to have done special events before you don't have to have a media relations person on your team. Speaker 2 00:20:42 You do not have to, um, you don't really to know much of anything if you register for the event and you follow the instructions, every single thing is in the guide for you, how many people you need, but the things that you need to consider and think about on a checklist, the big, you know, what you need to do the week before, the day before six weeks before the letter that you need to send to people that you want to participate in your community as witnesses, or to get to come and see, or the social media posts, or as you said, share, share, share, share. We're. So, um, we're so overwhelmed because there is such a fire code, multiple fire hoses of content coming at us every day. So it is important to, um, really get it out there and continue that flow of information and there's tools there to do it. There's graphics tools and copy and content and so on. So, um, that's okay, well, Speaker 1 00:21:38 Appreciate that. People appreciate that kind of information coming their way, and we are inundated. So it's for people who are afraid, Oh, I don't want to overwhelm people, or I don't want to share too much. You know, what if you share in the morning and noon at night, once it's the purpose for which you're sharing is a noble and good one. And you know, there's a lot of other stuff that's coming people's way right now. I think that they will very much appreciate getting this type of information coming in from someone who's being active and spreading something that's so important to, to us and to everyone else. So, you know, if anyone is feeling that kind of apprehension, I think that they're, you know, this is good information to spread and a good with a good cause. Like you've said, you've provided the tools also for them to do it. Speaker 1 00:22:26 They don't have to create the graphics. They don't have to do any of those things. I love that it gives, you know, coming from a PR background. I, my bait, my foundation is a PR background providing the information necessary to contact your local TV stations. Um, you know, it's, it's even more, um, I hate to say this because I do PR and marketing, but it's even more credible coming from the source. Like if you're a mom and you're, and you're contacting them and you want to tell them what you're doing, they want to hear that they want to hear that. So, you know, these things are all there for, you know, people to use. And I think also for the people in our space, like you mentioned too, and you mentioned to Adam, there's a shortage. Um, it is important for, um, the people in your area. Speaker 1 00:23:08 If you are a swim instructor or you do have a swim school or anything like that, that they know that you're open and you're operating, you know, this is a great way to sort of, sort of, um, get on the coattails of your huge event that will get coverage and get, will start to trend. And we'll do those things online to tell everybody in your community, we're open for business, um, which is an important, important area too. So for, for those people listening that our instructors, our swim school and ours, this is a great opportunity for you to almost advertise for free that you are open and ready to train everyone again and ready to go. And like you said, or if you have social requirements, they can also communicate that as well. So that's very important that there's two different curriculums that we have there, there. So, I mean, I think it's great, right? We think Speaker 2 00:23:54 That people, um, just two other points I wanted to make one, well, I think one of the nice things about the program is we've had people use it to their individual advantage in many, many different ways. We've had people who are, have great partnerships with like the fire department or the police department or their local safe kids program through the children's hospital. Um, they partner with those different organizations and utilize this event as just one more piece of their puzzle to do their local community water safety event or kids health and safety event, or first day of summer carnival or their anniversary celebration. So it, it can definitely be, um, utilized and personalized, I guess, or whatever it is that you want to accomplish. And then second, I wanted to jump back to this idea of advertising for the very first time this year, uh, we have two new elements that are going to be available or that we have available. Speaker 2 00:24:52 One of them is radio PSA's. We have a couple of different versions of radio PSA's including one in Spanish, um, and male, female voices, different radio formats. They can be used to share with your local radio station who if you are not in this universe and don't know are required to air public service announcements as part of their contract. So, um, you can get in the queue to do that. You can also use that. Yes. Um, and you can also use them through your on-sites, uh, PA system. If you're encouraging people to that, you want to talk to those people while they're at your facility to encourage them to come back or to learn more about it. So two different uses for those recorded pieces. And then, um, we have some local market TV spots. Also that folks again, and television stations are also required to share public service announcements and, um, in terms of public health opportunity. So, um, just another couple of tools that all can be tagged with your local information and they're completely produced and, and ready for you when you register to participate. So we're excited about this, Speaker 1 00:26:01 So good to know that you, Beth you'll be helping the NDPA create these PSA's for our local things around the conference. It's just excellent. You know, thank you so much for volunteering those skills that you have now acquired. We appreciate it so much. Speaker 0 00:26:17 One thing that I want to go real quickly back to is this idea that, um, you know, this is a truly local event in your local community because, you know, Laura, I go back to when you and I attended the world conference of drowning prevention, I think that was back in 2017. And the theme of that conference was, um, kind of think globally prevent locally. I'm sure I messed that up in some way, but, you know, I started coming back. I did a lot of after that. And for the past few years, I've been saying, you know, what we do at MDP and what we do with our national organizations, we're not really the ones out there preventing drownings in the local community. It's these types of efforts driving are preventative locally in your communities. And worlds are just one lesson as a great way to not just bring the attention, to learn, to swim, to bring the attention to the whole water safety conversation that needs to happen. Speaker 0 00:27:06 And, you know, just like what we've tried to do with, you know, some of the things with the LGBT resource center and, you know, with the whole idea of this being an attorney fee event, where you can really, you know, with no really marketing experience advertising experience, kind of like me just saying, Oh, I just learned that radio stations, half the air PSA's, um, it, this is what actually had opened the door in a community. So if you're listening and you're involved in any shape way or form with aquatics, and you're thinking, you know, I just don't know if I can do this, or what's the benefit to my local community. It starts that conversation, it draws attention to the drowning problem. We have to water safety education. I think that makes such a huge, huge impact where, you know, again, if we're just posting stuff on social media or doing podcasts like this, yes, it moves the needle, but not so much about local event happening in your community. Speaker 2 00:27:59 I think that is absolutely right. And I, to go back to that idea of personalization, I, you know, Collins, we're all big Megan fans and all the work that Collins hope has done. But I think one of the things that she does so incredibly well, and whether it's with girlfriends from us in, or other events, but she knows what's happening in the state of Texas in her community. And often she has that data. So then she can marry the data that she's got, the information that she has with this event is generating press. And we've done that. Um, I mean, we personalize them to a certain extent anyway, on a national basis based on what's happening, you know, what's, the what's currently happening in Texas has given us sadly some examples, um, to help tell that story. But, um, yeah, I mean, if you can make it the more personal you make it, as Laura said, if it's a mom in a local community event, it's all the more legit, but it, when it's relevant in your local community is when it's important. And when that message would get heard and when we will move the needle. And frankly, that the event itself would not be what it is at all. If we didn't have folks that really stepped up and created those impressions in their local market, I mean, that's why we're so successful. We provide tons of tools, but the reason that we're successful is because people utilize those tools in their local market. Speaker 0 00:29:21 Well, yeah, I think to one of, you know, I know we've said this before, but you know, there are a lot of facilities that are facing staffing shortages this year. And I, I, you know, I think there's th this is quite linear where if we don't have children learning to swim, that's one of the, that will affect our already short supply of lifeboats. And, um, you know, if you're a facility that is a community-based facility, you maybe you're not opening the summer due to budget constraints or life burden shortages, and things like that, bringing attention, um, and partner, even with another facility, you know, on the other side of town to host a world's largest swimming lesson helps draw attention to why aquatics is so, so important to our local communities. Um, and you know, really what I love is this kind of merging of this, learn this one message with the water safety message with the drowning prevention messaging. Um, and I think that unification is so, so important with the event draws that attention to it, you know, and what the other one thing about that I have to say is, you know, you guys pick the first day of summer, right around that time period to do world's Speaker 2 00:30:23 Largest. Sometimes it's perfect and it's right on sometimes, but yeah, that general idea. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:30:29 And, but, you know, I think that's so important too, because yes, you know, we have water safety month and international water safety day, but then we go into June and now it's the heat of the summer and facilities are opening in school, you know, kids were out of school. And I think this is another great way, just as another reminder, right. At the outset of summer, keep water safety front of mind. Speaker 2 00:30:52 Well, it's nice too, because the timing felt so close to the July 4th holiday weekend. So we are, I mean, not right on top of, but it's a good opportunity again, with, in terms of talking to the media to explain that the July 4th holiday weekend is traditionally one of the most dangerous in terms of drownings, at least within the United States. So, um, that's another reason where, you know, we're, we're posted Memorial day and people are, are in, as you said, the heat of summer, but kids are out of school. And, um, so the timing works pretty well to be able to really try to shout this message from the hilltops again, one more time to push. Speaker 1 00:31:34 Yeah. It's, it's so important. It's so important because we do have a lot of messaging that comes out in may and to start to spread that message out through June, through July, once August hits we're, we're starting to see a lot of back to school stuff, you know, that's really, but as we all know, I mean, it's the dead of summer in August and people are absolutely out there vacationing last few weeks in August is a huge time that people are away and are recreating. So I think the more that we can spread this message out throughout all of summer, not just sort of this big bang in may, um, around that is, you know, is definitely critically important to, um, the future of our message. Also, when you get towards the end of summer, I think a little bit of fatigue sets in as well of people just being super comfortable, kind of living around a pool or hanging out at the beach or, and so just if we're able to kind of the more and more and more we can find opportunities that we can start pushing this message further into summer, the better off I think we're going to be, Speaker 0 00:32:39 You know, one other thing Laura, that, you know, just popped into my mind as we've been having this discussion is, you know, we already know this, the research parents are not great judges of their child's actual swimming ability. A lot of parents, um, really overestimate their child's abilities in the water Speaker 2 00:32:57 And children and kids do too. They're own that. They underestimate their own a bit overestimate their own abilities. It's dangerous. Sure, sure. Speaker 0 00:33:06 Well, and I think, you know, even if a child hasn't been in swim lessons for a while, you know, this idea of world's largest swimming lesson being ready at the beginning of the summer is a great way to just remind parents how important the skill is and to not overestimate your child's swimming ability to get them into lessons, different into refresher lessons, make sure they have that scalability. Um, you know, cause I think we just, what you just said more, we all gain that comfort in that, especially in the, in that August time period every year, the summer. And that's where, you know, drownings are fast and silent 20 to 60 seconds. Oftentimes if the kid's not gonna yell out for help and we get comfortable around the water and that's how it will be, want to see either. So, um, you know, I want to remind our listeners it's, we're not trying to be critical and say that we don't want you to go into the water. We want the opposite. We want you to enjoy the water. We want you to be around the water, uh, but just do it safely. And you know, really that learning to swim component is a huge, critical component of that overall safety plan around one Speaker 2 00:34:05 Of the other things. Absolutely. One of the other things that we've been talking about a lot, I know you already mentioned the American red cross, but, um, they've been doing so much work in, in terms of research, which is an area where we're always struggling a little bit in terms of data and trying to understand what's really happening. Um, but in 2014, 2016, they did research about water competency and you know, Adam, to your point about how people, parents and, and kids going with themselves are overly competent in their capabilities. They talked about the difference between water competency and having taken swimming lessons and then actually having being water competent, having the skills that you need to be able to save your life. If you're in a body of work and you bring it to trouble. And, um, they did research again last year during, in the middle of COVID talking about that pivot and not stopping continue doing what you're doing. Speaker 2 00:35:01 So they did more research. We did find, they found that we CrossFit, they found that, um, swimming, more people had participated, more people knew how to swim there. We've been moving the needle in that area and in terms of water competency. But one of the things we're trying to continue to push out is that understanding of what the difference between taking swimming lessons or a couple swimming lessons and being water competent. And so we're trying to use our platform, um, this year. And we're always trying to kind of enhance and focus a little bit on different messages and nuanced messages. But I think that's one of the things we're trying to talk about this year, particularly when you've skipped a year of lessons. So yeah, you've had so many lessons, but are you water competent? And what does that mean? Are you going to be in a situation where you're safe in water? So the TV and radio spots that we've done talks about the fact that 54% of kids, four to 17, don't have the water competency skills that they need to save their own life and water. So it's just another sort of bullet point or factor to get that message out about how important it is to participate in engaging. Speaker 1 00:36:09 That is extremely important because I mean, that is exactly what happened to clay. Um, you know, he, I always like to tell people, I mean, my whole family is involved in water in some way. I mean, we're enthusiastic, you know, boating, fishing. My husband does triathlons. You know, we, my daughter was on the swim team, you know, like we are around water all the time. And clay had been through two essentially sort of levels or semesters of swim lessons, but you know, it happened in early June. Okay. So this was, if I'm looking back on it, okay. This was the first or so I have to look back, but we're talking probably the first or second weekend after school ended or around there that time or so. And he's a bigger boy. I mean, we'll never totally know, um, exactly. But we do know that, you know, he got out of sight of some friends. Speaker 1 00:36:59 It, it looks, it looks as though he, you know, he was found at the bottom with, with his towel. Okay. So I do know that he was never the kind of kid that said, I'm just going to jump in. That was not his Mo, but we believe it's possible. He tripped and fell on his towel and fell and went in. But the reality is, is that he had been around water and people that are, are all highly competent in water, um, both open and pool and spa. And he had already been in lessons and he fell in and he sank. Okay. So this is somebody who's had exposure to everything, parents that are aware, you know, he got one parent, we weren't watching him. One parent thought, you know, he was heading over to her. They didn't know that neither parent had him under. I, you know, he was just going over walking. Speaker 1 00:37:47 He wasn't even actively swimming. Um, so you know, that is the exact right example, which is, so this is so tough for our space because this is not a one and done this isn't even a one semester and done this isn't it's like, hi. So you gotta keep doing it too. Like year after year after year. It's a great, it's so easy. It's so easy to market this one, you know, as, as you all know, um, you know, but that is reality. And as you said, as they grow and change in their bodies, it's going to feel differently. And their competency level can get to B a R D is different and more. Um, but it's really that, you know, especially for people that are not living in, in, in warm water or sorry, warm climates, um, we're, we're really out of practice. I mean, I'm in the DC area. Speaker 1 00:38:39 Okay. Unless you're doing some winter swimming for some reason at a local pool, other than maybe going away over the holidays, maybe you're a spring break. They're not swimming until summer comes. So that's, it's just, it's that more, much more important to continue that message of competency and just consistency. And again, if you have videos where you've used this information where somebody can even work with this with their own child in the bathtub, in the hot tub, in the pool, great. Keep it going because it is not something that you graduate from until you actually graduate from it. And you have hit competency and you are aware of what those things mean and say, which is, it takes a while. It does. And like you said, and I, I always say to people, adults don't know it, adults, many adults don't have any idea. Like, would you be able to float on your back? If we capsized here on this boat without a life jacket, most people are gonna say, I, I don't know. Speaker 2 00:39:39 Yes. Well, and those are the words, all of us hate to hear. I didn't know. I don't know. I did the worst, right? Those, those are the worst words to hear when we're trying so hard to communicate that message. But Laura, to your point, I do think it's, it's a lifelong membership, man. You gotta get in. And the messages that you're giving to your kids, you need to remind them, you need to remind them when they are, you know, three, five, six, eight, when they are, when they're young boys and they are in their teens and they're doing different activities, do you need to remind them that they must be wearing a life jacket and you need to remind them when they are babysitting, when they are camp counselors, when they are first time parents, when they are parents that are still there when they are having parties. I mean, there's just, you talk about layers of protection, but there is a, you know, we're dollar billing yet because there is a message, every single situation. And you've got to keep it going. Speaker 1 00:40:32 I'll tell you, you know, you're so right. I mean, as you guys know, obviously my family is involved in water safety and they are aware of drowning prevention. And my daughter is 16 and she just went on a trip with her boyfriend's family, a boat trip. And I, with her, I just said, NACE, we got to talk. And she, she knew she sat down like, here we go. You know, but she, right. She didn't question, my boys were like, okay. Right. You know, like I, now the thing is, is she sort of rolls her eyes because she actually knows it. Okay. And she is safe about it. But I, as a mother felt like, okay, I'm sending my child off to be on a boat in the middle of the ocean for, I don't know how long. And it was a small boat. Like, you know, it was not a cruise or anything. Speaker 1 00:41:17 And so, you know, it's true. Even at different ages, you have to communicate, um, to your kids. I mean, I said, Hey, I don't know if the other parents around are going to be drinking and having a good time. You, you need to be aware. And she is aware. And that is that. But yes, you have to keep communicating that. And I'll tell you a positive story. I had some friends here that decided to build a pool. Um, this is only a few years ago and one of their sons is in college. Now. Their other child is my daughter's age. And she, she had me come over and literally like, she needed my approval. She showed me the plan. She goes just, and their kids were older. And she said they can't get into that. They had the, um, the, the pool cover, you know, that they, it wasn't, they had like a combination from an app. Speaker 1 00:42:01 It wasn't even something they could do on it. And they said, when we're gone, even out to dinner, this thing is closed up. And the kids don't even have the code to open it up. You know, they wanted me to know they didn't have toddlers. They had high school, you know, middle school kids. And because of Clay's accident, we've all grown up together. This has lasted that long, which was really awesome for me to know that here we are 10 something years later, and I have an acquaintance, a friend that's building a pool in their yard and it's still heavy, heavy on their mind. They haven't said, Oh, I don't have a toddler or a baby. I'm fine. No, it was still heavy on their mind. The diff the new dangers there, and they have enjoyed their pool. And when they had pool parties, they got a lifeguard, you know, it was just, they were so responsible. Speaker 1 00:42:50 They didn't not, they didn't not build a pool in their backyard. They didn't not enjoy it by having a party. They just put a couple, frankly, uh, a few precautions in place or behavior expectations in place. And there you have it, you know, you can safely have that type of interaction. So you're right. It's a lifetime membership in multiple ways. And, and the best part about swimming is it is, it is an activity that is accessible to all of us for as old as we get. You know, I will probably all be in water aerobics other one day. Okay. Speaker 0 00:43:29 Um, Beth, before we wrap up, I know we're running out of time today. I have a quick question for you and that's, how can someone learn more about Walter, his swim lesson? How can they become involved? How did they reach out to you? And then also, I know we're coming up on the date to this year. So, um, I know this is a little bit premature, but if someone can't participate this year, um, when will they be able to learn information about next year as well? Speaker 2 00:43:55 Well, we don't have our date picked for next year's lesson yet. We are absolutely focused right now on trying to get as many people back on deck. We've been hashtag back on deck a lot, um, trying to encourage folks to get involved. So this year's lesson is Thursday, June 17th. So a little bit before that first day of summer. Um, and you need to go to either world from swimming, lesson.com or w L S l.com w L S l.com. And you'll be able to navigate your way to everything you need. There, there are resources, water, safety tips, and so on there's history of the events. And most importantly, there's a big orange button, right? Upper part of the screen where you can click register, and then that will get you going. Speaker 0 00:44:40 Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking time. Then our first podcast with a guest, Speaker 2 00:44:48 I'm so excited to have been the very first inaugural guests. Speaker 0 00:44:52 Uh, we were so excited to have, you know, when Laura and I started talking about who our first guests was going to be, and we looked at the calendar and we're like, Oh my gosh, it has to be Beth, the world's largest home lessons right around the corner. Um, and I'm sure you'll be joining us again to talk about, uh, the successful worlds are just swim lesson. And, uh, just thank you, um, to your whole team. I know this is a massive effort to put on each year. Um, but you know, 2 billion media impressions is so huge. And like I said, this starts the messaging off for the whole summer and just keeping that idea of money. So thank you so much. And, uh, really looking forward to the event this year. I can't wait to be back on deck. Speaker 2 00:45:32 Well, thank you so much. We certainly appreciate the opportunity. We appreciate everything that NDPA does and has been doing the work over the last couple of years, the resource center. I just continued to be so impressed. And, um, I think everybody's making a difference. And if you be in a cheerleader and appreciate the reciprocal support roles or spending less time on June 17th, no, that word, let me say that word. <inaudible> DOR or.org. You can get there either way. I believe Oracle or, Speaker 0 00:46:07 Well, you know what I usually say to everyone anymore, just go to Google type in world's largest learning lesson typing machine will we'll point you to the right place, right? Yep. That's a Google. Speaker 1 00:46:20 Yeah. We all worked hard for those rankings. So please, please use them as, as you see fit, they'll come up for you. Speaker 0 00:46:28 Absolutely back. Thank you so much. And good luck with this year. It's a little larger swimming lesson. Speaker 2 00:46:34 Thanks so much. Thanks guys. Thanks. Awesome. You too bad. Thank you, Speaker 0 00:46:39 Laura. So exciting. Cannot wait for this. Year's world's largest Holy lesson. Speaker 1 00:46:44 Yeah, I think it's going to be, I really actually think it's going to be very highly attended. Um, you know, not all programs are back in action. Um, I, you know, kids are going to be, you know, in kids have frankly been out of school. Um, they'll be out of school officially. Um, so I really feel like this is actually a time, you know, where it's still, we're still in some transition here with sports and things where maybe in the past maybe camp or different things, you know, at obstructed people from being able to get involved, I feel like this is an opportunity for them to get really get involved. What I also think is a good thing is, you know, frankly, over the years, both the NDPA and worlds are just being less than we've matured. Um, in terms of, of all of our marketing of our reach of our following. Speaker 1 00:47:31 And so with every year that we, that NDPA amplifies this voice of world's largest swimming lesson, where we're able to do exactly that really amp up that message, get it out there, have our people know about it and use it. You know, it's unfortunate. Cause obviously we do lose people every year, but our reach, I think in our ability to get to people, I, I have a good feeling. This is going to actually be a very successful year for them. Um, obviously less traditional than it was in years past, but isn't everything right? And the most important thing that we're doing right now is getting the message into people's heads. Um, and so they understand and they're empowered and that's the most important thing. I think we've talked about this Adam over so many times of the year, this is a positive way to market a scary subject, right? This is a positive way to discuss what we do. And, and it's, it's a way to empower people, to make sure that they are able to get out there and make a difference, not only for their own families, but for the other people in the community. Speaker 0 00:48:35 Well, you know, Laura, you and I often talk about this idea and you know, we've had to learn this at our marketing with MDPA is if you market things in a negative way, and that's so easy to do when we're talking about such a heavy subject with water safety. And especially when you add in drowning prevention into this mix, um, you know, worlds are just swimming. That's such a great way to get that positive message out there, you know, and it's doing the same thing that, you know, you could do taking a negative spin, but you know, what we've learned is if you, you know, if you're a parent or you're a caregiver, even an older teenager and you see a negative message, you oftentimes tune it out, uh, because we don't like negativity in our lives and when you can see something positive and, um, if you're watching the video version of the podcast, right after the podcast, you're going to see the promo video for world's largest swim lesson. Um, and what I love about it, it's such a, such an amp up getting ready, get excited. I love showing that video cause I get excited to get back into swim lessons and, Speaker 1 00:49:33 And that's, yeah, it's so important. You know, one of the things for those who are listening and something that, you know, I've actually more recently started to, um, talk about myself and my marketing experience is that I have experienced now really marketing, um, what I, I'm trying to think of a different term, but sensitive topics. Right. You know, some of the things that we've learned over time is that certain photographs can trigger things. I mean, I've had this experience to a certain, you know, with a non-fatal incident where I can understand that. And I see that, um, and it's so important. I cannot stress enough how important it is to spread messages like world's largest swimming lesson. We also, as you know, at NDPA, we have so many different, um, partners and people that have children's books that do all different kinds of positive things. Speaker 1 00:50:23 You know, we, yes, it is also our job to report some of the sobering statistics. It is also our job to get some of this correct information and terminology out to the world. Yes. But that is not primarily, um, the information we're trying to put out, especially to consumers, to parents, we're trying to give them, you know, not scare the living. You know, what out of them, we're trying to give them tools. We're trying to tell people how to do this. And I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the water safety space is that people on the outside of it might think that people involved in water safety. I think you should just, you know, close up your poles and never go, no, it's the complete opposite. You know, we now partner with the industry, you know, we want people to be water is a beautiful thing, a powerful thing, a healing thing, something that brings joy and healing and love and togetherness and you know, wonderful things, you know, life, for example, broader brings life. Speaker 1 00:51:25 We just health and wellness, everything. We want people just to understand, because just like Beth said, we hear it all the time. And if there's one phrase we never, we want, we don't want to go to our personal graves, not hearing anymore is I didn't know. Yeah. Cause we hear it all the time. And most likely it is in relation to the death of someone's child and they just didn't know. And it was probably very easy to prevent. And that is what we hear. So the more that we can do this on a fun way, it just plants the seed and gets people thinking differently. They show up for that summer vacation at that VRVO or the Airbnb that has a pool, they're just thinking a little differently about it and they can have a great, the same great time they were going to have before. Just a little safer. So I really do feel, as you can tell passionate about these types of events and messaging, because they are, I think the way to very much communicate this across the masses, um, online and you know, in the future, Speaker 0 00:52:29 I go back to, you know, it's drownings are prevented locally. You're more likely to listen to someone in your local community. You're more likely to connect the messaging. Is there, um, it's, you know, I put the stress on, you know, how important it is for aquatic folks, facility managers, um, learn to swim program managers to really look at this as a way to connect better with their communities and really directly make their community safer. I think that's so, so important. Um, Laura, I know we're getting out of time, so, um, I want to just remind everyone, check out, uh, next week to rejoin us for our next NDPA water safety podcast. Um, as the summer gets going, we're going to be hosting these every week during the summer. So really excited. And, um, remember June 17th, worlds are just some lesson w L I always mess this up. World's largest swimming lesson, w L S l.org visit get involved, follow it on social media. And, um, we'll be doing the same thing. Uh, when it comes to the day of worlds are just so many less than get out there and get involved, spread the message of water safety and rejoin us next week for our next podcast. Speaker 0 00:53:40 Absolutely. All right. Thanks everyone. Have a great week. Stay safe, enjoy the water and Laura and I will be back with you next week.

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