When you live so far out in the country like the residents of Rio Blanco County do, you have outdoor activities by the dozen to participate in. From hiking to hunting to fishing to horseback riding, the county has it all. It is so much fun for the kids in the county to spend time outdoors doing all they can do. As parents it is important to give your kids all the tools they will need to be safe in any activity they do and teaching them to swim is a huge safety issue. There are three reservoirs and a large river in the county as well as pools at both the recreation centers. They are sure to be around water so being safe near water is a must.
You have several options in deciding how best to have your child learn to swim. The first option is that you could always teach them yourself. If you know how to swim well and feel confident about sharing your skills this option can be fun for both you and your child as you spend time together. You will need to teach your child during the open swim times at the rec center of your choice. Open swim hours for the Meeker Recreation Center are from 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. At the Western Rio Blanco Recreation Center in Rangely the open swim hours are 1:00 p.m. until 6:45 a.m. Monday through Friday and 12:00 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Many parents will choose to enroll their child in swim lessons at their recreation center for them to learn to swim. This is a fun option where your child will be able to learn with other children of their own skill level from professionally trained lifeguards. Each time they finish one set of classes their instructor will let you know if they will be moving up to the next level the next time they take lessons or if they will need some more work on the skills they did this time. Both the recreation centers in Rangely and Meeker offer multiple times a year for your child to do swim lessons. You can pick which times you will do them based on the best fit for your schedule. If you choose not to do them one of the times offered your child can just pick up where they left off the next time you sign them up. You may choose to sign them up every time though and they will advance through the levels quickly and be fully proficient swimmers in no time.
- Meeker Recreation Center: The swim lessons at Meeker Recreation Center are top notch and offered at least 6 times a year. The instructors are well trained and really work well with the students. The class sizes are small so your child gets lots of one-on-one attention. Both of the summer sessions are over but the fall sessions will be announced soon. Children as young as six months can start lessons in the parent and child class. This class is for children 6 months through 36 months old. Starting at the age of 3 years on up the child can be in lessons without the parent and will be advanced based on their skill levels. The lessons generally cost $25.00 for 8 lessons. If the dates and times for lessons do not fit into your schedule private lessons are also offered by appointment. These are $75.00 for four lessons. Semi-private lessons are $100 for five lessons of up to three students.
- Western Rio Blanco Recreation Center: The recreation center in Rangely also has a great swim lesson program. There is still one set of lessons left for them this summer. The lessons start tomorrow, August 1st and go until August 11th. They are Monday through Thursday so your child will have 8 classes. The cost is $22.00. The Mommy and Me class for ages 6 months through 3 years is from 1:00 p.m. through 1:30 p.m. Then the preschool classes for ages 4 and 5 will be from 1:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Classes for ages 6 and up are from 2:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. for levels 1 and 2 and from 2:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. for levels 3 and 4.
For more information or to sign up for swim lessons contact the Meeker Recreation Center at 970-878-3403 or the Western Rio Blanco Recreation center in Rangely at 970-675-8211.