Swim Program

Fessenden Summer Camps

A Skill for Life

Swimming is a skill we believe everyone should have, which is why we make it part of our core program. Wading into a pool, lake, or the ocean is one of life’s great joys, and it’s our goal to ensure every Fessenden camper leaves a safer, more confident swimmer than they came. Many parents of our campers have been overjoyed at the confidence and enjoyment their kids have experienced after learning to swim at Fessenden.

Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Program

Fessenden Day Camp is a proud provider of the Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program. The Learn-to-Swim program, conducted by our trained instructors, all of whom are certified by the Red Cross, gives children the opportunity to learn to swim in a safe environment. The program is designed to allow students to learn at their own pace and master skills at each level before attempting the next challenge. In fact, many of our campers progress one swim level and are well on their way to the next by the end of the summer. Every time they advance to a new level, and at the end of the summer, each camper gets a progress report so they know how far they’ve come.

Swim Program

Two Outdoor Swimming Pools

Swim lessons and free swim periods take place in our two outdoor pools. Our small pool has a shallow side that is 3-feet-deep across and only goes up to 4.5 feet. It is ideal for young beginner swimmers. Our big pool has a 3.5-foot teaching area, and a maximum depth of 9 feet, which is great for more experienced swimmers to swim, jump and dive. The big pool is heated.  Both pools are in the sun all day and do not take long to warm up.

In addition to the instructional periods, campers enjoy free swim times to cool off and have fun with their friends. Our instructional and free swim periods keep campers coming back year after year.
fessenden summer camp
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We cannot say enough about Fessenden Day Camp and especially its swim program. After 4 weeks at Fessenden Day Camp, our son showed dramatic improvements in his swimming and confidence in the water. During his short time at camp, he no longer swims with a bubble, swims under water, jumps into the water and can swim the length of the pool confidently using a few different types of strokes. We wanted our son to feel safe in the water after his time at camp, but Fessenden greatly exceeded our expectations. Not only is our now 6-year-old swimming, but he loves the water and looks forward to his swim lessons. The swim staff at Fessenden really knows what they are doing, cares about their campers and helps them to be the best swimmers they can. We love Fessenden Day Camp!!!!- Parent of Kindergarten boy
I could not believe how much my daughter learned in just three weeks - diving, elementary backstroke, and so much confidence!- Parent of 2nd grade girl

Meet our Aquatics Director!

Isabel O’Connor

2023 will be Isabel’s first summer as the Director of Aquatics. Isabel is also an Upper School history teacher at Fessenden. Prior to Fessenden, Isabel was a history teacher at Newton Country Day School as well as a counselor and administrator at Camp Onaway in Hebron, NH. At Camp Onaway, Isabel served as both the Swimming Director and the Assistant Director of the camp. Isabel also attended both day camp and sleepaway camp throughout her childhood. Isabel attended Hopkins School in New Haven, CT, and Harvard College, where she served as the captain of the all-gender Varsity Sailing Team and studied history. Isabel also holds a M.Ed. in educational leadership from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.

My Hobbies…

Cooking, outdoor activities (swimming, hiking, biking, sailing), reading, and needlework (needlepoint, knitting, and embroidery)!

A fun fact about me…

My coolest swimming experience yet is when I got to dive off a sailboat in the Aegean Sea near the coast of Santorini in Greece!

My favorite camp activity…


Our Swim Staff:

All of our swim staff are Red Cross certified in Lifeguarding and CPR/First Aid. Many are also certified as Water Safety Instructors. We hire swim staff based on their knowledge of swimming mechanics as well as their passion for working with children. Many of our swim staff work as lifeguards and swimming instructors year-round at indoor facilities, and a number of staff have been part of swim teams during their high school or college careers.

Swim Program