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Friday, October 17, 2014

Here We Go Again

Nope.  No Pin Hunting, no mulching, no painting (thank heavens!).  Something different, but something very familiar.

We had to be to the J. Strom Thurmond COE Visitor Center at 8:30 this morning, a little earlier than we usually start, but we were rewarded with a beautiful sight, fog rolling over the Thurmond dam.


We were at the Visitor Center to present to two classes of homeschoolers the Corps Water Safety Program.

Last winter when we were here, we worked with several other volunteer couples to design and write a Water Safety Program to present to many local schools in towns and counties surrounding Thurmond Lake.  It was a necessary undertaking because there have been at least three drownings each summer at the lake, mostly of young children.  The target audience was to be grade school age kids.

We left Thurmond COE last April and personally only participated in one school presentation, but other volunteer couples carried on the program and by the end of summer had reached over 6000 children with the Water Safety Program.

It was a tremendous success, and the wonderful result was there were no drownings last summer. 

As word of mouth passed from person to person about the program, more and more schools and organizations contacted the Corps requesting the Water Safety Program presentation.

This morning, Marti and I jumped right in and presented the Water Safety Program to the two home school organizations, with about 70 kids and teachers.  The program came right back to us, we had a blast teaching about life jackets, proper fits, how to don them properly and all aspects of safety around the Thurmond Lake swim areas.


We even demonstrated toys, like this inflatable ring, that are not life jackets.


Yep, we even sank a few oranges to hammer home the need to wear a life jacket, and wear it correctly.


We had two new volunteer couples observing the presentations as they will soon be involved and participating, too.

We have as our traveling motto:  “Semper Gumby” (Always Flexible) and it works for us whether we’re driving on the road or volunteering here at Thurmond COE.  We never know quite what we’ll be doing next but we’re always happy to step in and do our best at whatever the need. 

Plus, it’s a lot of fun!  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. How cool is it to be able to make a difference in the lives of youngs people!!! I think this is even cooler than pin hunting;o))

  2. Amazing to hear that no kids drowned last year in the lake. Shows the work you are doing is helping save lives. Congrats, well done!

  3. I'll bet those kids just loved you two. All that practice with your own grandkids makes you naturals. What good work that is! Thanks for saving who knows how many lives.

  4. I'm so glad to hear that the program saved lives last summer. I enjoyed helping with the presentation while we were there :)

  5. I'm sure it feels great to know that the program you help designed and deliver served such a worthy cause ... no drownings last summer is a good result to achieve. Looks like lots of fun was incorporated into the program to drive home the importance of water safety ... that's a good thing.

  6. What a wonderful program!! You guys deserve a big pat on the back!!

  7. Now that would certainly be a fun thing to do and I bet everyone loved it. Water safety is a big concern and a little bit of knowledge can save a life.

  8. What a wonderful program with proven wonderful results! You guys are making a world of difference in the lives of those kids. Great work!

  9. It must be exciting to see how your program has taken off. Even in your retirement, your training and experience are able to make a difference. Some of those 'kids' look pretty old. I bet they would have loved to hear about your Coast Guard exploits.

  10. Teaching water safety to the young ones is so important.
    Good job.

  11. Good job. It was probably a good day of lessons for those kids.