By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 29, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Summer break ends soon for Fort Rucker students, but swimming options remain available to help quickly cool off during the dog days of summer.
According to Rob Koren, Fort Rucker Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics director, the last day to swim at the Flynn Outdoor Pool will be July 31. However, the post's other facilities will remain open, albeit with changes in operating hours.
"Beginning Monday, the indoor pool at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center will re-open for normal operations," he said. "Hours of operation for the indoor pool will mirror that of Flynn, Mondays through Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The indoor pool is open to authorized patrons only (must have a military or Department of Defense identification card to access the facility).
"SPLASH! Outdoor Pool and Spray Park will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. beginning Monday," he added. "SPLASH! is open to the general public. Lake Tholocco will also be converting to weekend-only operation beginning Aug. 1. Both the Lake Tholocco swimming area and SPLASH! Outdoor Pool and Spray Park will be open weekends only (Saturday and Sunday) until Labor Day, September 5."
According to Koren, SPLASH! will celebrate the end of the season with a luau.
"The SPLASH! Summer Luau will be held on Aug. 27," he said. "This is the rain date that was established from when the event was supposed to be held in early June. Admission price will be either the daily admission fee or by presenting your 2016 summer pool pass.
"This is a wonderful event for individuals of all ages because Fort Rucker MWR activities are pulling together to offer something for everyone," he added. "There will, of course, be swimming and use of the diving board, water slide and AquaClimb rock wall, but there will also be food service offered by The Landing."
Patrons may purchase food, and purchase shirts for $5 to tie dye, or bring one from home.
"There will also be two limbo contests with prizes available for the winners, an inflatable provided by outdoor recreation and corn hole for free play pick-up games," Koren said. "Army Community Services and MWR Central will also be present with information booths to let patrons know what (they have) to offer them."
SPLASH! will also host an event to help pets cool off during the hottest days of summer.
"Fort Rucker Aquatics will host its very first Dog Days of Summer program on Sept. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at SPLASH! Outdoor Pool," Koren said. "Dog owners can bring their pooch to the pool on this day and let them go for a little 'doggy-dip.' The fee to enroll dogs into the program is $5 per dog and we ask pet owners to register in advance at the Fort Rucker PFC.
"At the time of registration, pet owners must bring a copy of their dog's vaccination records for health and safety considerations to be attached to their registration form," he added. "Dogs will not be allowed to participate without the proper documentation on file with sports, fitness and aquatics. So that dogs and owners alike have an exceptional experience, we ask that dogs be well-trained and able to 'play' nicely with other dogs."
Adult swimming lessons will begin again in October and a lifeguard training course will begin in the fall, according to Koren.
For information on youth swimming lessons, call 255-1867. For more information on adult swimming lessons, call at 255-2296 or 255-9162.
"When the lifeguard training courses are offered again beginning in the fall, candidates age 15 and older are eligible to register for this course," he said.
According to Koren, swimming lessons may help develop a sharper sense of safety in the water.
"Safe swimming guidelines should always be observed for a safe and enjoyable swimming experience," he said. "Some important guidelines to remember would be to: always swim with another person in a supervised area; avoid underwater breath-holding techniques and exercises to prevent what the aquatics industry calls 'shallow water blackout;' know your swimming capabilities and swim in an area where you feel comfortable and can touch if a non-swimmer; take a swim class if you are a weak or non-swimmer, swimming is a life skill that can benefit and save your life in certain situations; and always obey the lifeguards' instruction at all times -- they are there for your safety and to prevent accidents and injuries from happening in the first place."
For more information upcoming events or admission prices, call 255-2096 for SPLASH!, and 255-4305 for Lake Tholocco, or visit http://rucker.armymwr.com/us/rucker/programs/aquatics.