CAMP HENRY, Republic of Korea -- The recently re-opened Camp Walker Aquatics Center, along with the Camp Carroll Pool and Chinhae Pool, have become a welcome addition to the summer activities in Area IV.
"This aquatics center has been a major project for us," said Jack Delaney, the business and community recreations chief at U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "Everybody has been really happy to have the opportunity to come to the center and swim."
The center is designed to suit the needs of service members and their Families. Not only does the facility contain a six-lane pool, but it also contains a wading area for young children, a slide, a hot tub as well as sports equipment like basketball nets. The center also features a playground area and a room which can both be rented for birthday parties and other events.
"We cater to the entire Area IV community, so we try to make it the best experience possible," said Robert Kemble, the sports, fitness and aquatics chief at FMWR. "Since our re-opening we've had up to 5,000 people here every month."
The aquatics program here has created a system in which Soldiers can purchase a pass that allows unlimited access to Camp Carroll and Camp Walker pools during recreational hours for 30 days. The pass can be bought to include a service member's Family and has a reduced price for Soldiers who are privates through sergeants.
"The daily entry fee is $3, and it's $6 for guests so you can see how that might add up for people who come to swim every day," said Kemble. "This pass structure we created was designed to relieve some of the economic crunch for those Soldiers and Families who regularly visit the pool."
The center also provides numerous programs, including movie nights, swim lessons and a junior lifeguard camp. Physical training swim time, which is free for Soldiers, runs from 6 to 8 a.m.
"The physical benefits of swimming are amazing," said Kemble. "Whether you go to the pool on Camp Walker or the one on Camp Carroll, you'll get a great cardio exercise from going swimming."
The Camp Carroll pool, the only outdoor in USAG Daegu, also boasts a multitude of features. The pool has two slides, predetermined lanes for swimming laps and a deck, which can be rented out for parties and unit functions.
Chinhae Naval Base also has its own outdoor pool. The pool there has four lanes, a wading pool and is free to all visitors who are Department of Defense affiliated. The Chinhae Pool, as well as the Camp Carroll Pool, are both seasonal and will close after Labor Day weekend.
"You can feel like your back in the states," said Kemble. "You get to sit by the pool and suntan or have a picnic with your family; it's a little taste of home."
That feeling of comfort given off by establishments like this as well as the many activities they provide has meant the community has welcomed them with open arms.
"We are dedicated to providing the best recreational opportunities we can, and that's what we have done with these aquatic centers," said Delaney. "We have had an overwhelmingly positive response, and we hope people continue to enjoy it in the future."
For more information about the aquatics facilities, call DSN 763-4551 or commercial 0503-363-4551.