The Bar Exam

A traditional activity that parents can help their kids prepare for before Summer Camp begins is The Bar Exam.  This is our swim test at the beginning of each session. 

We load the Big Blue Bus and head to North Bar Lake to administer the test.  The purpose of the test is to determine the swimming ability of each camper to ensure they do not end up in waterfront activities that demand more than their swimming ability would deem safe.

There are three levels in the Bar Exam, and remember these are not “Swimming Lessons;” stroke type, style, grace, and speed are not being assessed.  Endurance and poise however are paramount to success at the Bar Exam.

The Three Levels are:

Level 1 – one minute back float, two minutes treading water, and a 25 yard swim.

Level 2 – two minute back float, five minutes treading water, and a 50 yard swim.

Level 3 – two minute back float, ten minutes treading water, and 200 yard swim.

After passing Level 1, we are confident that the camper can participate in swimming class, beach period, and other activities along the water’s edge without wearing a lifejacket.

Any Camper that does not pass Level 1 will be placed in Swim Class the first week of Camp to receive instruction and hopefully develop the necessary skill to not be required to wear a lifejacket at beach period all summer.

After passing Level 2, we are confident that the camper can participate in canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding activities, as well as canoeing trips.

Again, Campers are welcome to sign-up for Swim Class if they ambition to develop the skill that would allow them to pass Level 3, and thus qualify them for more activities.

After passing Level 3, we are confident that the camper can participate in all of our waterfront activities including sailing, waterskiing, and windsurfing.

A final thought about the Bar Exam; all of our watercraft activities require the participants to wear a lifejacket, but it is the poise expressed during the bar exam that gives our staff the confidence that if in a large body of water the camper will have both the comfort and the presence of mind to either self-rescue (right a capsized boat) or await pick up (by the ski boat or our rescue boat in Lake Michigan)