Family Fun at Floaties
It’s a fun and nurturing environment for infants and children to learn to swim. It places emphasis on safety and learning life saving skills. It’s indoors and accessible year-round. But at Floaties Swim School, the emphasis is also on building friendships and memories.
“Floaties is a place for children to learn to swim and know how to save themselves in a body of water,” said Karyn Morrill, co-owner of the Poway facility with husband Mike. “However, it’s also important to meet friends, develop close relationships and enjoy the experience. It is a privilege to teach children how to swim and we take that opportunity very seriously. We consider the front desk staff, instructors and our clients all a part of the family.”[quote]One of the most rewarding things about this is being able to watch the children grow in all aspects of their life.’
Floaties Swim School[/quote]Although Floaties has existed for more than five years, the popularity of their swimming instruction techniques quickly resulted in the transition to the current 6,000 sq. ft. location in May 2008. It features a large indoor pool with a built-in bench for children (allowing for lessons to begin before summer arrives), water heated to more than 90 degrees, and a salt water purification system that reduces irritation to eyes and skin (with purification levels checked hourly).
“In addition, Floaties has an outdoor patio for birthday parties and lunches after swimming lessons,” Karyn said. “And our parents and children really enjoy our separate playroom before and after lessons.”
“Mike and I started in our backyard with a handful of clients and we quickly realized that these parents are trusting us with their most precious cargo,” Karyn said. “Living in Southern California, either you have a pool, your neighbor has a pool, you have access to a community pool, or the ocean is minutes away – so there really isn’t a reason why you wouldn’t have your child in swim lessons.”
In addition to hosting “Water Safety Month” on a regular basis, which promotes water safety to both children and their parents, Floaties lessons all include some amount of time spent on safety skills and promoting love of the water.
Mike Morrill places a huge importance on building trust with students and parents – making them feel comfortable and safe. “Karyn and I are in the facility every day. I’m still in the water several days a week because I love what I do,” he said. “Our entire staff understands the importance of saying hello, asking how the families’ weekends were, etc. One of the most rewarding things about this is being able to watch the children grow in all aspects of their life and feeling like we’ve been a part of that. We truly are a family around here.”
Mike has deep local roots and a love for his community. Raised in Poway, he was introduced to swimming at a very young age – including junior lifeguard training. At Poway High School, he competed in swimming and won All-American honors in water polo. He also competed at the college level (Grossmont College) and the Junior National level, before moving into teaching and coaching water polo throughout the San Diego area.
Community involvement is something the Morrills believe in strongly, and it’s become a hallmark of Floaties. “Mike and I want to give back and support our friends and neighbors,” Karyn said. “We decided that community involvement would not only be important in our family life, but in our business practices as well.”
So Floaties often participates in local events, supporting school book fairs, and participating in many other programs and fundraisers. “We also were the only small business to be a sponsor of the “Finish Chelsea’s Run” in Balboa Park in March,” Karyn added.
In the water, Floaties is all about fun and learning life skills.
“Over my years teaching at other facilities, the one thing I always had trouble with was a frightened or scare child. The most common fear was putting their face under water – and that was usually the first thing we were told to do with these children,” Mike said. “That’s not fun.”
So he structured Floaties’ curriculum to stress the importance of building trust with students before the actual swimming could begin, thus allowing them to relax and feel comfortable in the water. “Once I have their trust, the swimming is the easy part.”
And Karyn emphasized that swimming is a year-round activity that cannot be mastered by children in a week or several weeks. “Learning to swim is a life-long skill and, like any sport, it’s about progression. Swimming lessons give children a life saving skill – and we emphasize the importance of each individual student being able to pull themselves out of a possible life-threatening situation,” she said.
Mike and Karyn share are passion and commitment to providing great programs in a family-oriented atmosphere, specializing in teaching children the fundamentals of swimming in a warm, relaxed and loving environment – plus, promoting a great way to develop a healthy lifestyle.
“We are offering parents not only what could be a life saving skill for their children, but also trying to introduce a fun and healthy year-round lifestyle activity,” Karyn said. “And it’s one that the entire family can enjoy together.”[divider]