This September, Bear Paddle Swim School
will open its doors in Mason, where it will offer year-round swim lessons, as well as promote water safety in the community.
Bear Paddle opened its first location in February 2010 in Aurora, Ill., and two other locations in the Chicago area—one in Woodridge and one in Orland Park—soon followed. The Mason location, at 9376 S. Mason Montgomery Road, is the first outside of Chicago.
“We chose the Cincinnati area because there aren’t many facilities for year-round swim lessons for kids, and it seemed like a good fit,” says Emily Everson, co-owner of Bear Paddle.
The 10,000-square-foot, kid-friendly facility will have a 25-yard, 90-degree, saltwater lap pool for year-round swim lessons. Groups are divided by age and ability, whereas most swim programs are designed based on ability only, Everson says.
Bear Paddle offers lessons for swimmers of all levels, ages 6 months to 13 years. Classes are offered on a month-to-month basis, with a 30-minute lesson once per week. Lessons are $80 for one student, $150 for two students, $210 for three students and $270 for four students.
Bear Paddle also has a water safety program, where a mascot conducts a 30-minute presentation at schools and daycares on different bodies of water and what to do in water emergencies.
“We’re trying to spread awareness about water safety by teaching kids to swim early on, which will hopefully cut down on the number of drownings,” Everson says. “We want kids to feel confident and comfortable in the water, no matter their age.”