We’re gearing up for Summer of 2023 with our award-winning swimming skills camps!

This year we’re expanding ZAC camps to reach children in local communities across Connecticut, California, Chicago, and New Jersey. Led by experienced and highly trained instructors, our camps are structured to help your kids learn core swimming skills, build confidence, make friends, and have fun!

As we continue to face a nationwide lifeguard shortage, it’s more important than ever to bring water safety training to you. With fewer lifeguards available to monitor beaches and pools, we are putting forth every effort to educate and prepare families with swimming skills.

How are ZAC Camps making an impact in 2023?


We started ZAC Camps, named in honor of 6-year-old Zachary Archer Cohn, to teach children ages 5-9 valuable information that will keep them safe in any body of water.


We’re thrilled and proud to continue this work with seven ZAC Camps across the U.S. this Summer! Stay tuned for more dates and details coming soon.

How many children have participated in ZAC Camps?


In the last decade, ZAC Camps have taught life-saving water safety skills to more than 20,000 children in at-risk communities nationwide, yet there is still much work left to do.

How do we teach swimming skills to children?



We use primary education stations — classroom activities, in-water swimming instruction, and first responder interaction – to reinforce essential safety lessons so both children and their parents learn to enjoy the water safely while understanding avoidable risks.

Community Drowning Prevention Efforts

Who are our Partners?

ZAC Camps are held in partnership with local organizations across the U.S. This includes the Boys & Girls clubs, who we’ve partnered with for over a decade!


ZAC Camps Partners

Making an Impact, Together


Last year’s string of summer drownings following pool re-openings invite us all to participate and think about how we can contribute to drowning prevention efforts in our communities.


Here are some ways to bring water safety education to your communities:


A key component of the ZAC Camps is learning the importance of following the A, B, C, & Ds of water safety:

A is for Adult

Children should never have access to any form of water without an adult who has eye-to-eye contact with them.

B is for Barrier

Barriers, like fences and gates, should restrict children’s access to all forms of water. Children need to know how important barriers are and their role in making sure that the barriers are in place.

C is for Classes

At the appropriate age, children need to take swimming lessons. Each family should discuss this with their pediatrician to decide when their child is ready for swimming lessons.

D is for Drains

Pool drains are dangerous to all swimmers. Children should never swim near pool or hot tub drains. Children should be taught to tell an adult if they see a broken or loose drain cover and should NOT return to the pool until the drain cover has been replaced.

In addition to swim lessons and safety classes with first responders, ZAC Camp participants learn the fundamentals of water safety from a fun and engaging classroom curriculum based on “The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim,” a children’s book written by ZAC Foundation Co-Founders Karen and Brian Cohn.

The story follows the journey of a young polar bear named Zeke who is afraid of the water and refuses to swim. He leaves his home in search of other animals who do not swim, and ends up finding that he can enjoy the water if he follows the A, B, C, & Ds of water safety.


We have created a few activity sheets for different age groups so children can reinforce core water safety messages and the ABCDs. While they are based on “The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim,” you don’t need to read the book in order to complete and color these mazes, puzzles, etc.


people drown each year

Make swimming fun and safe for those you care about.

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