Call for Action: Pittsburgh Public Schools Need Your Swimming Stories

Summer programming for children around the world is going to look a little different in 2020. Depending on where kids live, or where they have their summer programming, that could range from smaller camp sessions to a fully virtual experience.

For teacher, swim coach, and Aquatic Ambassador Mark Rauterkus in Pittsburgh, the re-envisioning caused by the coronavirus pandemic includes a virtual summer-school swim camp for students in the Pittsburgh public school district. Because getting in the pools can’t be part of the camp, Mark is hoping to connect athletes to the water by other means – namely, via stories.

See Mark’s call to action below:

Readers of SwimSwam are invited to share a fun, positive, 5-minute story for a group of 5th-graders in a summer-school swim camp hosted by Pittsburgh Public Schools .We can’t swim nor can we meet in person this summer due to the global pandemic. The school pools, public pools and our nonprofit pool is closed, sadly. But we still need to engage with the kids.

We are going to have story time at camp. We’d love to share your recorded videos at our camp. The aim is to widen perspectives for the students over the course of the27 days of camp.

These stories don’t have to be world-moving. They can be personal, they can be global, they can be whatever you want them to be.

To participate, craft and think through your story. The key to a great story is to give it a beginning, a middle and an end. Then record it into your mobile device or laptop. Send the video to You can upload it via the website, Google Drive, DropBox or WeTransfer.

Stories should include some connection with water. A few examples are posted already. The stories are going to be shared into the future for others to enjoy too.

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Mark Rauterkus
3 years ago

As of July 5, we have 31 stories ready to share — in a quest to hit 60 by the end of the month.
Still HUNGRY for YOUR 5-minute story of water.

Mark Rauterkus
3 years ago

Thanks for the help and consideration. The kids in our city’s camp look a bit different than the one’s above. But, come over to our site and see some of the kids from prior years. The specific kids are not assigned yet, as it is a work in progress. I’d be happy to interact with anyone. My email is [email protected]. Email and we can talk on the phone too.

My aim is to get 60+ stories in the next couple of weeks.

[email protected]

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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