We are fortunate to have a vast, beautiful waterfront with a wide range of activities for campers to enjoy. We believe that as part of the Camp experience every camper should gain knowledge in water safety as well as develop skills in swimming and/or water sports.
All campers are at the waterfront at least twice a day – once for their daily waterfront instruction period and once for the all-camp general swim. Waterfront instruction periods and general swim are led by a team of 16-18 certified lifeguards. During the daily instruction period, campers are placed in American Red Cross swim classes. Those who can demonstrate swimming proficiency at or higher than Level 4 can select from any of the additional swimming and boating activities offered at the waterfront. During the daily general swim, these campers have access to canoes, kayaks, rowboats and paddleboards in addition to all swim areas.
American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Levels 1-6
Each camper is evaluated on swimming ability at the start of the session and assigned to the appropriate level swim class. Swimming lessons are overseen by American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors and other experienced instructors and lifeguards. Campers must demonstrate proficiency as Level 4 swimmers before having the option to take any of the boating classes.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Canoe & Kayak instruction involves learning about small craft safety, entering and exiting the boat in shallow and deep water, effective paddling techniques for various conditions, self-rescue in the event of a capsize, and more. Classes take trips to various landmarks on our expansive bay or beyond, including a 5-mile round trip canoe challenge for those who are advanced.
A long-time favorite at Camp Marist, our sailing classes teach the basics of rigging the boat, identifying wind direction and force, sailing at all points of sail, understanding right-of-way, navigating a course across the bay, righting an overturned boat, and handling various conditions while sailing.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Campers can experience the wonderful challenge that Stand Up Paddleboarding offers as they explore balance, effective and efficient strokes for paddling, navigating turbulent water, and much more.
For campers who would rather explore what’s in the water, snorkeling is a perfect match! Campers learn how to safely enter the water, maintain a fog-free mask, clear a snorkel after a dive, and explore the lake floor without disturbing it. Campers will carry the diver’s flag to numerous exciting areas of the lake where they’ll discover underwater plant life, animals, and terrain.
Water Safety & Rescue
The water safety & rescue activity is perfect for campers who want to excel in water safety and equip themselves with skills to help others in an emergency. This basic rescue course serves as an introduction to the fundamentals of life-guarding and water safety. Campers learn how to assist a swimmer in need of help without endangering themselves, how to understand and adapt to changing weather conditions, how CPR works and when someone needs it, and how to use a variety of rescue equipment found in aquatic environments. While not a certification course, this activity is certainly a confidence booster for campers and a great introduction to prepare them for future training courses.
Other Activities at the Waterfront
In addition to the mandatory waterfront instructional period, campers can sign up for additional thrilling activities that are based at the beach.
Campers are taught the basics of the sport by qualified instructors, and progress through the various levels of achievement as described by the American Water-Skiing Association. Beginner skiers are taught using the ski boom on two skis. Novice and advanced skiers can learn slalom, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, and even barefoot skiing.
Campers who wish to go beyond the land-based excitement to go fishing are taken out on the lake aboard our 24-foot pontoon fishing boat. Poles, tackle and bait will be provided, but campers can bring their own gear if they prefer. Many different types of fish have been caught, but the large mouth bass has always been the prize catch, as they can be 24-inch (or longer). Most summers a handful of campers will submit their catches for consideration in the New Hampshire Trophy Fish program for recognizing the largest catch in 21 different freshwater categories. We also offer Advanced Fishing for more experienced campers who are 12 or older. The activity is a double period class, and involves fishing on the adjoining bays and on Lake Ossipee itself.
The powerboat driver education course familiarizes campers with the boating laws of New Hampshire. Campers learn to operate and drive various sized powerboats under the supervision of the instructor. This exciting opportunity is reserved for campers ages 12 and up.