US Army Corps of Engineer Rangers have had to be quite creative during the pandemic. Especially with teaching water safety to both young and old. We’ve been used to visiting schools, libraries, fairs, and other events every year; handing out water safety items, talking one on one about the best life jacket for their kids, and conducting water safety programs. Unfortunately, this all went south due to COVID-19. Social distancing was the main practice. I’ve seen some great ideas crop up though since April. Some Projects turned to virtual dam tours and other interpretive programs on Facebook. Dillon Lake and Tom Jenkins Dam also joined them on Facebook with our own virtual dam tours.
For the past several years Dillon Lake participated in a Touch-A-Truck event sponsored by Hospice of Guernsey at “Deerassic Park,” near Cambridge, Ohio. A booth was set up with water safety coloring books, and water safety items to give away, and the kids got a chance to explore our patrol boat. But, this too was cancelled. To help with the event and get the word out about water safety, we paired up with the Touch-A-Truck Program and gave a virtual tour of our patrol boat, what it’s used for, and our tools of the trade for assisting with helping folks recreate in a water safe way. There has been a surprising growth in water sports during the Coronavirus situation, which makes it even more imperative to educate these folks on safe practice around the water. The pandemic may have slowed us down, but didn’t stop us finding new ways to educate everyone on water safety!