Family swims making a big splash in Marietta

Marietta Aquatic Center, Right Path host Friday events

Photo by Peyton Neely Cousins Skyla Sanson, 7, and Alexis Sanson, 5, swim at the Marietta Aquatic Center during the Right Path for Washington County’s Family Swim Night on Friday.

MARIETTA — Families and children of all ages took advantage of the warm weather Friday night at the Marietta Aquatic Center.

It was Family Swim Night number five for the Right Path for Washington County, which hosts the events each summer.

“We hold this event every Friday in the summer to host a safe, alternative place for our teens and families,” said Justin Moody, youth activities coordinator. “Our mission is to promote healthy youth development and I can’t think of a better way to do it.”

Family Swim Night has been something the Right Path has done for 13 summers. It costs $3 per person or $12 for a family. The Right Path for Washington County is funded in part by the Washington County Behavioral Health Board, Washington County Juvenile Court and United Way.

“We’ve come to Family Swim Night since my son was 4 years old and he’s 12 now,” said Christie Ayers, 43, of Parkersburg. “We drive a half hour every Friday night and it’s something that he looks forward to. I can’t imagine spending my Friday night anywhere else.”

Photo by Peyton Neely Kyleigh Braun, 3, of Marietta, goes down the slide at the Marietta Aquatic Center during the Right Path for Washington County’s Family Swim Night on Friday evening.

Ayers’ son, Donovin Lamm, said he does look forward to coming and trying to win some prizes.

“The water slides are a lot of fun,” he said. “But really it’s something my mom and I can do together.”

Terri Jeffers, 43, of Marietta, had three of her grandchildren swimming with her during the hot, muggy Friday evening.

“It’s a fun, family night where we make memories to last forever,” she said. “It’s awesome that Right Path can provide this for the community. They’re an excellent organization and work so hard for what they do.”

Moody said the swim nights began the second week of June and carry on through the second week of August. They’re open to anyone from 6-8 p.m.

“We keep doing this because for some folks, this is their vacation,” he said. “Everyone has a really good time and we do as well. When people come up to us and thank us for being here, it makes it all worth it. It’s proven that when teens have quality family time, they are less tempted to do drugs.”

Though the Right Path is geared toward middle and high school students, younger children take part, too.

Skyla Sanson, 7, and her cousin Alexis Sanson, 5, come together every Friday with their family.

“It’s a lot of fun. I even got Alexis to go down the fast slide once,” she said. “I’ve gone down both slides plus swimming with her is always fun.”

During the last Family Swim Night, the party will continue in the parking lot of the Marietta Aquatic Center for the annual Block Party. This event continues on until 11 p.m. and costs $5 for the entire night.

Another event that Right Path for Washington County hosts is their Tuesday night dances at Marietta College. According to Moody, this event runs from 8-10 p.m. and includes a DJ, pool tables and other activities. It costs $5 per person or $4 per person with a school I.D. Youth in grades six to 12 are welcome.

“This is like our last event before school starts and everyone has so much fun,” said Moody. “There’s always a DJ for a dance, extra prizes, and even a foam pit. We always have so much fun and that’s why we continue to do this for the community.”


If You Go

* What: Family Swim Night

* Where: Marietta Aquatic Center

* When: July 21 and 28 and Aug. 4 and 11. On Aug. 18, a Block Party will take place after the swim night from 8 to 11 p.m.

* Who: Right Path for Washington County

* Cost: Swim nights are $3 per person or $12 for a family. The Block Party is $5 per person for the entire night

Source: Right Path for Washington County