Brendan and I told the kids that they will be allowed to choose whether to do swimming lessons or not once they can swim to and from the point at the cottage without any flotation devices (about 1km). Elizabeth reckoned this was the summer she would do it. Attempt number one unfortunately was extremely cold. Elizabeth started freaking out about 475 metres in and demanded a noodle. I made her swim to shore since it was so close but did allow the noodle. Even so it was touch and go as to whether she'd agree to swim back even with the noodle. There were tears, but with encouragement from her friends she made it. After a hot shower and hot chocolate she told me she was glad she finished and ready to try again next week. She was proud of herself even though she didn't meet her goal.
Matthew got a ride to the point and then "swam" back with his life jacket. In reality he was so cold I mostly towed him while he kicked. Nancy said I should have gotten two certificates (and Brendan said if you count baby I deserved three lol). There was a lot of complaining during the swim, and a lot of boasting afterwards.
Our friends Vera and Richard and kids Astra and Magnus came to visit us at the cottage in time for our annual treasure hunt. We split the group into teens and younger kids so that I could indulge in some creative clue writing (eg "The largest deposit of silicon dioxide at the edge of hydrogen dioxide" or "Hickety Pickety", which was MUCH more difficult than I intended). Brendan went with the older group and I supervised the younger kids and great fun and exercise was had by all. Jamie adopted Matthew and carried him (barefoot!) all over the resort. He did not object!
Elizabeth and Astra had a wonderful time together at the beach afterwards and Elizabeth was sorry to see her go home.