How many business owners can truly say they love what they do and feel like their businesses make a difference in the world? While Rick is a lawyer and Ellen is a teacher by trade, working with children both in our camps and swim school is our real passion. Seeing our caring, professional and kid-focused staff making a huge positive impact in the lives of our campers and swimmers is incredibly gratifying. Spirit…concern for each individual…professionally run and exciting swim programs and camp specialties and activities…top-notch equipment and facilities…central, accessible locations…committed and qualified teachers and counsellors…supportive parents…happy kids building skills and self-confidence…and, of course, tons of fun! This is truly the formula for an exciting Summer Camp, Zodiactors Performing Arts Program and Swim School that are incredibly enjoyable and meaningful for campers, staff and parents…and some pretty thrilled camp/swim school directors/owners!
It is hard to believe that Zodiac Swim School has been helping kids and adults learn in and love the water since 1978! Zodiac was a dream of Ellen’s that she made a reality in high school. While Zodiac has become one of the largest private swim schools in Canada, its focus on individualized attention and high-quality, low-ratio programs has never wavered. We are so pleased by and appreciative of the positive feedback about our awesome teachers and the great experiences they are providing for our students! We are also delighted that families swim with us on a year-round basis and anxiously await their opportunity to secure their spots…the loyalty of Zodiac families and our commitment and obligation to them is something we take very seriously.
Our love of working with kids in aquatics and passion for and background in camping actually led to the creation of Zodiac Day Camp (then Zodiac Swim & Specialty Camp) in 1998. Our goal was (and still is) to provide campers with a unique, nurturing specialized program. Our day camp was the first to offer shorter one and two week sessions. Also, while younger campers enjoy a multi-faceted, variety-based program, older campers get to experience our unique specialty program. Each session 7 to 12 year old campers choose a focus area such as science & rocketry, mega sports, performing arts, waterskiing, and horseback riding, while still getting exposure to a wide array of other activities. Zodiac swimming is a centerpiece of every camper’s day. Our renowned leadership program for 13 to 15 year olds provides a terrific training experience and transition to becoming a Zodiac staff member!
Our Zodiactors extra-curricular theatre program grew out of the success of our Performing Arts camp specialty and our long-time friendship and working relationship with Angela Williams/Groove. We love helping kids enjoy theatre, participate in a mini-Broadway show and build their self-confidence!
Many Zodiac families also enjoy an amazing experience at our beautiful Muskoka overnight camp, Camp Tamarack. With a large number of children participating in day and weekend introductory experiences at Tamarack and others becoming full-fledged campers at Tamarack for long or short sessions, we are excited to have another unparalleled experience that Zodiac families can enjoy for years to come.
Camps, swimming and so much more…we love helping children (and adults!) develop skills, build self-confidence and make memories to last a lifetime. The confidence that Zodiac families demonstrate in us is never taken for granted and appreciated more than it is possible to express. We are parents of three amazing kids and plan for, care about and treat other people’s children as an extended part of our family. Some people wonder how we do what we do, how we sleep at night, etc. The answer is that we work and plan and hire an amazing team of people who make our dream a reality. We truly love what we do.
Rick & Ellen Howard