Every winter, Wilton Family YMCA staffers jump into the Y’s pond for the Wilton Y “Swamp Romp,” all in the name of helping to raise money to support the Wilton Y’s Annual Appeal.
This year’s Swamp Romp is this Friday, March 4, at 3:30 p.m., and participants are hoping people will not only come cheer them on but also donate to help support the cause they’re jumping for.
There are more than 30 participants in Friday’s icy plunge, from staffers in every YMCA department–including the Y’s executive director Bob McDowell–to Wilton swim team members and supporting businesses, including Little Pub and Tavern on 7.
Last year, Aaron Britton, the Y’s camp director who organizes and oversees the Swamp Romp, told GOOD Morning Wilton that the event was really a grass roots effort.
“I’ve got high school students who work after school life-guarding, giving a dollar here, a dollar there. A lot of the young staff, the part-time staff, they’re getting friends and family to give $5 here, $10 there, to donate to the Y’s Annual Giving Campaign which is for financial assistance and camper scholarships,” Britton says, adding, “It’s a real organizational effort–each department is raising money. We’re all out there for a great cause. It’s our small part.”
The Y staff started the Swamp Romp in 2010, and except for one year off when the pond flooded in 2011, they’ve repeated it every year since. The weather is always a factor, and the jump has been postponed on occasion to wait for more tolerable temperatures. While the water stays a consistent 32-degrees, organizers say it’s the air temperature that will really dictate whether everyone jumps as planned.
Speaking of safety, the Y always has the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Dive Team on hand.
Britton says it helps to also have a lot of spectators on hand to cheer them on.
To donate to the Swamp Romp, visit the Wilton Family Y’s website.