"On the fifteenth of May in the jungle of Nool, in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool, he was splashing, enjoying the jungle's great joys..." ~ "Horton Hears a Who"

The Chatfield pool opening had to be delayed a few days due to the unseasonable low temperatures this past week. Because the thermometer only reached 59 degrees last Thursday and Friday, the pool did not officially open until Saturday when temperatures reached a more satisfying 68 degrees.

"The temperature has to be above 65 degrees in order for us to open," said Chatfield municipal pool manager Michelle Thorson, who has been waiting and waiting for the day that the cool of the pool is available to give swimmers a break from the heat of the day.

In order to truly splash about and take in the pool's great joys, one must first know how to swim.

"Lessons for all levels begin June 17 and last until June 28, and the second session is from July 8 through July 19, and the third session is July 22 through Aug. 2," Thorson added. "We offer pre-school lessons to children ages 2 to 5. In the pre-school lessons, a parent must be in the water with the child. This class is all about getting the child comfortable in the water and also teaching them a couple basic skills such as front float, back float and pool safety. We also offer Red Cross swimming lessons from level one to six."

Families may come to the pool for family swim hours, or individuals may take a dip during the open swim hours.

"The pool is very busy throughout the summer. We have people of all ages come throughout the day," Thorson said.

Pool hours are Sunday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., Saturdays are noon to 6 p.m. Family swims are on Wednesdays and Sundays from 5 to 7 p.m. An adult must be with the child during family swim.

Patrons are allowed to bring in floaties and toys to the big pool on Saturdays and on family swim nights - otherwise, people can bring floaties and toys to the baby pool.

"We also have water aerobics offered from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays," Thorson added. "Passes are available - a family membership is $110, and a single membership is $60."

Thorson shared guidelines for determining which swimming pool a child should be allowed to enjoy based on age and swimming abilities.

"The baby pool is for children under the age of 7 or under lesson two in swimming lessons. If your child is not able to swim by themselves, they are too young for the big pool," she added. "Patrons should be able to swim comfortably without an adult in order to be at the pool by themselves. We are now allowing children to have life jackets in the big pool this summer. This is going to be our trial summer to see how it works and to see if we can continue to implement it in years to come."

The manager and the lifeguards will keep the swimming pool open throughout the day, unless inclement weather gives them reason to close it.

"The pool will close if it is raining too hard to see the bottom of the pool, and immediately if thunder is heard or lightning is spotted," Thorson explained. "If Fillmore or Olmsted County is in a thunderstorm warning, we have to close the pool. With the cool spring we had, we are going to have a chilly first part of summer, which will affect the pool's hours."

Thorson returns to the pool once again as manager because she likes her job overseeing lifeguards and pool operation.

"This will be my sixth year as the pool manager," she said. "I love the atmosphere at the pool. The patrons and staff are very enjoyable and make it fun managing the pool. There will be 15 lifeguards on staff this summer, and the lifeguards are very well trained and looking forward to a fun, hopefully warm summer."

For more information, one may call the Chatfield swimming pool at (507) 867-3509.