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Frances Elizabeth "Skip" Baker

Aquatics ∙ Bridgewater

 

 

 

 

Her more than 46 years as an aquatics instructor made Frances Elizabeth (Skip) Baker one of the most veteran swimming and water safety experts in the United States. Skip got her start in swimming in 1934 at the age of 16 when she received a gift membership to the Beaver Valley YMCA from the Beaver Methodist Church. She learned to swim at the YMCA under the tutelage of Mrs Adelaide Weimer. In 1937 Skip received her Red Cross Senior Life Saving Certificate and was hired as a lifeguard by L.H. McCullough, then secretary of the Beaver Valley YMCA. It is appropriate that Skip should be prominent in both swimming instruction and water safety. She stresses that fact that human beings tend to get careless around water through familiarity and also are inclined to overestimate their own capacity in the water. Therefore she devoted herself to a lifelong crusade of making swimming a safe and enjoyable sport. Skip was active as an instructor for the Red Cross and YMCA and taught students at Geneva College and at the Heinrich Memorial Pool in Beaver Falls, the Beaver County Grange Camp, the Beaver County Recreation Department, and the Boy Scouts. She also taught at Mt Gallitzin Academy in Baden. Skip attained the highest rankings in these fields with the YMCA and American Red Cross.