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ZAC Foundation holds water safety, swim lessons for Camden County children

ABC's of water safety at Zac Foundation's Water Safety Camp
ABC's of water safety at ZAC Foundation's Water Safety Camp 02:06

Camden County, N.J. (CBS) -- On a hot day like Wednesday, many kids want to jump in the pool or ocean. However, water can be one of the most dangerous places for children.

In the Garden State, drownings are on the rise. Many of these kids are learning how to stay safe in the water, while others are learning how to swim entirely for the first time.

"So the skills I'm learning is how to float on my back because I'm not really that good," one new swimmer, Janelle Arroyo said.

Seven-year-old Arroyo is one of 100 Camden area children taking part in the ZAC Foundation's Water Safety Camp being held at the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County.

According to the CDC, drownings are one of the leading causes of unintentional death for children.

This water safety training campus targets that exact audience, more specifically, 6 to 9-year-olds.

There is also a classroom component where children learn the ABCs of water safety.

"As a kid, I've always liked to get in the pool, but I never knew how to swim the correct way, but coming to the Boys & Girls Club and them providing the ZAC Camp they gave me the opportunity to learn how to swim the right way," Damien Ennis said.

Ennis attended the camp as a kid. He and many of the youth counselors are now teaching what they learned.

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"Now that I know how to swim it gives me a chance to help others when they're in danger when they're in the pool," Ennis said.

In 2007, 6-year-old Zachary Archer Cohn drowned in a drain entrapment in his backyard swimming pool in Connecticut.

The next year his parents established the ZAC Foundation, which has now helped more than 20,000 kids and families across the country learn about avoidable risks around water.

The camp has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club. There is a third component that involves meeting with first responders.

Kids can tour the firetruck and interact with firefighters to build trust and get more comfortable in the case of an emergency.

"It helps out the kids learn new things and techniques just in case anything does happen," Amaya King said.

A family that turned grief into awareness by teaching lifesaving skills. The camp is free for kids.

It runs for four days and there will be a closing ceremony on Friday recapping everything the kids learned.

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