ETA Coach

Open Water Swims & Swim Clinics

ETA Coach Open Water Swims

Join ETA Coach LLC in the tranquil setting of YMCA Camp Ockanickon in Medford Lakes, NJ to improve your open water swimming skills in 2018. This will be the fifth year we have been welcomed by the YMCA Camp Ockanickon. Athletes can work on their open water swim stroke, sighting, and transitions in preparation for the upcoming race season. There are no other venues in NJ, PA, or DE that provide an environment which includes a marked swim course, open water free of motorized boats, and endless trails for running and country roads for biking. Additionally, we offer open water swim clinics throughout the summer.

You do not need to be a client of ETA Coach or any other organization to swim in the lake. We welcome all clubs and other coaching services. You are not required to be a member of YMCA Camp Ockanickon to swim in the lake; we are self-insured.

**2019 Schedule is subject to change before the season starts***

*First Swim is Saturday, April 27th – Last Swim is Sunday, September 22nd*


Thursdays 4PM – 7:30PM

May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | June 6, 13, 20, 27 | July 11, 18, 25 | August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | September 5, 12, 19

Saturdays 6:30AM – 11:00AM

April 27 | May 4, 11, 18, 25 | June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | July 6, 13, 20, 27 | Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 | Sept 7, 14,

Saturday 9/21- open swim 6:30-8am and then Jason Kilderry Memorial Swim/Run and 5k

Sundays 6:30AM – 11:00AM

April 28 | May 5, 12, 19, 26 | June 9, 16, 30 | July 14, 28 | August 4, 18, 25 | September 8, 22

Please email questions to

1-Day Pass (Purchased on-site) | $17.00 (Cash/Credit/Debit)

Any previously purchased 5 Day, 10 Day, or Season Passes will be honored on site.  We will have a list of all passes sold at the check-in desk and will keep track of how many swims you have used.

PURCHASE YOUR 2019 5 Day, 10 Day, or Season Pass HERE: 2019 ETA COACH OWS PASSES

Check-In Procedure

      1. Arrive and park in the designated areas (see map below).

      2. You will need to present your PHOTO ID and USAT CARD* to the staff working the desk.  If you do not have a pre-paid pass, you will pay at this time (cash/credit/debit).

      3. You will then be given a wristband that must be worn for your entire time at Camp Ockanickon (this is a camp security measure).

      4. If you do not have your photo ID and USAT card*, you will not be permitted to swim.  Bring both every time you attend the open water swims.

*USAT CARDS represent an annual USA Triathlon membership.  If you do not have a valid USAT membership, you will need to purchase a 1-day USAT membership ($15.00 cash/credit/debit) to swim at the lake.  If you intend on doing more than 4 USAT sanctioned events (open water swims, or triathlons), it is cheaper to purchase an annual membership (

Each and every one of our swims are USAT sanctioned.  This means that we abide by the same rules and regulations as every other race, big or small.

No refunds for any reason.

Wednesday Night Informal Open Water Swim Races:

Our Wednesday night informal open water swim races are set up just like a race for the open water swimmer to practice open water swimming in a race like environment. This will be an informal race simulation. There will be several wave groups of varying abilities.  The race length is 1200m, which is 3 loops of our open water swim course, but you do not have to do all 3 loops.  Again, this is for you, so do as you please!  A race clock will be put up and there will be a, “Ready, Set, and Go!” The rest is up to you! You can use this as an opportunity to practice swimming with other swimmers, drafting practice, or as a hard or easy workout.

● Check In and Warm Up between 5:30-6:15pm
● Race instructions/Wave Group Assignments: 6:15-6:30pm
● Race (1200m/3 Loops): 6:30-7:15pm
● Cool Down and Check Out: 7:15-7:30pm

The fee structure will be exactly the same as our open water swims: $15.00 to swim, and all swimmers must have a USAT Card. If you do not have a USAT card, there is an additional $15.00 fee for one day USAT insurance. If you have an Open Water Swim Pass they are good too!

Open Water Swim Information and Rules

We realize there is a lot of information below, but please take the time to read all the rules and information so you can be well informed about the open water swim procedures and rules and enjoy the lake and its surroundings safely.

● Swimming outside of posted date swim times (see below) is considered trespassing and strictly prohibited.
● Wet suits are NOT required.
● Swim partners are strongly encouraged but not required.
● The temperature of the water changes on a daily basis. We will post the water temperature 30 minutes before each open water swim session. The lake is only 5-15 feet deep, so it warms up quickly.
● Respect the community and residents at all hours. Remember, residents live adjacent to the lake and voices carry. When swimming in the early morning hours, PLEASE be respectful of the residents sleeping nearby.
● There are lifeguards on duty in the water at all times. Please be sure to tip our lifeguards because they are there for your safety. We encourage swimming with partners, especially for those who are new to open water swimming or are not comfortable swimming in open water.

● For beginners: You MAY swim close to the docks to become more comfortable in the open water swim setting. It is highly recommended that beginners take one of our open water swim clinics.
● You MUST WEAR A LIGHT COLORED SWIM CAP. No light colored cap, no admittance to the water. This helps other swimmers and lake users see you. This is even more important this year, because the swim course will be bigger.
● There are no motorized boats on the lake, but there may be residents canoeing from time to time. If you see a boat on the water, please be vigilant and yield when applicable. Chances are, you will see them before they see you.
● If you are riding your bike or running post swim, leave your car in the parking lot across the dam by the cafeteria .


Approximately 1/8 of a mile after you enter the Camp, you can start parking your cars in the small parking areas by the lake Lenape Beach entrance before 7am. After 7am, please drive another 200 meters past the lake entrance and cross a small bridge (the lake will be on your right). After the small bridge, there will be a huge dirt parking lot on your left. You can park here, and parking here is encouraged if you plan on running or cycling after your swim.


Camp Ockanickon – 1303 Stokes Road, Medford, NJ 08055


The lake will be closed if threatening weather is in the vicinity. An announcement will be posted on our Facebook page as soon as we are informed that the lake is closing. Be aware that we won’t know if the lake is closing until we arrive on site.


● Children are welcome but are NOT allowed in the water. On the weekends they may use the playground facility, but they must be accompanied by an adult.
● The water temperature changes from day to day, and we will be posting the water temperature on the Facebook page.
• The lake has race style buoys. We do our best to keep the course marked each week, but if the buoys move overnight, we may not be able to reset them.
● There are bathrooms, one outside shower (just for rinsing off), and changing rooms where you check in.
● We do have a lot of rules, but the positive trade-off is that our situation is unique: there are no other swim venues with our set-up and relationship with the YMCA Camp. If we respect their rules, we can swim in their lake. It’s that simple.

What’s the difference between Swims & Swim Clinics?

You DO NOT have to sign up for the Open Water Swims. Swimmers can pay for a 1- day pass on arrival or sign up for a pass online as mentioned above. Open Water Swimmers can arrive at any time and swim for as long as they want during the 3-5 hour window when we have the lake reserved. Pricing is discussed above.

You DO have to sign up for the Open Water Swim Clinics.

The Open Water Swim Clinics and the Open Water Swims will be occurring simultaneously. You don’t have to take the swim clinics to do the open water swim, and the swim clinics will not interfere with the open water swim. All swim clinic information is below.

ETA Coach Open Water Swim Clinics

The ETA Coach Open Water Swim Clinics are designed to help beginner to advanced swimmers become more comfortable in the open water. We do this by practicing skills which will help each swimmer offset anxiety and navigate swim courses more effectively, resulting in safer and faster open water swimming!

Skills that will be demonstrated and taught include:

• Dealing with anxiety
• Triathlon swim starts
• Sighting techniques
• Swimming in a straight line
• Breathing techniques
• Swimming with a crowd
• Drafting techniques
• Swimming around buoys effectively
•Triathlon swim exits
• Swimming in a wetsuit
• Fast wetsuit removal

2018 Swim Clinic Dates and Times

Registration for May and June Clinics is OPEN!  Follow the link below to view clinic dates and sign up.

May / June OWS Clinic Registration

Each swim clinic will last 70-90 minutes and will be limited to 20 participants to ensure that individual attention is given to each swimmer.


Here at ETA Coach we help create a foundation that you can build from.

view all coaches


We offer a variety of services from Coaching, Consulting, Assessments , Clinics, and Seminars.

view our services