Mount Washington Swimming Club helps families beat the heat

"Can you guys turn the fountain on?" Natalie Baker asked the Mount Washington Swimming Club staff Saturday morning, as she took her children, Max, 1, and Noah, 3, into the wading pool.

Within a minute, several fountains came on in the pool. Meanwhile, in the adult pool, Dan and Ailish Meisner succeeded in coaxing their nervous, 3-year-old daughter, Ethna, to jump into the pool with them.

"She's a pro," Dan Meisner said.

Mount Washington Swimming Club is Mount Washington's other swim club, in relative obscurity compared to the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center, where Olympian Michael Phelps trains. But in the neighborhood, the swim club is a magnet for families.

"I just prefer something smaller," Baker said.

"The difference between us and Meadowbrook is that Meadowbrook is more of a swimmer's pool," said Brad Gartrell, manager of the swim club and a city public school teacher.

"The benefit of having a pool like this in your neighborhood is that you should use it every day and meet all your neighbors," Dan Meisner said.

A fixture on Enslow Road since the 1970s, the standard-sized pool and picnic area have since been renovated. The club has about 350 members. Annual dues are $450 for a family membership or $250 for an individual membership, plus an $800 security deposit. Many people picnic there and the club sells ice cream.

Some members order food delivered. When it arrives, the staff honks a bicycle horn that hangs on the office door.

"It's a pretty cool pool," Gartrell said.

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