Cotten hopes to raise $50,000 for Silver Camp Swim Lessons and waterfront safety
Scott Cotten is a third generation Silver Bayer. Cotten and his family have been visiting Silver Bay since 1936 when his grandfather honeymooned at Silver Bay. In 1986, Cotten met his wife at Silver Bay during the first day of summer orientation for the summer employes. And in 1988 he said “I do” in the Helen Hughes Memorial Chapel at Silver Bay YMCA.
Now Cotten is ready to give back to the place that he considers an integral part of who he is, and he decided that there is no better way to do that than by combining two of his passions: Silver Bay YMCA and Lake George.
In Mid-August, Cotten will take on the challenge of swimming the length of Lake George, 32.19 miles, to raise money for Silver Camp Swim Lessons and waterfront safety. “I’m hoping to raise at least $50,000 towards a combination of Silver Camp swim lessons and overall swim and waterfront safety,” Cotten said.
Walt Lender, Vice President of Development & Government Relations added, “Safety in the water is an important part of Silver Bay’s youth training. Through our Silver Camp program, campers are taught essential swimming and water safety skills. The funds that Scott’s swim will raise will support Silver Bay’s ability to give kids the skills they need to stay safe in the water.”
Cotten did not decide to raise money this way at random. Swimming the length of Lake George has been a goal of Cotten’s since the late 80’s.
“I learned to swim in Lake George and Silver Bay has always been my first true love, so being able to swim the length of the lake and raise money to help others to learn to swim in the lake at Silver Bay is a very special opportunity,” explained Cotten.
In 2020 Cotten participated in the Virtual Lake George Marathon Swim and swam 32 miles in seven days. In 2021 Cotten participated in the Virtual Swim again, where he completed it in four days, and in 2022 he managed to swim the 32 miles in two days. The swim across the length of Lake George has only been accomplished 14 times, the first by Diane Struble in 1958. Cotten anticipates that it will take him 20 hours to complete the swim.
“Marathon swimming is what appears to be a solitary sport but in actuality, requires a large team of people to pull-off. For the swimmer, it’s both a physical challenge but equally a mental challenge. It’s these challenges that draw me to the sport. Somehow doing hard things makes the rest of life easier,” Cotten described. Currently Cotten plans to start his swim between August 14 and August 17, his actual start date will depend on the weather.
“I’m very excited to do the actual swim. There are a lot of people and logistics involved, so the planning is quite involved,” said Cotten.
Cotten will follow a boat from Waterhorse Adventures during the swim. They will have three professional captains and first mates, who are first responder trained and certified rescue divers, who will alternate shifts while the swim is being completed. There will also be a kayaker near Cotten during the night hours, Cotten will also wear a glowstick on his head at night to allow others to see him better. Additionally, Cotten has a very experienced team leader who has led several other people successfully across Lake George.
Click Here to donate to Cotten’s cause. For the most up to date information about Cotten’s fundraising efforts visit our website or follow us on social media at Silver Bay YMCA.