Arts & Entertainment

Brookside Pool Club Celebrating 65th Anniversary

Milltown's Brookside Swim Club is open for summer and marking its 65th anniversary this season. Credits: Dawn Miller
Brookside offers members a whole host of activities and events each summer, boasting members from all around Middlesex County. Credits: Dawn Miller
Brookside offers summertime swim lessons and is home to the Brookside Swim Team as well. Credits: Dawn Miller
In addition to the pool, Brookside offers its members numerous amenities. Credits: Dawn Miller
Even the baby birds are excited about Brookside's 65th anniversary. This nest sits undisturbed in the club's foyer. Credits: Dawn Miller

MILLTOWN, NJ - The calendar may not officially say summer, but the water is certainly fine at the borough's Brookside Swim Club. Brookside is marking its 65th anniversary this year and the festivities will make a big splash of fun as they do every June, July and August.

Weather dampened the swim club's grand opening weekend. Brookside opens up to its members young and young at heart every Memorial Day weekend. Families line up to be the first to hit the pool. May 27 cooperated with the pool's opening with temperatures in the high eighties with the humidity to go with it. The pool was packed full of happy kids, parents and adults ready to get the summer of 2018 rolling. However, swift moving evening storms plummeted temps and the inviting pools were empty save the staff for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend.

However, even with the back and forth June temperatures, Brookside's members are more than ready to hit the pool, taking advantage of the sun and warm temps whenever Mother Nature delivers. Members come from Milltown and all the surrounding Middlesex County communities with many people returning summer after summer for decades. Brookside first opened its gates in 1953. Two members are from those early years in the 1950s and still spend their summers poolside and are affectionately known as the "Umbrella Ladies."

Sign Up for E-News

The land the Brookside Swim Club occupies was donated by the Kuhlthau brothers and reverts back to the family if it ceases to be utilized as a pool club. Brookside's facility offers members a packed menu of summer fun from free ice cream on a warm Saturday afternoon to swim lessons to a competitive swim team to arts and crafts and more. If members get tired of swimming or jumping off of one of the diving boards, there is ping pong, foosball, beach volleyball, basketball and a playground. Picnic tables and deck chairs abound to enjoy a hot summer read or watch the kiddos splash. Of course, there are plenty of floaties and tubes to wile away a sweltering day along with grills and immaculate men's and ladies' changing areas complete with showers. Brookside even installed some charging stations to allow members to juice up their smart phones without hunting for outlets.

Brookside is open on weekends beginning Memorial Day and gets running daily when school's out for summer. Gates open daily at 5:45 a.m. for the Riptide's swim practice before Brookside's swim team takes over the pool. By 9 a.m. it's time for swim lessons and area camps hop in the water from 10 a.m. until noon. Members take up residence from 12 p.m. until closing at 9 p.m. The Mini Minnows swim competition is always a highlight every summer.

"We try to be open as much as possible," operating manager Ann Marie Waidelich explained.

The North Brunswick resident and teacher shares the managing duties with Jack Blalock and Courtney Thompson. Brookside is governed by a managing board that includes 13 members. Dave Simon is the president and Leslie Thompson is the vice president. All the board members have a long history with the pool club, spending many a happy summer inside its gates.

When the pool first opened, the pool was a bit smaller and lacked the pavilion. Renovations added the diving well and made the pool longer, allowing the pool to host swim competitions like the Mini Minnows.

"This pool is nice because we can run eight lanes for a swim team event" Waidelich said. "We can run an eight lane meet pretty quickly."

"It's a nice thing to host (the Mini Minnows) because its all nine and unders," Waidelich continued. "They get to swim events they don't get to swim in the regular season."

Even parents get the opportunity to show off their stuff at the Mini Minnows competition, swimming against each other.

Waidelich has been a part of the management team for the past 13 years. She first started coming to Brookside as a member when her youngest was four. While she enjoys teaching, her favorite times during the year come poolside. Helping to manage Brookside is a labor of love.

Throughout the summer, Brookside holds events like Teen Nights, regattas with handmade boats as well as a whole host of July 4 activities and more.

On June 28 and June 29, Olympic swimmer Nick Thoman will be coming to Brookside to hold a Fitter and Faster Swim Clinic. Thoman won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic games in London and was a member of the gold medal-winning 4x100 medley relay team. The Ohio native will be getting in the water to show swim team members key skills such as turns, starts, dolphin kicks and breakouts.

Swim lessons are available at Brookside for both members and non-members. Members are offered a discounted rate for swim lessons. Sue Pazinko heads up the swim lessons, which are available for tiny tots, beginners, advanced beginners and intermediates. Morning and evening times are available. Pazinko is as assistant swim coach for North Brunswick High School as well as the director of Brookside's swim school. She also trains the full staff of lifeguards who keep watch over the pool when it's in use.

Brookside will officially mark its 65th anniversary on its annual July Family Fun Day, which includes an in-pool blowup/obstacle course and other family-friendly activities.

For additional information on the Brookside Swim Club including membership details, visit the club's website. Membership options include family, senior family, single adult, single child and swim team.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Rutgers Takes Over Police Dispatch Services

June 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Thousands Expected in Hillsborough for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Middlesex County: Free Music, Fireworks and Fun in “A Revolutionary Celebration”

June 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ -  Want your 4th of July fun to last 7 days? Then bring your family and join in Middlesex County’s “Revolutionary Celebration” for 2018! Our Office of Arts and History has planned events for June 30 and July 1-7 that are fun, educational, and a great way to honor the spirit of Independence Day. Explore Highland Park, New ...

More than the Fourth of July, Make it a Star Spangled Week in the Long Beach Island Region of NJ

June 22, 2018

STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH ISLAND - Summer 2018 starts now, so time to enjoy the beauty of the Jersey Shore. As families and friends gather for the summer holiday, there is plenty of options to assist in rounding out July 4 vacation and getaways.

With July 4 falling on a Wednesday, there are many events surrounding the holiday.

The award winning Surf and Sip Brew Trail itinerary is available ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...