The Bar Island Swim takes place following Convocation and is a spirited celebration of the beginning of the academic year. While the brave (or crazy?) students, faculty, and staff swim the quarter-mile from Bar Island to campus, friends and colleagues cheer, work the safety boats, and hand out hot chocolate and warm towels to returning swimmers. The entire COA community then gathers for a cookout in the Newlin Gardens.

Students line up to check in after taking the plunge.Students line up to check in after taking the plunge.

Those who aren't up for an icy dip can volunteer on the safety team.Those who aren't up for an icy dip can volunteer on the safety team.