Faces of FOSS: Madison Ahlgren

Madison Ahlgren
Shift Coordinator
Fargo, ND


How long have you worked for FOSS?

3 years!

What is your favorite part of working at FOSS?

The environment—no matter what mood I am in, FOSS always fixes it no matter what and I love that I love my job this much!

What is your favorite level or age to teach?

I love teaching Littles! I get to act like a 3 year old the whole class while teaching them very important skills without them realizing it. My top priority in the water is safety so I teach them fun stories to help them remember how to be safer in and around water.

Can you tell us your favorite FOSS story?

I started swimming at FOSS when I was 2 years old and have loved it ever since! When I saw FOSS was hiring a few years ago, it just seemed to fit perfectly with my love for the water and kids.

What is your favorite skill to teach and why?

I love teaching MaMa bird Papa bird because it is one of the most essential skills ever! Every swimmer needs this skill so I make sure everyone in my classes can do it independently AND confidently. Confidence is a huge thing in this skill and if the swimmers aren’t motivated enough they won’t want to do it enough.

As a child, how did you feel about the water? 

I loved the water…up until I fell into the lake off the dock at our cabin, so then my mom brought me to FOSS so I would learn water safety and safer swimming.

Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major breakthrough moment when you were with them? 

I had a swimmer with severe anxiety and wanted so badly to be able to hide his eyes in the water without him getting water in his eyes and nose. After two sessions, he finally hid his whole face to the end of the island an1d I have never heard a kid scream so loud in excitement! We were able to overcome his anxiety and fear of water which felt amazing!

What is your favorite swim lesson activity to do with kids and why?

Safety Week is my favorite time of the year! I love teaching kiddos how to be safer in and around water. I try to make it as fun as possible so they can retain as much as they can. After Safety Week I’ll continue asking them safety questions, especially in my younger classes, to make sure they know how to be safer.

Is there anything else you’d really wish you could tell parents about you as they bring their children to FOSS?

FOSS is my happy place and I hope it is your swimmer’s happy place, too!

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