Summer Fun for Families Affected by Cancer

February 20th, 2018

As the Outreach Coordinator for UNC-Chapel Hill’s chapter of Camp Kesem, Gabe Gonzalez, longtime Granite Falls Camp Counselor, is looking for any families that would be interested in attending Camp Kesem, a weeklong summer camp for kids with parents who currently have or have had cancer.

The organization is entirely run by college students who, as counselors, put on an incredible experience for the kids, allowing them to engage in activities such as archery, kayaking, swimming, and of course, s’mores by a campfire. The entire experience is absolutely FREE for the families and completely fundraised by the counselors over the academic year (check out Gabe’s fundraising page). Camp Kesem is meant to serve as an escape of sorts from whatever the kids are dealing with emotionally at home.

This year, they are growing their chapter and actively trying to recruit new campers, so if you know any families that have had a parent affected by cancer that you think would be interested in attending Camp Kesem or you want to get involved, please send Gabe an email or refer them to his email address at uncchapelhill.outreach@campkesem.org.

Youth Programs Change- Letter from Susan

February 6th, 2018

There’s some changes coming to the Youth Programs Department in the next few months. Read the note below from our Youth Programs Director, Susan Bayer.

February 6, 2018

Dear GF Families and Friends,

I wanted to write you and let you know what’s stirring in my heart as you will undoubtedly hear that I will be resigning from my position as Youth Programs Director later this year. First of all, it’s all good news for me and my family. I am choosing to leave our incredible program in order to find out what God has in store for my family and me. For years, I’ve thrown my life and full energy into this role with so many other aspects of who I am being pushed to the back burner in the process. It has gotten to the point where I have to choose whether or not to continue bearing this awesome weight of responsibility or take a step back and figure out what the next phase of my family’s life is going to look like. This was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I love Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club, the Youth Programs in particular, and I love your kids. I’m so sad to go, but I’m honored to have been a part of such a special place that has always felt like family. My desire is to see the program continue to grow and for those who remain and come after me to build upon all the good we have experienced for years.

Since even before opening day of the Club in July 2009, I’ve been an employee of the Youth Programs Department and have seen the Department, along with the Club, grow in unimaginable ways: from just a handful of kids in KidZone to an average of over a hundred per day, 20 kids each month at Parents’ Night Out up to 50, a Junior Camp Counselor program that strives to build the Youth Programs team of the future, a handful of small summer camps to 52 weeks of camp per year.…it has all been absolutely indescribable with amazing staff, epic memories, fantastic parents, and the best kids from around this area all being a part of it. God has been SO faithful in how he has blessed the Youth Programs Department and my life through it and it has been my privilege to play a small role and have a front-row seat to a place that is so unique in how it epitomizes loving and caring for each other. I now understand the word “bittersweet” a little more deeply than I could ever have before.

I also wanted to reassure you of the future of the Youth Programs Department. We already have been and will continue to work hard to make sure all aspects of it do not miss a beat in the transition. It is my desire for all the programs this year to be the best ever. I am confident that the Youth Programs team will remain as committed as ever and I will, if asked, be available to assist with anything the new Youth Programs Director and team may need.

I hope that Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club will continue to be my family’s center of community in the years to come and I hope to run into you all and share with you my excitement for the future. Thank you for your support as I’ve tried to provide a safe, fun, and engaging program for your kids over the past 9 years.

With much love,

Susan Bayer
Youth Programs Director
Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club

Don’t be THAT Parent

January 23rd, 2018

You’ve started off the New Year with a bang when it comes to your workouts. You’re sticking to a schedule and showing up. You’re making progress…seeing old clothes fit again, watching the number on the scale drop, feeling energetic and able to keep up with your kids…speaking of kids…there goes a sneeze…wait for it…nose being  blown…aaaaannnnnddddd…

”MOM!  I don’t feel so good!” OH NO! Panic sets in as you realize you won’t be able to go to the gym because your child has to go to the KidZone while you work out and you can’t possibly bring him since he is sick. But, wait, you think, is he really that sick…it’s only an hour…he’ll be fine…right?


Don’t be THAT parent. You know the one. The one who forgets to think about how quickly germs can spread to other kids, not to mention staff, from shared toys, shared spaces, and shared bodily fluids. (Don’t get all grossed out.  I’m only, mostly, talking about sneezes, noses wiped on arms, fingers and toys in mouth type of shared bodily fluids.) Your workout can wait or you can be creative and try an at-home workout (Google is your best friend for this).

In case you are unsure, here is an excerpt from the KidZone Parent Manual to guide in you in your “should I bring my child to the KidZone when sick” decision. Please decide wisely.

When should I keep my child at home?

Please be sure to use good judgment if your child is demonstrating any signs of sickness. We want to keep our other children and staff healthy. Please do not bring your child if he/she are exhibiting signs of the following as you will be asked to take him/her home for the best interest of all parties:

  • A fever at or over 100.0 degrees F within the last 24 hours
  • A continuous runny nose or cough that is not allergy related
  • Diarrhea or vomiting within the last 24 hours
  • Undiagnosed skin rashes, sores or other conditions
  • Sore throat
  • Any other contagious symptoms within the last 24 hours

Carolina for the Kids

December 26th, 2017


Tuesday January 2nd will be KidZone Carolina for the Kids Coin Collection Day – All KidZone kids (AM and PM) are encouraged to bring in any spare change they have and donate in the container Isabella will have in the KidZone. Let’s see how much money KidZone kids can raise in one day!

Please click here to go directly to the Go Fund Me page.

Carolina for the Kids Homepage

M.A.C. Gift Card Drive + Community Coat Drive

November 21st, 2017

We have two wonderful community charity drives this month. Please read below and don’t hesitate to email us if you have any questions.


Many of you are familiar with our charitable partner, Mercy for America’s Children (M.A.C.). They are a local, non-profit organization founded by club members, Pam and Mac Taylor, that supports foster care families and promotes adoption through the foster care system.

Mercy for America’s Children works especially hard this time of year to ensure the kids have a happy holiday season. While you may see many toy drives around town, often the teens in foster care are overlooked. Granite Falls would like to help them out again this year by asking for gift card donations to age appropriate stores. Smaller increments are best ($5 or $10) so that they can be shared with the most teens possible. Stores like GameStop, Target, Walmart are GREAT! They also love iTunes and Google Play.

The next time you are out shopping for your family, take a moment to think about these kids that face many struggles and obstacles. If you feel compelled to help, please pick up an inexpensive gift card and drop it off at the front desk. We will collect them through December 23rd.

Last year we were able to donate many gift cards that were well received and much appreciated. Thanks in advance for your generosity!

We are also collecting coats for a Community Coat Drive. Please drop off your new or clean, gently used coats (adult and kids’ sizes) at our box in the front foyer. You can drop off coats until Friday, December 8.

Thank you in advance for helping our local community members.

Thanksgiving Unplugged

November 21st, 2017

Whether you are traveling for Thanksgiving or staying home, there is always a lot to do to get ready for the big day! With so much to do it can be easy for us to let our kids slip into a technology induced coma during all the days off from school (some schools have the entire week of Thanksgiving off) while we get the packing done, bake the pies, prepare the food, clean up from it all, plan the shopping excursions, and, maybe, enjoy a few football games. Here are some ideas for some fun things your kids (and adults) can do during this busy week that don’t involve a screen.

Crafts or games that need materials purchased or rounded up in advance…

Popsicle Stick Turkeys – The Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club track out camp Thanksgiving week campers made these in 2016 and they were ADORABLE. So many options for each child to make their own.

Thanksgiving Minute to Win it Games – When you are with a crowd, you can’t go wrong with Minute to Win it Games! The silliness, simplicity, and short time for each activity are great for making memories.

A little advanced preparation needed….

Stuff the Turkey Game – Make two and it can be a Thanksgiving day version of corn hole.

Turkey Feather Hunt – If you’ve got older kids, get them involved in the hiding of the feather. Large group? Take it outside and hide them like Easter Eggs. Make teams and assign colors to add a competitive element to it.

Thanksgiving Photo Booth Props – Set up an area for fun Thanksgiving photos with these Thanksgiving photo booth props and let your selfie loving tweens go to town!

Turkey Tag – #7 on this list is sure to get your family and friends moving! Hilarity abounds as you try to maneuver out of each other’s way to avoid having your “feathers” taken.

Print, cut, and go….

Thanksgiving Mad Libs – Hilariously fun, unless you run into an abundance of “potty words” being used…might want to caution before playing.

Thanksgiving Bingo – Everyone loves playing Bingo! This particular one has 8 unique boards. To add a fun twist to it, use fall flavored M&M’s as markers and let the winner be the first to choose a piece of pie or cake!

Turkey Trivia – Boys vs. Girls? Millennials vs. Gen X? So many options here!

No materials needed…

Thanksgiving Dinner – Choose and leader. The leader points to a family member and says either “MEAT,” “VEGETABLE,” or “FRUIT.” The family member must come up with the name of something that fits the category before the leader counts to seven. No fair using a name more than once! If the family member does not respond before the leader gets to seven, he/she is out. The game continues until only one person remains. After a few rounds it can be hard to think of something that has not already been mentioned!

Whether you choose to do any of these activities or not, we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope for time well spent with those you love.

Sip & Shop THIS Friday!

November 15th, 2017

Come join us for our famous Sip & Shop Vendor Fair THIS Friday, November 17th from 6pm-8pm!

Over 40 vendors, a free glass of wine, and a chance to win one of two HUGE grand prizes worth over $700 each!

VIP Vendors

Silly Little Boutique

Beans Soy Candle Co

Blooming Beanies



 That’s Good Chocolate

 Rodan & Fields


 Young Living

 Yankee South

 Pampered Chef

 Hick’s Chic Boot-ique


 Stella & Dot

 Nu Skin




 Trades of Hope

 Lemongrass Spa

 Ruby Ribbon

 Christine’s Vinyl Creations

 Team Chiropractic of Wakefield

 Traditional Wood Creations

 The Wilde Project

 Premier Designs

 Juice Plus

 Dream and Believe Travel

 J. Rig Wood Works

 Matilda & Jane

 Lilla Rose

 Divine Decades

 Northern Harbor

 Alaska Dixie Darling

 Pure Haven Essentials

 Bronze Flower


 Traci Lynn Jewelry

 Twinkleberry Signs and Designs



Usborne Books & More





Levity Beauty

 Fancy Pants

$38,000 Raised for MAC!

September 12th, 2017

Guest Blog by Mercy for America’s Children Board Officer, Traci O’Rourke

5th Annual Cycle-A-Thon Fundraiser Brings In Over $38,000 In Donations.

Mercy for America’s Children raised just over 38K at the 5th Annual Cycle-A-Thon fundraiser held August 12th at Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club in Rolesville, NC. With teams riding stationary bikes for 8 straight hours to raise awareness for children and families in local foster care, the event is the largest fundraiser to date benefiting the organization.

Proceeds from the event go to sustaining support services, including groups addressing behavioral, academic, and kids’ needs. In addition, money raised helps the organization focus on its main goal of connecting children in foster care with adoptive families.

Sponsors for this year’s event included: Timothy Creech, DDS, Family Dentistry, Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club, Spoke Cycles, Fisher Hardwood Flooring, Intrinsic Motion, Run-N-Tri Outfitters, Walker Napa Auto & Truck, and Mighty Oak Massage.

About Mercy for America’s Children: We are a North Carolina based non-profit organization advocating on behalf of children awaiting adoption in the US Foster Care System by educating the public about the benefits of foster care adoption, reforming the adoption process, connecting waiting children to potential adoptive families and supporting them through their adoption journey.


Mercy for America’s Children
231 Kinvara Court
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Telephone: 919.610.2521
E-mail: info@mac-cares.org

Outdoor Pool Open ‘Til October 1st!

August 28th, 2017

Labor Day usually marks the end of the outdoor pool season. One last day to enjoy the pool before the season picks up again next May.

Well, here at Granite Falls, we like to do things a little differently. You see, we live in North Carolina and as anyone who lives here can attest to, you never know what the weather has in store. It could be the first day of Fall and based on historical data, it could be anywhere between 42 and 98 degrees. So, along with opening early in May, we stay open until the first weekend in October (this year that falls on Sunday, October 1st.) Our Outdoor Pool hours for the season can be found HERE (please note changes after Sept. 4th).

So, don’t pack the beach towels away just yet- your favorite summer spot will be open for business for quite a bit longer! And, once the outdoor pool closes, it’s time to switch gears. If you haven’t started already, now is the time to get back to your fitness goals by utilizing any of our awesome indoor amenities, including our 8-lane indoor pool, 40+ fitness class schedule (for kids and adults), and fitness floor.

Whether you’re donning a swimsuit or gym shorts, you’re bound to have an amazing year at Granite Falls!

Meet Y’all at the Watering Hole

July 11th, 2017

In 2010, Jacky Wilson and Mike Tucker had a great idea:  open the first pool-side bar in Rolesville . 7 years later, The Watering Hole is a hugely popular feature of our outdoor pool amenities.

The Watering Hole has a ton of options including 10 total beers on tap (6 more than 2016) including 8 craft beers and 2 domestics.

If you’re not a beer fan, we have a bunch of mixed drink options with tonic, soda, cranberry juice, orange juice, and bloody mary mixers (plus lime and salt for your margaritas!) If you want to upgrade with a top shelf liquor, check out Patron Silver Tequila, Hornitos Lime Tequila, Crown Royal Whiskey, and Goose Vodka.

In addition, we have 4 frozen drink options: strawberry daiquiri, lime margarita, pina coloda, and sangria (BONUS- these are not pre-mixed with alcohol, so you get to pick your mixer or we can serve it as a non-alcoholic smoothie for adults and kids.)

Watching your carbs? Check out Simply Seltzer- available in 2 flavors, light on calories and even lighter on carbs.

To top it all off, we will have a total of 9 Sunday afternoon beer tastings. Come sample a wide array of craft beer options and then buy a cup of your favorite brew.

Your friendly neighborhood bartenders, Angie, Matt, and Michelle, look forward to serving you Friday-Sunday, so come join us at the best (and still only!) pool-side bar in Rolesville!