My Experience of Working as a Lifeguard for My Summer Job

Chris Keating with the bass he caught, at the lake, at Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Hamburg.

Hallie Wolfe, Staffer

Over the summer, I worked as a lifeguard at a summer camp in Hamburg called, Olivet Boys and Girls Club. Everyday, inner city kids from Reading would come to the camp to do activities such as fishing, educational projects, and swimming. They would come around 10:00 in the morning and leave by 3:00 in the afternoon. There were four lifeguards, including me. These lifeguards were, Morgan Lucas, a Junior at Pine Grove Area High School, Chris Keating, a Pine Grove Alumni Student, Ashely Rank, who was the head lifeguard, and me. 


To become a lifeguard you have to undergo training to know what to do in case of an emergency, and you have to be ready for every scenario. A few parts of this training included, swimming 12 laps around the pool, then going to the deep end and treading water for 2 minutes without using your arms, then swimming to the deep end to retrieve two bricks than swimming back to the little end with the bricks on your chest. After that I had to watch numerous Red Cross videos on how to do rescues and perform CPR properly than reenact those rescues with an instructor to make sure you were fully capable of saving a drowning victim or perform CPR. After that that I took two written tests on saving victims and CPR. Once the instructor gave you your certificate, I had to get all my clearances and get fingerprinted because I was going to be working with children. It was a long stressful process. 


We worked Monday through Friday every week. We would try to arrive at the camp around 9:30 in the morning so we could clean out the pool and hose out the bathrooms. The camp is located in the woods so it was constantly filled with leaves, sticks, and animals such as frogs bugs and snakes. On time in particular, one of the lifeguards opened up the closet with all of the lifeguard equipment and there was a five foot black snake in it. No one knew how to get it out because if it escaped from the closet, it would go in the pool where all the kids were. We ended up having to evacuate everyone from the pool, just to realize it had escaped back into the woods by itself. That was a scary day. 


My favourite part of the job was being able to interact and build relationships with the kids that came. I loved giving swimming lessons and getting to go down to the lake and help kids fish. Most of the kids never get to fish because they live in the city, so their happiness when they would catch fish was priceless. Everyday was a new experience and adventure. “I thought it was a pretty laid back and overall fun summer job,” says Morgan. “I liked the job,” says Chris. “Going through all the tests and courses we had to do gave me a feeling of accomplishment, as well as expanding my horizons and seeing how people live outside of our small town. It was a crazy but fun job that I will never forget.”