Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another Week, Another Spot.

I took a week off from camping to hang out with my dad, and now I am back, we have private and group lessons tomorrow, and I am in a new camping spot.  Also went from a 2 person tent I could hardly fit in to a 6 person tent.  It’s the same tent I used two years ago.

Yea I know.  Back when I thought of the title Camping Lifeguard this is not what I had in mind either, but if they need me at the pool, I am only a moment away.

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis...the camping lifeguard

Sunday, June 23, 2013

And the rain rain rain came down down down...

Wow still remember that song from Winnie the Pool.  And like the 100 Acre Woods we are getting dumped on!  6+ inches around here in the last 2 days.

Not my camp site but the RV park near home was flooded out.  See the school house?  The 5' wide creek is on this side of the school.  All the rest was filled with campers and RVs.  When we took this most of them were on the street trying to figure out what to do.
 My cousin Chris.

And these are from where I camp.  My car bottoms out quite a bit.  Not going to bike to work until its repaired.

My tent was a little damp when I checked it this morning but otherwise it was fine.  Nothing a towel and cup can't fix.

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis, the camping lifeguard.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What will we do today?

At 1055 I have makeup swimlessons planned. Might need to make them up another day. 

Hail!  We've got hail!  Pea sized but I think I missed my chance to go to my car. Yay for dry tents, even if they look like a sith. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Summer is finally here!  Saw my first lightning bug. I was wondering when that would happen.
As I write this I hear an owl to the south of me calling. My coworkers think I'm nuts for camping almost every night this summer, but as I bike down the hill and see my tent at the campsite, I feel happy. 

From the mobile guy with his eye on the sky, Travis, the camping lifeguard. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spring Grove. 6 years later.

Even though in less than 7 hours I have swim lessons I cannot sleep, so I am going to write.

I am writing this to those who come from the Spring Grove Swim Center Facebook page  Most of you only know me from signing up for swim lessons this summer or from lifeguarding (or on TV during a city council meeting), but I am not new.  In 2007 I lifeguarded at the Spring Grove Swim Center (or Family Swim Center, or Aquatic Center, or just pool).  2007.  6 years ago.  The lifeguard I work with now were only 10 or 12 when I was last there.  I may have even told them to walk...and now they are doing the same to me.

One of the lifeguards I worked with back then is even still at the pool now.  I even remembered her face so when I first met all the people I was going to be working with there was one familiar face.  Well of them look a lot like one of the guards I worked with back then and I have trouble keeping the two names separate.

6 years and everything looks the same.  The umbrellas are the same color, light strips on top of the slides, same potholes in the road, same blue paint color, same lion mouth water fountain, even the same rescue tubes I think.  Only one thing is different (well there are a few but thats another story or two).

This year, I am pool manager.  Where is my cape and goggles?

I haven’t asked if I could use their names but I am working with some great people this year.  There is the other manager, who like me, just wanted to be head lifeguard and now we are in charge of everything from food to pool to cleaning out filters.  Poor frog.

We have 13 lifeguards and 5 concession workers and about to add a swim instructor (4 of the lifeguards including myself are also swim instructors).  We have things going on from 7am to 9pm most days and usually have more people offering to work than we do shifts (especially the 7-8 am lapswim/water aerobics)

Things are running a little different this year, the city of Spring Grove has contracted out to a company to help run the pool.  The goal is to save money, not many 90°+ days to make a profit, and there has been a lot of bugs, but every worker we started with for opening day has pushed thru the turmoil and is still with us, half way thru our first month and I am proud of them.

It’s also good to know that even though they could have decided to go somewhere else to work, maybe for better pay, maybe for less, and with less stress of all this new and different and confusing stuff, they are still here, to keep kids safe this summer.  If you read, you know about the Baywatch guards, and we don’t have any of those this year, and that allows me to sleep at night, at least after my sunburn stops hurting.

I also learned a great tip from them, vanilla keeps away gnats.  I wonder if I could just pour some into the pool and just clear the city of those annoying bugs.

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis...the camping lifeguard


After my last post, I noticed I had 3 drafts from 2011, The Good, The Great, and The UglyBecoming A Lifeguard, and If it's Brown.  I read thru them and there isn't any reason not to post them, so now I have.

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis...the camping lifeguard

The Good, The Great, and The Ugly

Please note that the following is an egocentric rambling of bad lifeguards and represent only the opinions and nightmares of the Camping Lifeguard and not necessarily that of other lifeguards, blogspot, or Google ;)

I like to classify lifeguards into 3 different categories. I have had both the fortune and misfortune to work with all of them. There are lifeguards who became certified for the same reason I did, they like to work with kids. Many camp counselors fall into this category, including myself.

Along with that are the lifeguards who became a lifeguard so they can get a job. Most of these guards are actually quite good at their job and maybe are a little more focused at small loads of swimmers compared to those of us like me who will hang around the family and chat with them and teach the little ones how to swim. Paying attention in their certification class they know the horrors of what can happen as a lifeguard, and wanting their certification they try their hardest to pass.

There is also a subgroup of that, which are guards part of the time, and water athletes the rest.  For some reason they are highly attracted to chlorine and are always in the water or watching it.  Their time doing sports makes them focused, their time in the water makes them fast.  They will have you out of the water before you know your drowning.  These are especially the ones you want in a lake or ocean.

Then there are the lifeguards who cause nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat…the Baywatch guards. Disclaimer: I have never watched Baywatch nor do I want to, but based on what I have heard of that show I would probably curl up on the couch and cry at the horrors. These guards are mainly teens who want the money, but also want the cute high school girls or guys and what better place then where you can show off your sexy tan body and never have to wear a shirt. And with a tight swimsuit on the girls and naked arms on the men, it’s all about the curves!

I worked at a pool the summer after my freshman year of college, where most of the guards were they Baywatch type. I have many stories about that pool and the guards there, but one stood out the most, whose antics almost resulted in at least 3 concussions and a drowning, and that was during my shifts. It appears that a way to impress girls is to take a basketball and wing it across the pool and put it into a hoop. Well, he never got the hoop, but instead went past it and not one time did the ball land more than a foot from a child. Had ball found head, we would have to deal with an unconscious child and very angry parent.

The scariest incident by this lifeguard came while I was guarding the diving board… In the diving well there is a diving board and a set of drop-slides. Dumb Dumb decided that a fun way to flirt with the lifeguard on the opposite side of the deep end from me was to jump off the diving board and towards her. He however landed at the same time a little girl, maybe 8 years old, plopped out of the drop slide nearest to the board and hit the water. Under normal conditions this would have worked out fine, as the slide and board have about 6-8 feet between them. Dumb Dumb decided though that the closer he got to his target the better, which resulted in about a foot gap between him and the little girl. After scolding this on break lifeguard, his response was "Chill out dude, I know what I am doing." Make sure you mention that when you do knock out a kid.

I know this may sound a little nuts that this was just part of the issues of that pool, but if you don’t believe me, ask my parents. On the way back up to Ashland, my dad told me it was ok to flip the pool off as we drove by.

From the guy with his eye on the sky, Travis...the camping lifeguard